Aaron Cresswell’s second-half strike seals first West Ham win at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League since 2002
By Adam Newson & Jack Wilkinson
Last Updated: 30/11/19 6:46pm
West Ham eased the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini by ending a 17-year wait for a win at Stamford Bridge as Aaron Cresswell secured a 1-0 victory over Chelsea. Here, we rate each player’s performance.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6
The Spanish goalkeeper produced a brilliant reflex stop to deny Michail Antonio in the first half and repeated the trick in the second period to foil Fabian Balbuena. He could do nothing to stop Cresswell’s curling strike, though, and was caught under the ball for the Antonio ‘goal’ which was ruled out by VAR. Even as the world’s most-expensive goalkeeper, Kepa does not entirely convince.
Reece James – 6
Going forward there is little doubt the 19-year-old is one of the Premier League’s most dangerous full-backs. He whipped in excellent cross after excellent cross against the Hammers but Chelsea’s attackers were unable to take advantage. However, he was beaten too easily by Cresswell for the West Ham goal and it is a mistake the youngster must learn from.
Kurt Zouma – 5
The French defender – in the absence of Antonio Rudiger – has established himself as Frank Lampard’s first-choice centre-back this season, yet this was not one of his finer matches. He was slow to react when Cresswell cut inside and curled home and also lost Antonio for the Irons’ ‘second’ which was ruled out.
Fikayo Tomori – 5
Back in the starting XI having been benched against Valencia, Tomori was his usual composed self in possession but was caught out defensively on more than one occasion. Antonio ran off the young centre-back in the first half only to fire over and Balbuena escaped his attention to head towards goal in the second.
Emerson Palmieri – 6
Left-back remains Chelsea’s area of weakness with neither Marcos Alonso or Emerson truly convincing. It was the latter who was handed a start against West Ham and he constantly got forward and delivered balls into the box, but few found a blue shirt. He kept Robert Snodgrass quiet for much of the contest, although the Scot did deliver one sumptuous cross which Antonio could not convert.
Jorginho – 6
The Italian has become one of Chelsea’s most important players this season and that was reflected by the fact he was handed the captaincy. Yet this was one of Jorginho’s less influential games. His passing was safe rather than incisive despite being given time on the ball and it was little surprise he was substituted with Chelsea chasing the game.
Mateo Kovacic – 6
Much like his midfield partner, Kovacic’s influence on the game was limited. There were a couple of his trademark dribbles forward, and even a shot on target in the opening period, but as the Blues searched for an equaliser the Croatian dropped deeper and deeper to collect the ball only to then knock it sideways to a team-mate.
Pedro – 5
The Spaniard was handed his first Premier League start since the end of September and was his usual busy self. But he no longer has the burst of acceleration needed to escape defenders and struggled to make an impact in the final third. It was no surprise he was brought off just after the hour.
Mason Mount – 5
The England international was excellent in the early matches of the season but his form has dipped in recent weeks and he was largely ineffective against the Hammers. An early shot that was straight at David Martin was the best Chelsea saw of Mount and perhaps a spell out of the side would reinvigorate the 20-year-old.
Christian Pulisic – 6
Undoubtedly Chelsea’s most effective player in recent weeks and that was again the case at Stamford Bridge. The American caused problems in the first half but was not able to have a clear sight of goal because of smart defending from Ryan Fredericks. He was moved centrally for the final 20 minutes and it was the wrong call by Lampard as Pulisic faded out of the contest.
Olivier Giroud – 5
Only the World Cup-winner’s fifth Premier League appearance of the season and he looked rusty throughout the opening half. Chelsea’s attacks often bypassed the striker but he would have had a simple finish from a James cross had Angelo Ogbonna not intervened. He lasted until the 71st minute yet the Frenchman did not have a chance of note. Tammy Abraham’s return from a hip injury cannot come soon enough.
Substitutes – Kante (6), Willian (5), Hudson-Odoi (5).
David Martin – 8
Man of the match. A Premier League debut, a clean sheet and a vital win. It really was the perfect afternoon for the 33-year-old goalkeeper. He had little to do across the 90 minutes but was assured when called into action, underlining his position as the safest available pair of hands at West Ham.
Ryan Fredericks – 7
Did well to track the constant threat Pulisic posed early on, notably preventing the American from opening the scoring with a last-gasp challenge.
Fabian Balbuena – 8
A welcomed returnee to the beleaguered Hammers back-line. Threw his body in the way of almost every Chelsea cross or shot and produced a stunning block to deny Pedro’s first-half volley.
Angelo Ogbonna – 7
Not as eye-catching as his defensive partner but was equally as vital to the West Ham cause and produced a crucial flick to deny Giroud a free header in first-half stoppage-time.
Aaron Cresswell – 8
Provided several decent crosses into the Chelsea box which were not taken by his team-mates before taking matters into his own hands with an excellently-taken winning goal.
Mark Noble – 7
Scuttled around and tried to press. Tidy with the ball, and a little drag-back was very much enjoyed by the West Ham fans.
Declan Rice – 7
Tidy and composed as we have come to expect from the England international but he also seized several opportunities to open his legs and contribute going forward.
Robert Snodgrass – 8
Would have had a handful of assists for Antonio on another day but was at the forefront of what turned out to be a dominant and effective Hammers display.
Pablo Fornals – 7
Worked tirelessly throughout without much success until he played the crucial pass that led to Cresswell’s winning goal.
Felipe Anderson – 6
A few nice touches in the No 10 position but some way off actually creating something for his forwards and still well off the heights of last season.
Michail Antonio – 7
Brought physicality to a West Ham attack that has been toothless in recent weeks. Should have had at least one goal, but two poor finishes and VAR.
Substitutes – Yarmolenko (6), Haller (5), Masuaku (n/a).
Soccer Saturday Super 6
FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the fifth time this year.
Source : Sky Sports