Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chelsea 1 West Ham 0

West Ham started with a five man midfield of Etherington, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Boyer and Tevez, with Zamora up front on his own. Early on the system worked well for West Ham and they had the better of the first 15 minutes.

Chelsea looked nervous at the back, with a series of misunderstandings between Cudicini and his defence. However West Ham failed to capitalise on their possession and Chelsea's nervousness. The Irons' best chance came from a Tevez corner, which Spector headed from just outside the box over the bar.

After 15 minutes Chelsea started to attack more consistently and in the 20th minute Gabbidon put his hand on Drogba's shoulder just on the edge of the West Ham box and, to the surprise of no-one, Drogba went to ground. Geremi scored from the resulting free-kick, curling the ball over a stretching Green into the top right corner.

After the goal West Ham continued to play well and just before the break almost scored when Etherington volleyed the ball from 25 yards and just missed past the right hand post.

West Ham started the second half brightly but again failed to create any clear goal scoring opportunities. In the 63rd minute Bobby Zamora shot right-footed from 25 yards, over the bar and a couple of minutes later Bowyer did the same. Chelsea's best chance came to John Terry in the 75th minute when he rose to meet a corner but headed the ball into the ground, which then bounced over the bar.

In the 71st minute Harewood came on for Zamora and in the 80th minute Etherington and Bowyer were replaced by McCartney and Sheringham.

In the last couple of minutes West Ham penned Chelsea back and kept the ball in the Chelsea half but couldn't get the deserved equaliser.

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