Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham made the difference but Timo Werner was underwhelming yet again as Chelsea beat West Ham United 3-0 on Monday.
Chelsea nearly went behind just seven minutes in, when a cleverly executed free-kick saw Declan Rice find the back of the net before West Ham United were pulled back for offside. Thereafter, the Blues stepped up in a big way, with Thiago Silva heading in from a Mason Mount corner to break the deadlock shortly after.
The hosts continued to remain in the ascendancy and had a few more chances to add to their lead, but their narrow one-goal advantage was not bolstered heading into half-time. West Ham were much-improved post the interval and took the game to Chelsea, but were lacking the end product to get back on level terms.
Chelsea duly pounced on West Ham’s inability to hit back with two quickfire goals, as Tammy Abraham showed top class poacher’s instincts to put the game to bed. The result meant that despite their recent slide, Chelsea are fifth on the Premier League table, just two points adrift of second-placed Leicester City. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Frank Lampard’s men.
Edouard Mendy: 6/10
A night when Mendy hardly broke a sweat despite some positive moments higher up the pitch for West Ham. The Senegalese goalkeeper did not have a single save to make and kept a much-needed clean sheet. Resorted to play long balls to alleviate the pressure in the second half.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Back into the starting lineup courtesy of Reece James’s problems with his right knee, Azpilicueta grabbed the rare opportunity with both hands. The Chelsea captain, who was the player to watch in our preview, was a solid customer at the back and made an important block to thwart Pablo Fornals in the second half. Did not carry a great deal of threat going down the right flank, though.
Thiago Silva: 8/10
Thiago Silva vs West Ham:
8 duels won
91.2% pass accuracy
4/6 long balls completed
Phenomenal, once again. World class. pic.twitter.com/SK3lqsZXVU
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) December 21, 2020
A top-class display by Silva, who enjoyed a solid time at the back, clearing everything in sight to keep the danger as far away from Mendy as possible. Also made a few critical interceptions and was generally composed in the defensive phase. The key moment for him, though, was when he headed in Chelsea’s first after ghosting into some space.
Kurt Zouma: 7/10
Continuing his partnership with Silva at the heart of the Chelsea defence, Zouma was commanding in his performance for the most part. Made an important clearance midway through the first half and was generally imposing in the air. Much better output on the ball as well, completing 90 per cent of the passes he attempted.
Ben Chilwell: N/A
A frustrating evening on his birthday for Chilwell, who did not even last 10 minutes and had to go off with an ankle injury.
Mason Mount: 8/10
Mason Mount created more chances than any other player against West Ham.
◉ 4 chances created
◉ 1 assist
All three of his Premier League assists this season have been for Chelsea’s centre backs. pic.twitter.com/wRzKGbwgVU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 21, 2020
The clear standout for Chelsea on the night, Mount’s star continues to rise despite playing in a star-studded team. The English international orchestrated play beautifully and earned the assist for Silva’s goal. Could have grabbed a couple more assists if his teammates were more clinical, having played 4 key passes on the night. Heavily involved in each of Tammy Abraham’s goals.
Back into the starting lineup, Jorginho produced a performance that showed why he has not been a regular this season. The Italian international blew hot and cold all through the game, giving the ball away cheaply at times but also being tidy in possession on other occasions. Needs to do better.
N’Golo Kante: 7/10
Deployed in an advanced midfield role owing to the return of Jorginho, Kante was not at his domineering best but was nevertheless a bundle of energy, true to nature. Even played in a key pass and was generally neat on the ball. Settled into his preferred deeper role after the introduction of Mateo Kovacic and cleaned up smartly after that.
Timo Werner: 5/10
Timo Werner has failed to score with his last 13 shots in the Premier League.
Unlucky for some. pic.twitter.com/OOU0EILRmy
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 21, 2020
Another game, another frustrating performance by Werner. His goal drought has now stretched to 10 games and it is clear that the German international is suffering from a lack of confidence as a result.
Against West Ham, he had four fine chances coming his way, but he squandered them all. Did set Tammy Abraham up for his first goal, but desperately needs to find the back of the net. As he iterated last week, he is finding the Premier League to be tougher than he thought and will hope for a quick turnaround.
Tammy Abraham: 8/10
Preferred over Olivier Giroud, Tammy Abraham did not enjoy the best of starts to the game and was isolated at times. However, he positioned himself perfectly for each of the goals he scored, running off of the West Ham centre-backs smartly for his first before showing the poacher’s instinct to pounce on the stray ball after Christian Pulisic failed to convert Mount’s cross.
⚽️ Youngest players to score 20 PL goals for Chelsea:
23 years & 32 days Eden Hazard
23 years & 80 days TAMMY ABRAHAM
23 years & 127 days Eidur Gudjohnsen pic.twitter.com/4BFUlvmcr7
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 21, 2020
Christian Pulisic: 7/10
Pulisic might not have found the back of the net on Monday, but this was another performance that showed that he is slowly getting back to his best. The USMNT international set up a superb chance for Werner but missed an opening himself before Abraham completed his brace. Another who can do with the buoyancy of a goal.
Emerson Palmieri: 6/10
Thrown on early into the game after Chilwell picked up his injury, Emerson was a lot less adventurous than he usually is. The Italian international, though, was decent enough at the back apart from a couple of nervy moments up against Vladimir Coufal. However, Thiago Silva helped him out on his side.
Mateo Kovacic: 6/10
On for Jorginho, Kovacic was precise on the ball, misplacing just two passes and keeping things ticking in the middle of the park.
Kai Havertz: N/A
A late introduction, Havertz helped see the game out.