After an excitable game between two of London’s fiercest rivals at Stamford Bridge, West Ham United and Chelsea eventually settle for a draw. The draw came at West Ham’s expense it would seem, after the awarding of two controversial goals in Chelsea’s favour.
Seventeen minutes into the clash between the East and South London clubs, Manuel Lanzini produced a true moment of magic for the Hammers, guiding his team ahead with a magnificent shot from 25 yards. The goal was then cancelled out on the brink of half time, after man of the match; Cesc Fabregas scored a fantastic free kick, curling in from around 25 yards. The controversy of the goal came through the placing of the ball in distance to the West Ham wall. It appeared that Fabregas shuffled the ball back, leaving United’s wall 12 yards from the spot in which the kick was taken. Nonetheless, it was a mesmerising controlled shot from Fabregas to bring the home team to level terms before the break.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, West Ham full back Aaron Cresswell came agonisingly close to restoring West Ham’s lead after his shot hit the underside of the crossbar from ten yards out.
Although, a couple of minutes later, the Hammers looked to have won the game with a sensational goal to put them ahead from substitute Andy Carroll, scoring with his first touch of the game. A move of brutal efficiency saw Dimitri Payet slide the ball perfectly through to Carroll, who made no mistake in tucking the shot away.
Controversy from the spot
All of West Ham’s good work was silenced after referee Robert Madley awarded the Blues with a controversial penalty, after Ruben Loftus-Cheek was brought down by Michail Antonio 89 minutes into the game. A kick in the teeth for Slaven Bilic’s men as Fabregas claimed his second of the game, firing the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-2. Replays showed the contact on Loftus-Cheek was made outside of the area, in which a free kick should have been awarded.
“To concede that late is gutting, but to concede it from a penalty that is not a penalty is unacceptable,” said Bilic. “It was not close to the line. It was way out. It was not a penalty. We are gutted and we are not getting these decisions.”
A slightly more relieved Guus Hiddink was full of praise for the Hammers, and seemed relieved about the decision to award his team the penalty.
“This is a very good West Ham side," said Hiddink. "They are knocking on the door of the top four. I was happy with the late penalty decision. It’s difficult for me to make a judgement – I think he was tripped on the line. On the line is part of the box.”
Two managers stern in their post match comments. With the international break looming, the two managers have some time to reflect and cool their heads before the upcoming Premier League action. After the break, Chelsea look to fight on with an away trip to a fading Aston Villa side. West Ham are at home to Crystal Palace, the only team not to have claimed a win in 2016.