Chelsea vs West Ham - The Verdicts
Two weeks ago, when West Ham held Liverpool to a draw at Anfield, the newspaper reports hardly gave West Ham a look in as they bemoaned Liverpool's failures to wipe the floor with the minnows from London. This week however the press actually acknowledge that there were two teams on the pitch yesterday and most single out Scott Parker for special praise.
The Daily Mail say West Ham had "a much-deserved first-half lead" with " the ubiquitous Scott Parker dismantling almost every Chelsea attack before sparing Robert Green's blushes by clearing his colleague's misplaced punch off the line."
"West Ham were excellent, an impressive combination of determination and defiance and so much better than they were against Tottenham six days earlier. Green again made some crucial saves, Matthew Upson and Calum Davenport were terrific in defence and, as well as Parker, young Jack Collison shone in midfield."
The Daily Telegraph say that, "From back to front, Zola’s players were filled with fortitude. Robert Green made stunning saves from Lampard and Didier Drogba in particular. Matthew Upson and Calum Davenport dealt well with Chelsea’s aerial threat. Parker was magnificent in turning Zola's tactical instructions into reality, strangling the life out of Chelsea’s midfield. Alongside Parker, Mark Noble and Jack Collison ran their young bodies into the ground for the cause, giving hope for the present as well as the future.
In attack, in a real tale of the unexpected, Carlton Cole dragged Terry through an assault course of mind and body."
The Guardian were also impressed with Scott Parker who "was tough and effective."
The Independent says, "The heroes for Zola were his centre-back Matthew Upson, Scott Parker in midfield and Robert Green in goal. They could easily have collapsed after conceding the equaliser on 50 minutes but West Ham held it together. If Carlton Cole had kept his nerve with just Petr Cech to beat in injury time this would have been a historic, if slightly undeserved, victory."
The Times says that "for once their (West Ham's) big earners justified their pay packets. Scott Parker was outstanding, Bellamy used his pace to give John Terry a difficult afternoon and Lucas Neill was flawless."