Chelsea 0 West Ham 1
By Hugh Southon
So where do you start?
O with David Martin keeping a clean sheet on his Irons debut and ending the game – like me – in tears?
O with Aaron Cresswell’s perfect goal?
O with Declan’s inspired performance?
O with a performance of guts and courage from each of them?
O with a hefty chunk of humble pie
O or with a celebratory night out?
That was incredible and a million miles from anything we have seen for weeks from the Irons and it shows exactly what can happen when you chase, close down and refuse to leave the opposition alone whoever thy might be.
This was an astonishing response from a team who have been all but written off under Manuel Pellegrini along with the boss himself – and yes my hands are in the air, I was among them.
The response was one of raw guts and courage with Pellegrini pulling every trick from his book of experinece as he got us back on the road.
He left out the club’s most expensive signing, Seb Haller, for the amazing Mikey Antonio and instead of naming the team on Friday morning as is his usual practice waited until 1-pm on match day.
That must have kept everybody on edge with little time to think of anything other than giving their best possible performance and my God they all did that.
The Hammers took a lead in the 43rd minute via a magnificent counter attack and a wonderful shot beyond the Chelsea keeper from Cresswell – his third strike of the season.
They had defended like heroes throughout the first half and did so again in the second bt courtesy of the new Fifa ruling that it’s handball whether intended or otherwise had a second ruled out by VAR when Antonio’s bunded effort at the far post was ruled out.
He had also seen a header saved in the first half and failed to control sufficiently to score from close range but hey the man was magnificent and always causing problems.
It was a magnificent performance and at the end every Hammer went to Dave Martin to hug and comfort as his game ended with tears.
A day to remember but this is the level we now expect every week!
Oh and we are up to 13th!