As the Premier League campaign once again started, West Ham travelled to Chelsea in an eagerly anticipated London derby. Both sides had contrasting seasons last year, as West Ham recorded their best ever points tally in the Premier League, and Chelsea put up the worst title defence of all time, finishing 10th.
It was a chance to see how the new signings from both sides were going to improve the teams and for Chelsea, a new manager in Antonio Conte. The game could maybe be an early signifier of what the fans could expect for the season. Many were expecting a close game and that is exactly what happened, as the home side took all three points as Diego Costa scored a late goal to beat West Ham 2-1.
Both teams had their chances early on and could have quite easily have taken the lead, but as the sides went into the changing rooms at half time, it was still goalless. Not long after the restart, Michail Antonio suffered a lapse in concentration at the back as he brought down Cesar Azpilicueta in the box to give the home side a penalty. Eden Hazard stepped up and fired confidently into the roof of the net.
Chelsea were having the better of the chances as the game went on but it was West Ham who got themselves back in it thanks to an unlikely goalscorer, James Collins. But with one minute of normal time remaining, Diego Costa found himself in some space and shot hard and low from distance and beat the helpless Adrian. There were positives for both sides in a game where the result didn't shock too many people.
'Keeper and defence
Adrian (7) - Had a steady game and couldn't have done too much to prevent either of the goals going in. Kept West Ham in the game when Chelsea could have scored one or two more. Not a performance which he will be disappointed with.
Michail Antonio (5) - Again played in his unnatural position and it proved costly as it was his mistake which lead to the penalty. It is quite evident that he wants to be further up and not many people would argue against that. Not a great day for him.
Winston Reid (6) - Didn't do too much wrong. Had some shaky moments but cleared his lines when it was needed most of the time and showed a positive performance. 6
James Collins (7) - Was very defensively sound and had some very good battles with Diego Costa. He also got his name on the scoresheet which he will be very happy with as it doesn't happen too often. One of the better players for the away side
Arthur Masuaku (7) - Made a solid start to life with West Ham. Did his defensive duties well and attacked when West Ham countered. A few mistakes but that is to be expected on your debut with a team you don't have any experience playing with.
Midfield and attack
Cheikhou Kouyate (7) - Such a reliable figure for the Hammers and he didn't disappoint last night. He was very instrumental in the middle of the pitch and done what he needed to do but nothing out of the ordinary by his standards.
Mark Noble (5) - Was sometimes caught in the middle trying too hard to find the pass, therefore leaving West Ham vulnerable to a Chelsea attack. It was his mistake which nearly led to a penalty for Chelsea as Oscar went down following a touch from Reid. Not the best of nights for the skipper.
Havard Nordtveit (4) - Definitely expected more from him last night. Was giving the ball away far too much in dangerous areas and his distribution wasn't consistent enough. Was definitely not the debut he would have wished for.
Enner Valencia (6) - A player which is constantly linked with a move away from the club and you can see that in his performances. He didn't do anything terribly wrong but he isn't eager enough to get himself into the right positions and is knocked off the ball far too easily.
Andre Ayew (5) - West Ham's record signing will not have wished for his night to have panned out like it did. He couldn't get himself into the game enough and pulled up with an injury just before half time. West Ham will be hoping that the injury is nothing serious and he can get back to playing soon. But it was a performance with very little impact.
Andy Carroll (7) - One of the bright sparks in the West Ham team. He held the ball up well, won everything in the air and caused the defence some problems. If he had the right service then he could have definitely snatched a goal.
Gokhan Tore (5) - Another new arrival was brought on in place of the injured Ayew. Did very little to impact the game and gave the ball away cheaply at times. Nothing else to really report.
Sam Byram (6) - Was brought on for Antonio shortly after the penalty and filled in well. He done what was asked and never messed around with it too much. He will be hopeful that he can take that right back position.
Dimitri Payet (6) - Was brought on with just over 20 minutes to go and it gave the team a lift as they ended up getting back in the game. He is definitely not 100% match fit but when he is on the pitch, you can see the confidence that it instills into the team.