1st July, 2020
West Ham United this evening defeated Chelsea in a thrilling Premier League match by three goals to two at the London Stadium in a game that has lifted up the hopes of Manchester United and Wolves of making the top four position of the league.
The game was heading for a 2-2 draw toward the end until a certain Yarmolenko turned the tide by scoring the goal that sent Chelsea back home with empty hands and probably a sleepless night.
This result leaves Chelsea just two points ahead of Manchester United and Wolves who presently occupy the 5th and 6th positions on 52 points each ( two behind Chelsea).
West Ham surely deserved their victory today.
Any other team could easily have crumbled after the contentious decision by VAR to rule out an opening goal, the concession of a penalty coming along in short order.
But they fought hard and – with no little skill, albeit some help from Chelsea’s unreliable defence – dragged themselves back into the game.
And of course,Andriy Yarmolenko’s fine late winner could prove priceless as West Ham rise to 16th place (30pts), three points clear of the relegation zone, two clear of Watford in 17th.
At the other end of the table, Chelsea remain in fourth (54pts), but they’re only two ahead of Manchester United and Wolves now. Arsenal and Tottenham won’t have chucked the towel in quite yet, either. The remaining matches are surely going to be very decisive..
As was to be expected, the home team’s gaffer, David Moyes, was a very happy man at the end of a match that would surely have caused some real controversy as West Ham had an early goal disqualified by the VAR.
David Moyes had this to say after the match:
“We were up against it at 2-2. But we stuck at it and got a result. The VAR stuff, I’m beginning to lose complete faith in it. I don’t want to whinge about decisions, I’m trying not to, but that’s what I am doing again. I’ve not seen it again, but everybody tells me the goal should have stood.” Sky then commend West Ham for not feeling sorry for themselves after the VAR decision. “Well I did! I was spewing. I was thinking: are we ever going to get a decision here? The things that have gone against West Ham recently have been really poor, and I can’t explain it. The players deserve a massive amount of credit for sticking to it.”
But then what did Chelsea coach, Frank Lampard think about the match? This is what he had to say;
“It’s not the story of our season, because it’s been a good season, but there have been many of these moments. Three good results, an opportunity to go third. You can dominate possession but if there are moments when you switch off, if you make two or three mistakes, you’re going to encourage teams on. I’m aware of it. But the players have to show an extra mentality to see the game through. We can feel a game like this coming. It shows the work we have to do. We have to defend better. We’re upset because we wanted to win the game. There’s no point me being down, but I’m telling the truth and we should have won here today.”
Michail Antonio is one other happy man at the end of the match as he had this to say;
“It’s massive. There ’have been so many games when we’ve been so close, and today shows the grit and belief we’ve got. We’re going to keep fighting to the end. I really dislike VAR! Ha ha ha! So many things haven’t gone our way, it’s gone against us so many times, but today it didn’t stop us. We just kept going and got the victory. It gives us confidence and belief. Not the fact that we won, but that we went down, and had a goal taken away from us. Chelsea’s a quality team, and if we can do it against them, we can do it against anybody.” Then there’s a magnificent moment when the reasons for the VAR decision are explained to him – that he was in the line of the goalkeeper’s sight and his head was offside – and he pulls, with exquisite comic timing, a look of amused incredulity. A genuinely funny reaction.