Chelsea and West Ham shared the points in a tight London derby after a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium.
Chelsea and West Ham could not get the better of each other after Joao Felix’s first Chelsea goal was cancelled out by former Chelsea man Emerson, with Chelsea denied a contentious penalty late on.
Chelsea started brightly, with their plethora of new faces including a first start for Noni Madueke and a returning Joao Felix bringing a positive feel to this new look side. Chelsea controlled the opening exchanges, and had an early Joao Felix goal ruled out for offside.
However Felix didn’t have to wait much longer to open his Chelsea account, with a composed finish in the 16th minute giving his team a well deserved lead. The Blues were patient in working an opening, before Enzo Fernandez curled in a wonderful ball from the edge of the box, which picked out Felix who coolly slotted past Lukasz Fabianski with a first time finish.
The early goal clearly gave Chelsea confidence, with Kai Havertz nearly scoring a quickfire second only for to be narrowly ruled out for offside, after he was played in by a precise Mykhailo Mudryk pass.
West Ham grew into the match, and started to test Kepa Arrizbalaga in the Chelsea goal before equalising in the 27th minute through former blue, Emerson. Vladimir Coufal’s cross was flicked on by Jarrod Bowen, with Emerson reacting quickest at the back post to poke the ball past Kepa to level proceedings in East London.
Chelsea fought back well from this setback, with Madueke forcing a good stop out of Fabianksi, and Benoit Badiashile heading over from a corner before the break.
The second half was more scrappy than the first, with few moments of true quality. Kai Havertz headed wide from a Ben Chilwell cross and Mason Mount tested Fabianski too. Tomas Soucek thought he had given West Ham a late lead only for it to be ruled out for offside after a nervy delay for Graham Potters side.
Conor Gallagher then had a late penalty appeal turned down after the ball struck Soucek on the arm in West Ham’s box, a contentious decision. However, neither side produced any great chances late on with the match ending with the points shared.
Here’s how Absolute Chelsea rated the players’ performances in the capital on Saturday afternoon.
Kepa Arrizabalaga – 6/10
Another solid display from Kepa. He made a string of solid saves in the first half, although he may feel slightly disappointed to be beaten from such a narrow angle at the near post for Emerson’s goal. His distribution skills are clearly superior to Chelsea’s other goalkeepers, and he has markedly in other aspects of his game too.
Reece James – 6/10
Still rebuilding his fitness after another long layoff. Reece James was caught out by his old team mate Emerson at the back post for West Ham’s equaliser, a sign of his current rustiness. Otherwise a solid performance from James, who kept Benrahma quiet down his side. However, more will be expected from Chelsea’s star right back as he aims to build fitness and form in the coming weeks.
Thiago Silva – 6/10
Another solid performance from Chelsea’s Rolls Royce at the back. Dealt well with the tricky and physical Michail Antonio who was subbed off midway through the second half. Silva signed a new deal in the week, Chelsea will continue to benefit from his ageless skills for a while to come.
Benoit Badiashille – 6/10
Another good performance from Chelsea’s new centre back. Badiashille generally handled Antonio well, although he was booked for hauling him down once. His composure on the ball is very refreshing to see, and his aerial dominance and physicallity is the perfect foil for an evergreen Thiago Silva.
Marc Cucurella – 5/10 (67)
Marc Cucurella is struggling for form presently, and was the weakest link in Chelsea’s back four. Cucurella was partly at fault for the equaliser by allowing so much time and space for Coufal to cross. However, Cucurella was otherwise solid defensively and generally tidy with the ball as he looks to build his confidence.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6/10 (79)
A solid display from Loftus Cheek in the engine room. Another player returning from injury, Loftus Cheek held his own against Declan Rice and co without ever fully dominating proceedings. A decent audition for Enzo’s midfield pivot partner, although there may be others who compliment his qualities more.
Enzo Fernandez – 7/10
A second start for Chelsea’s record signing, who was partnered by Ruben Loftus Cheek in Chelsea’s midfield pivot. Fernandez showed his attacking quality with a fantastic curled cross to Joao Felix for the opener. Otherwise Fernandez was solid in midfield putting in tackles and controlling Chelsea’s promising build up play.
Noni Madueke – 6/10 (67)
After a promising cameo against Fulham, Noni Madueke had earned his first start for Chelsea against West Ham on Saturday afternoon. Madueke displayed glimpses of his quality, such as forcing a strong save from Fabianski in the first half. Arguably caught ball watching with Reece James for Emerson’s equaliser, with he pair still clearly needing to build an understanding with.
Joao Felix – 7/10
The long awaited return of Joao Felix from suspension did not disappoint, with the Atletico Madrid loanee being Chelsea’s star man in attack. A cheeky dinked finish was ruled out for offside before he gave his team the lead with a very well controlled first time finish. Felix was the heartbeat of Chelsea’s attacking moves, and has very quickly established himself as a key player in Graham Potter’s side. A promising display, although he was quieter in the second half.
Mykhailo Mudryk- 6/10 (67)
After a disappointing performance against Fulham last week, Mudryk did improve against West Ham, without setting the world alight. There were occasional flashes of Mudryk’s clear quality, such as his defence splitting pass through to Kai Havertz which would have earned him an assist if Havertz wasn’t marginally offside. Mudryk contributed defensively too, stopping a crucial West Ham counter early in the second half.
Kai Havertz – 6/10
Havertz had a quiet game up front for Chelsea. He pressed well as he always does and was involved in some of the positive aspects of Chelsea’s early build up play. Unlucky to be marginally offside for his goal, although he does need to do more to work openings for himself.
Mason Mount – 5/10 (67)
Looked lively when he came on, without producing any real moments of quality.
Hakim Ziyech – 5/10 (67)
Brought on to swing the game in his sides favour, like Mount looked lively at times but struggled to have any real impact.
Ben Chilwell – 6/10 (67)
Offered a lot more attacking impetus than Cucurella. Chilwell will look to build fitness and form in the coming weeks to nail down his role as first choice left back.
Conor Gallagher – 6/10 (79)
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