WEST HAM 0-1 CHELSEA
We started – and finished – this game six points off the top of the table and four off second place. But whilst we haven’t gained any ground in the Premier League, we did get the chance to rest a few of our players ahead of the Barcelona game without dropping any points so we can’t complain.
Drogba, Essien and Ballack all started on the bench and were joined by Ashley Cole, with Jose Bosingwa starting as our left-back. I’m not convinced Luis Boa Morte gave him the sort of test he needed before he faces Messi but beggars can’t be choosers and at least he got the chance to familiarise himself with the position. Michael Mancienne also got a start and it has to be said, he had a bloody good game.
Not that much to say about the game really, we managed to take the points without ever really getting out of second gear. Both sides had their chances, we took ours courtesy of a Frank Lampard cross which Kalou duly converted in the 55th minute. West Ham didn’t take theirs, even when they were awarded a penalty with 20 minutes to go. Noble took it well enough but Petr Cech was more than up to the challenge and tipped it away.
So, Cech’s confidence will have picked up a bit more after his last two clean sheets and whilst Lampard took more than the usual abuse – with West Ham showing their usual amount of class by resorting to throwing stuff at both him and John Terry – his Man Of The Match performance spoke for itself.
WEST HAM: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Boa Morte, Noble, Stanislas, Dyer, Tristan, Di Michele. Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Nsereko, Kovac, Spector, Sears, Payne.
CHELSEA: Cech, Mancienne, Ivanovic, Terry, Bosingwa, Mikel, Belletti, Kalou, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka. Subs: Hilario, Ashley Cole, Essien, Di Santo, Drogba, Ballack, Stoch.