|Kai Havertz guides the ball home in the Westham area to give Chelsea the lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The Blues won 2-1. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Westham took the game to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday but left empty handed following Kai Havertz’ late winner but the drama that followed the German’s goal and VAR’s involvement will reverberate around for a while.
Chelsea handed a debut to Wesley Fofana and the duo of Denis Zakaria and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang were in the stands. Reece James returned to his preferred wingback role and Connor Gallagher replaced Mason Mount in midfield.
Westham gave a full premier league debut to Lucas Paqueta and the Brazilian looked lively all evening; David Moyes went into the game with a horrible record at Stamford Bridge but his team’s organization early on looked like that was about to change.
Sights of goal weren’t seen until midway into the second half when a mishap in the Chelsea area saw Michail Antonio tap in on the Chelsea line with Edouard Mendy in no man’s land; it was the fifth time in six games that the Blues would concede this season.
Thomas Tuchel responded with substitutions; Mount, Chilwell and Havertz came on and the England left back was an instant hit. A long ball from Thiago Silva went over the Westham defense and it was delightfully taken by Chilwell before slotting elegantly past Lucas Fabianski.
Moments later, Maxwell Cornet hit the woodwork with a brilliant header that should have gone in and then the Hammers had to pick the ball from their own net yet again. Havertz diverted a fine cross from the left home but Westham would wonder how he got there first in a sea of legs in the Hammers area.
Chelsea’s celebrations looked to have been cut short when Cornet fired into the roof of the Chelsea net but VAR chalked the effort off, spotting an infringement on Mendy by Bowen in the build up; Moyes will have lots to say about that as replays suggest Mendy already lost the ball before the contact.
The win took Chelsea up to fifth on the log, just five points off Arsenal who play Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.