A wasteful Chelsea side were held to a draw by cross town rivals West Ham United, thanks to a second half goal from Javier Hernandez.
Once again this season, Chelsea’s lack of end product in the final third and a small loss of focus in defence proved to be their downfall. The Blues took some time to find their feet in the game, but as the game went on they slowly took control of proceedings and began dominating possession.
Cesar Azpilicueta then drew first blood, after a scramble in the box and some shoddy West Ham defending, the Spaniard was able to bundle it in from five yards out in the 36th minute. The Blues then continued their onslaught, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet again.
In the second half, bad positioning, decision making, finishing and a superb Joe Hart ensured that they would continue to be frustrated. Then in the 73rd minute, Javier Hernandez proved to be the scourge of Chelsea once again, when he capitalized on some miscommunication in the Chelsea box to smash the ball in past Thibaut Courtois.
Thibaut Coutois: 6
Had little to do for the first half of the game. Made one save the entire match. Could do nothing for the goal. Besides that, he had some routine recoveries to make.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8
Did extremely well to create a goal scoring chance in the box and roll it into the back of the net. Saw a lot of the ball, but his distribution was really off on the evening. Defended well for the most part, didn’t do a lot wrong as Chelsea had most of the possession. Didn’t get forward too often.
Gary Cahill: 7
A good game from the Englishman on his return to the starting lineup. His header did go on to play a huge part in the equalizer, but the players should have been watching Hernandez’s run into the box and marked him. Communication seemed to be a bit off in defence, but otherwise he didn’t put a foot wrong, making some key blocks and was solid in the air.
Antonio Rudiger: 7
The German international had a good game. He’s been improving slowly, but steadily with each passing week. Dealt with everything that came his way well and wasn’t fazed by the threat of Marko Arnautovic, Edmilson Fernandes or Pablo Zabaleta.
Victor Moses: 6.5
Blazed a shot wide five minutes into the second half, but then came really close with a nice curling effort from almost the exact same spot. It was a decent performance at best from the Nigerian, who put in a good defensive shift even if he couldn’t contribute going forward.
N’Golo Kante: 8
Near faultless once again. At this point in the season, it would suffice to say that Chelsea would’ve been at a far lower point on the table had it not been for the tireless Frenchman. 3 interceptions, 3 tackles and a 94% passing accuracy. The Blues’ best player on the day, again.
Cesc Fabregas: 6
Was at fault for the goal they conceded as Fabregas was ball watching, lost his man and allowed him enough space to smash the ball in past Courtois. Maintained a passing accuracy of 89% on the night and sent in some good crosses for his teammates. Kept things moving in the middle of the park.
Marcos Alonso: 6.5
Forced a superb save from Joe Hart in the 79th minute with a rocket of a shot. Defended fairly well and got forward often, but couldn’t contribute meaningfully going forward.
Missed a great chance to give his side the lead after some superb play from Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata. Squandered another good chance early in the first half. An extremely disappointing performance as his link-up play and positioning was fantastic, but he really lacked the end product.
Alvaro Morata: 6
Had goals rightfully ruled out to be offside in the first and second half. Had a chance at a free header, which he failed to divert into the back of the net in the second half. Needs to improve his positioning, but should have made the most of the chances that he had. Linked up very well with his teammates, positioned himself well and gave the West Ham defence a tough time with his movement.
Eden Hazard: 8
Created chance after chance for his teammates. Attempted 5 shots, took players on and as the game progressed he got closer and closer in the first half. His decision making seemed off in the final third and in the second half, he seemed to fade away.