The fight for the top four is as alive as ever and with both London clubs aiming to make it then this was a do-or-die game. There was also the possibility of moving within one point from Leicester City sitting in third on the table. Thomas Tuchel has not lost an away game since he arrived at Chelsea and today would not be the first as the blues never looked like conceding even though they continued their wastefulness in front of goal.
Chelsea won the reverse encounter between the pair 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in December but West Ham were 3-2 victors in the clash at the London Stadium last season, completing a league double over the Blues after a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in late 2019. West Ham were missing at least five players due to injury but they had also not lost any of their last 4, winning three.
Mason Mount found himself over on the right and in a lot of space, drilled it in for Timo Wermer but the German’s shot was over the crossbar. The first chance of the game and it went Chelsea’s way. Mount pulled off a lovely skill to turn away from his marker and shoot but Lukasz Fabianski saved it. Werner made a great run from deep and found Christian Pulisic who hit the target but it was straight at the keeper on 15. A quarter of an hour was gone and Chelsea dominated possession and shot stats but no goals yet. More quick feet from Mount on the right and he found Timo Werner who took the ball with a great touch but couldn’t wrap his foot around the shot and it went wide.
Before halftime, Chelsea took the lead. N’golo Kante found Werner and he held the ball up well before laying it off for Chilwell who pulled away on the left and squared the ball into a dangerous area. Timo Werner was on hand to tap in the finish. Chelsea led. 43′ Tight, cagy affair in this London derby but it was Chelsea who led at halftime.
Timo Werner with a howler! Mason Mount had a beautiful shot saved and the rebound fell kindly for the former Leipzig man but he fluffed his lines. Make that 17 big chances missed in the EPL alone. Chelsea should have been 0-2 up there. Pablo Fornals’s shot was comfortably saved by Edouard Mendy as the hammers registered their first shot on target. West Ham had a good spell of pressure. Mark Noble squared a cross and Ryan Fredricks’ shot was blocked by Mount. Lingard with the rebound and it was not too far wide. Mason Mount with yet another shot from distance and Lukas Fabianski saved it again. This time he gathered after spilling again.
At the hour mark and it is end-to-end stuff. Fabianski was very much the busier of the goalkeepers and this time it was Timo Werner who drew a very good save from him. Fabian Balbuena was then sent off with a straight red for a vicious follow-through challenge on Ben Chilwell nearly sending Moyes into a fit. Tammy Abraham compounded Chelsea’s finishing woes, missing a sitter in the dying moments of this fiery derby as he headed Mount’s pinpoint cross over the crossbar. It would be the final action of the game. Chelsea took maximum points as they emerged 0-1 winners.