Ten-man Chelsea slumped to their fifth Premier League defeat in 10 after another abject performance saw West Ham United claim a major scalp.
Zarate opened the scoring in the first half but the real turning point was when the Blues had Matic sent off just before half-time for a second bookable offence and, in the aftermath, had both Louro and Mourinho himself sent to the stands.
Nothing is going right for the visitors, who had six yellow cards dished out to them on top of Matic’s red and the dismissing of the coaching staff, and despite Cahill levelling on the pitch, it was left for Andy Carroll to rub salt into Chelsea’s gaping wounds.
This was a fixture which Chelsea have dominated over the last decade, but a London derby presents no easy task. The Hammers were six points and eight places ahead of the champions going into the game, and Bilic was certainly in confident mood with him quoted pre-match saying that this was “a good time to play Chelsea”, so would the hosts prolong the visitor’s rut on the day of Roman Abramovich’s 49th birthday?
The first half indicated so. Chelsea did have the game’s first opening when Costa evaded Collins, but despite the ball sitting up nicely, the Spaniard was wild and lashed it high.
But then it was all West Ham. From an innocuous corner, the ball escaped everyone and Zarate, on the edge of the penalty area, pinged the ball past a melee of players and past Begovic. It was a sloppy goal to concede.
Willian, Azpilicueta and Fabregas displayed neat and intricate footwork to find Ramires but the Brazilian was rash in his shot which flew high and wide.
Zouma was millimetres away from levelling for Chelsea when he met a Fabregas corner but somehow only 99.5% of the ball crossed the line.
But most of the action was at the other end, and there was a better chance for West Ham to make it two.
Zouma was struggling down West Ham’s right and Payet was given every opportunity to test a man caught in in two minds over his centre-back and right-back duties. This time it was Lanzini afforded plenty of space but somehow Chelsea escaped with the ball chipped over Begovic and over the bar.
Fabregas had the ball in the back of the net when Willian went on the counter-attack but either the Spaniard should have timed his run better or the Brazilian should have laid the ball off faster. Either way it was a waste of a golden chance.
Then came the scrappy end.
Matic was booked just a few minutes earlier but, with a second challenge right under the watchful eye of the refereeing team, receiving his marching orders with a minute to go until the half-time whistle. Costa and Fabregas were booked for their protests, whilst Louro was sent to the stands. Mourinho sat there laughing, but half-time could not come quickly enough.
Who would come on for the second half? Well not Mourinho, who was sent to the stands during half-time too. Mikel did replace Fabregas, but it was all too scrappy.
So what could the second-half Chelsea, led by Steve Holland and Rui Faria, conjure up?
Willian’s hopeful corner was met and lost by Zouma, but Cahill had a great forward’s instinct and lashed home in similar fashion to the West Ham goal. Chelsea, with their tails up, had levelled, but Mourinho was totally unmoved; perhaps he did not have a very good view.
Ramires should have put the hosts in front in the 77nd minute when Begovic’s route one goal kick found Hazard who charged in on goal and squared to the Brazilian, but the fine margins were there for all to be seen as Andy Carroll leapt highest seconds later at the other end to put the hosts back in front.
Willian tried a speculative shot straight from the kick-off but it was another one of those days that it is becoming a norm.
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Man of the Match
Neither Mourinho, nor any of Chelsea’s coaching team, were available for comment, but Gary Cahill did offer a few words:“You’re left scratching your head sometimes. Not many words are being said at the moment. We worked really hard at 10 men and had the majority of the play in the second half. It’s a summary of our season at the minute.”
By contrast, Bilic was happy to elaborate in great detail: “We are delighted. We are playing good. It was important for us to do it against the champions and in front of our fans. It feels like a perfect day for us.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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