5 talking points as Hammers beat Chelsea
(PHOTO: James Williamson / Getty Images)

A second-half strike from Aaron Cresswell helped the Hammers to a memorable win at Stamford Bridge, a much-improved performance that produced several talking points.

Emotional debut for David Martin

West Ham’s 33-year-old goalkeeper stole the headlines as he kept a clean sheet in his first ever Premier League game.

The Hammers’ debutant, son of club legend Alvin Martin, made crucial saves and commanded his box well as he kept out Frank Lampard’s Blues.

Martin was signed from Millwall in the summer and was expected to serve as a ‘training ground goalkeeper’, however a long-term injury to Lukasz Fabianski and the woeful form of Roberto has seen the veteran shot-stopper earn a place in the lineup.

The former ‘third-choice’ grasped his opportunity, and emotional scenes ensued at full-time as he was embraced by his teammates before heading to the stands where he shared a moment with his father.

Pellegrini shows willingness to adapt

Manuel Pellegrini has been heavily criticised for his performance as West Ham manager over the past month with fans particularly aggrieved by a lack of tactical changes, despite the club’s awful form.

However, the Chilean’s team selection on Saturday paid dividends as the under-pressure boss guided the Hammers to their first win in two months.

Pellegrini made the bold decision to bench £40m man Sebastien Haller, deploying the effective Michail Antonio as a lone striker in his place with Felipe Anderson providing support in the number 10 role.

It seemed that the 66-year-old’s tenure could be coming to an end, however victory in the London derby could be the spark needed to ignite a revival.

Declan Rice produces midfield masterclass

Declan Rice turned in another quality performance on his return to the club that released him as a teenager.

Rice progressed through Chelsea’s academy ranks before being let go when he was 14, however the midfielder has since developed into a regular for club and country.

The England international proved his quality again, dominating the middle of the park with an immense performance, displaying impressive physical and defensive qualities.

West Ham display team spirit

Any doubts over the spirit within the dressing room were silenced as the whole team contributed towards a vital win.

The passion was clear at the final whistle as each player ran to congratulate an emotional David Martin on his performance before celebrating with the travelling Claret and Blue faithful.

Manuel Pellegrini has not lost the dressing room and the squad appears to be playing for their manager, exhibited by Declan Rice who ran straight to his manager at full time.

Michail Antonio’s return proves significant

Much has been made of Fabianski’s absence, however West Ham have clearly missed Michail Antonio’s impact too, as shown by the forward's influence since returning from injury.

Antonio almost inspired a late comeback when he was introduced off the bench against Spurs, and his importance was shown again as he led the line against Chelsea.

‘The Beast’, as he is affectionately known, proved a handful for Chelsea’s defence, battling for every loose ball and stretching the opposition’s backline by using his pace to get in behind.

Pellegrini has a dilemma ahead of Wednesday’s fixture against Wolves; does he keep Haller on the bench again, or change formation to incorporate the Frenchman alongside the in-form Antonio?

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