A hugely resilient West Ham side frustrated Chelsea as the Blues slipped behind in the title race.
The Hammers defended valiantly despite Chelsea’s 38 shots, with Adrian, Collins and Tomkins proving to be a solid back-line, and despite the huffing and puffing of Chelsea — with Oscar hitting the bar — there was no way to break the deadlock in a well-organised West Ham side.
The Blues had won seven matches on the bounce, but their 100% win record in January thus far was sadly ended. Adrian made smart blocks from Oscar, Terry and Eto’o in the first half, and the constant pressure brought the best out of Adrian, but sadly bore no goal for the home side.
Willian came knocking, as too Hazard, before Matic, Lampard and Ba were called for. The pressure was re-doubled in the final few minutes, and Chelsea could have scored from all three opportunities on another day: Hazard with one try himself which hit the side-netting, whilst assisting two other attempts, which Ba turned onto the post, and Lampard could not fire past Adrian.
It means the Blues are now three points behind new table-toppers Manchester City, with the two going head-to-head on Monday.
Man of the Match
OSCAR: Four or five West Ham players would have scored higher than any Chelsea player in a neutral Player Ratings system, but if we had to pick one Chelsea Man of the Match, it has to be Oscar. Continually creative and hit the bar. Subbed late on as Mourinho went for the more direct approach with Ba, but may have had more chance of scoring a goal through the Brazilian himself. 6/10
Mourinho was not happy with West Ham’s defensive attitude: “I was frustrated since the first minute. They were trying to win time with everything. With their substitutions they were taking a long time. It was football from another century. The result is not a good result. [Yes, ] they defended with their hearts – I respect that and praise that. [But] I don’t think with matches like this we can sell Premier League across the world. My team did everything possible.”
Allardyce was keen to do all it takes to secure some points: “If we deal with Oscar, Willian and Eden Hazard then you’ve got a great chance. Jose is going to say ‘how [can] you play like this?’ [But] We’re in a relegation battle, we can’t play like Man United and get beat 3-0.”