Reigning champions Chelsea succumbed to a narrow, frustrating loss to cross town rivals West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.
David Moyes secured his first Premier League home win since December 2016, when he was still the manager of Sunderland as West Ham narrowly overcame Chelsea. A win would have eventually come for Moyes as West Ham manager, but few would’ve bet on the result coming against what looked to be a revitalised Chelsea.
Marko Arnautovic gave his side the lead after some slick passing with Manuel Lanzini. Chelsea’s defence lost focus for a few seconds and that was enough for the Austrian to find the back of the net past a helpless Thibaut Courtois after only six minutes of play.
As expected, Chelsea would go on to have most of the possession, 69% of it, but they did close to nothing to trouble Adrian. The Blues forced only two saves from the Spaniard, from 19 shots attempted.
This was Chelsea’s first loss since their 3-0 humbling at the hand of AS Roma in the Champions League, and it seems as if their title challenge is officially over. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Antonio Conte’s men
Thibaut Courtois: 5
Had just two routine saves to make in the game, which he did, but could do little for Arnautovic’s goal. Besides that he was barely troubled. A frustrating evening for the Belgian.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 6
Didn’t do a lot wrong on the night, but was unable to do anything to help his side get back on level terms. Azpilicueta tried to put in a lot of crosses, but most of them were dealt with. He distributed the ball fairly well, but it wasn’t the best performance from the vice-captain.
Andreas Christensen: 6
Played his part in failing to close down players for the goal, but besides that he didn’t do too much wrong. Was good in the air as well. It was his most anxious performance, strange it had to come against West Ham when he’s put in much better shifts against the likes of Spurs and Manchester United.
Gary Cahill: 6
The Englishman didn’t have a bad game, but he didn’t have a good one either. Cahill, like Christensen also played a part in failing to stop West Ham’s goal, but that was his only mistake in the game.
Davide Zappacosta: 6
He was one of his side’s more livelier players. Zappacosta did try to get forward as much as possible and had his hands full dealing with West Ham’s attackers on his wing. But, he couldn’t contribute enough going forward and even when he did put in cross after cross, his teammates couldn’t make anything of it. Was one of his side’s primary attacking threats.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Had to be more defensively aware after Bakayoko was taken off, but Fabregas still saw a lot of the ball as Chelsea kept over 71% of the possession in the second half. He was a bit off with his passing, althoughhe contributed defensively with some good tackles. Wasn’t at his creative best on the night, which is a shame considering the amount of possession he had.
N’Golo Kante: 7
Chelsea’s best player on the pitch, which isn’t saying much considering the overall performance. Kante recovered possession well for his side, made some good tackles and saw a lot of the ball. He was his side’s most prolific passer and contributed well both in defence and attack. But seemed overwhelmed and at times, a bit alone in the middle of the park.
Tiemoue Bakayoko: 4
Possibly his worst game in a Chelsea shirt. The Frenchman just cannot seem to shake off his bad run of form and West Ham showed absolutely no mercy. Bakayoko couldn’t offer anything in either side of the pitch and was taken off by Antonio Conte at half-time. Hasn’t been able to build upon those promising performances he put in early on in the season.
Marcos Alonso: 4
Not a good performance from the Spaniard at all, probably his worst ever in a Chelsea shirt. Alonso just could not keep up with West Ham’s attackers and looked even slower than usual. Makes up for his lack of pace with some tireless running and good positioning, but even that was off for him.
He cut an extremely tired and frustrated figure and to make things worse, he even picked up a booking before being hauled off 10 minutes into the second half.
Eden Hazard: 6
Usually the shining light when his teammates put in disappointing shifts like these, the Belgian wasn’t good enough on the day either. A rare off day for Hazard, who has been enjoying a good run of form over the past few weeks. He took on West Ham’s players, but they did a good job of surrounding him and keeping him quiet for the most part.
Alvaro Morata: 4
Could do absolutely nothing for his side on the night. Morata clearly wasn’t fit enough to play on Saturday and his lack of energy only seemed to frustrate him more. He did create a fair few chances for his teammates, but they didn’t come to fruition. An extremely disappointing performance.
Victor Moses: 5
Brought on for Marcos Alonso in the 55th minute as Conte looked to rest the Spaniard who had picked up a booking. Looked a bit lively and determined when he came on and tried to help as much as possible going forward, but couldn’t have a positive impact on the game.
Replaced Tiemoue Bakayoko at half time as Conte looked to add another dimension to their attack, but couldn’t help his teammates in anyway.