West Ham v Chelsea live!
90+5 Chelsea have clinched it, although West Ham pushed them all the way. Were it not for a Mark Noble missed penalty then the points may have been shared this afternoon, but it ends in a blow to the Hammers' hopes of European qualification and a great result for an under-strength Chelsea side. 90+3 Savio attempts another ambitious through ball and wastes a good opportunity for West Ham 90+2 The Blues head back up the other end and Belletti has a thrash at the ball from the edge of the box. Well over 90+1 Chelsea clear but only back to Noble to strike a 35-yard shot a touch wide of goal 90 Savio in the thick of it once again at he baits a free-kick of Essien, far out from goal 89 Hopes really fading for West Ham, but it looks like five minutes are to be added 88 But the ball is handled in the box and Chelsea have a free-kick 88 Corner for West Ham from a deflected Savio cross 87 Young attacker Savio entered the pitch during the penalty mayhem in place of Boa Morte, but his through ball to Tristan is woefully overhit 85 But Lampard sees his corner well cleared by the Hammers defence 84 Frank Lampard smacks the free-kick from range and forces Green to tip it over for a corner 83 Mancienne eventually makes way for Michael Ballack to have a run out 82 Malouda had been quiet in this half, but he earns his side a free-kick in a decent position for a delivery 80 And Mancienne goes down with cramp to hold up the game 79 Stanislas almost gets beyond Michael Mancienne in the box, but the young man uses his pace to recover the situation 77 Chelsea just playing the ball about the pitch with little pressure right now. West Ham look unable to recover 75 You have to feel that the penalty was West Ham's golden opportunity, with the players looking downcast in the aftermath 73 Kalou comes off to be replaced by Michael Essien 72 Stanislas takes out Frank Lampard on the half-way line as Chelsea look to break 70 ...but Cech saves low to his left from Mark Noble!! 69 PENALTY!! Tristan slips in Ilunga who is pulled down by Kalou in the box 66 Ashley Cole hits a speculative shot from tight on the left and just clips the bar as the ball flies over. Chelsea really stretching West Ham 64 Should have been two. Anelka slips the offside trap and, one-on-one, the striker is unable to find a way past the onrushing Green 63 The crowd may be struglling to believe, but the West Ham players are still throwing their all into this game 61 In an effort to reignite the challenge though Freddie Sears comes on for Kieron Dyer and Radoslav Kovac enters in place of David Di Michele 60 Any West Ham hope appears to have faded and the crowd are very quiet now 58 Job done? Hiddink might just think so as Bosingwa comes off for Ashley Cole, presumably to preserve him for Wednesday 57 Just as a note on the goal, Green committed himself to getting to the cross from Lampard, but his failure to get a firm touch on it left the Kalou with an easy finish 56 West Ham counter and Kieron Dyer brings a save out of Peter Cech immediately 55 GOAL!!! Lampard heads down the left wing and floats one in to find Kalou at the back post to stab home 54 The full-back is okay though and Chelsea restart with possession 53 Ilunga has stayed down for treatment and a long break in the play ensues 51 Intricate interplay between Lampard and Kalou gives Lampard a shooting chance on the edge of the box, but Boa Morte and Ilunga clatter in to block 49 Florent Malouda is not shot-shy today, though neither is he any good with his shots, blazing another one over 48 And a great opportunity for the Hammers, overloading on the attack and finding Tristan who cuts inside but can't get his shot beyond the tackle of Mancienne 47 West Ham may have been outclassed in the opening of the first half, but they're on to every ball in this half! 46 And we're back, West Ham getting the ball rolling with the restart With SkyBet West Ham are now 9/2 for the victory while Chelsea are 5/6. And with the scoreline as it is right now, the draw is 6/4 45+1 The whistle blows and despite Chelsea having all the ball in this half, West Ham will be wondering how they don't have a goal to their name with two really good chances?!? No doubt there'll be more high-tempo stuff to follow in the second half! 45 Stanislas takes a long run up and guides to shot towards the top corner, but Cech is more than equal to it, catching with ease 44 Free-kick to West Ham in a central position and they are likely to go for goal 43 So close and it's almost another West Ham breakthrough! The Hammers manage to find a header towards goal in the melee only to see Mikel on hand to clear off the line! 43 The ensuing play ends in a corner for West Ham 42 Noble decides to follow Lampard's example though and doesn't clear the first defender 42 Free-kicks galore and it's one to West Ham now 41 Malouda has the honours this time, but his left-footed effort on goal is watched wide by Green 40 Boa Morte again, and this time he catches Belletti on the right to grant Chelsea a free-kick 39 ...but Lampard's delivery is disappointingly low and doesn't clear the first defender 38 Boa Morte goes in heavily on Malouda and Chelsea have a free-kick wide left 37 Anelka works some space on the edge of the box and gets a shot away that skips just wide of the post with Green stranded. Very near to an opener there 36 Malouda works the ball to Kalou on the right and his cross floats mere inches over the head of Belletti six-yards out 35 Chelsea counter typically, however the move breaks down when it strikes Anelka's heels and West Ham punt the ball back 34 ...but Cech comes out ot punch clear as Di Michele goes for the header 33 Free-kick for Noble in a decent central position 32 The high pace seen early on has certainly dropped in the past five minutes, yet West Ham still struggle to put a move together in the Chelsea half 31 Lampard makes a driving run through the Hammers midifeld only for his ball to Anelka to be miscontrolled by the Frenchman 29 West Ham look a lot more organised in defence now, with Chelsea passing around but unable to open up the space 28 Well, West Ham should be one up, but Chelsea have had the ball in the box countless times already in this half without really testing Robert Green 27 Malouda's causing havoc down the left, but Matthew Upson clears his cross with Anelka lurking 25 Lampard receives a clearance on the edge of the box and lines up to have a crack, but Mark Noble flies in from nowhere for a last-ditch block. A very stretched game at the moment 23 Malouda down the left again to pull back for Frank Lampard who fires wide under pressure in the box. Jeers are not surprisingly ringing around the stadium for the former Hammer 22 Kalou nutmegs brilliantly on the edge of the box but can't pick out a pass in the box and West Ham clear 20 What a chance!! And after all the Chelsea dominance it's West Ham who would be one up had Kieron Dyer finished from a one-on-one opportunity. Should have scored 19 More Hammers action as Di Michele lets loose an poor 30-yarder 18 West Ham are finding their way back into this, earning a free-kick on the right that eventually comes to nothing after a slight scramble in the box 17 And it's straight back up the other end for Malouda who drags his shot inches wide across the goal when the opener looked certain 16 Having said that though, David Di Michele latches onto a pass and is just unable to control the ball in the box as Chelsea clear 15 Chelsea dominated as this commentary has been so far, it is simply because the away side are well on top 14 Anelka on the attack once again, forcing Lucas Neill to come into the middle to clear 13 Emailer Evren Housein reckons that Chelsea are going to win this easily, and unless West Ham up their game then that could be the case... 12 But the delivery floats into the grateful hands of Robert Green 11 Upson tackles well on Kalou to concede the corner 10 West Ham enjoy some possession in the Chelsea half, but within 30 seconds the Blues are countering with Malouda slipping as he tries to get a shot away 8 More great passing from Chelsea, but Malouda's cross into the box is overhit 7 You could be excused for thinking that this was Stamford Bridge given the dominance of Chelsea in the opening minutes... 6 Meanwhile, Nicolas Anelka strides into the West Ham box only to see his shot blocked by the tackle of James Tomkins 5 Yngve Leine from Norway is desperate to see West Ham pick up something from this game to keep themselves in prime position for Europa League qualification 4 It's all Chelsea so far as Kieron Dyer gives away possession for West Ham and the opposition drive up the pitch 3 West Ham get a fleeting glance of the ball, but a long pass is swiftly snuffed out by John Terry 2 Well, it's straight out of the traps for Chelsea as they string a nice passing move forward from defence to attack which Malouda finishes with a wayward strike from range 1 And we're off! Keep the emails coming throughout the game and for those of you who have just arrived at this page, it's firstname.lastname@example.org to vent your thoughts, feelings and frustrations! Chelsea fan Warren believes that the game actually has more significance than it first seems. He wants the Blues to keep pushing for 2nd place and has the following to say on the matter: "We need to get 2nd place to keep our reputation up, we can't drop a place in the league. We seem to be slipping from 1st, to 2nd and we can't afford to slip down to 3rd." Interestingly, Kieron Dyer is 16/1 to score first on his return to the starting line-up. Sounds temptingly fairytale to me... On the betting front, West Ham can currently be found at 4/1 for the win with SkyBet, while Chelsea are 5/6 to take the spoils. And for those of you who are interested, the draw stands at 11/5. Send me your musings on all this and more by emailing in to email@example.com and I'll get your best thoughts up on the site! And for Hammers fans, are you happy to see Kieron Dyer back, or does he now simply represent 20 months of excessive wages thrown away? Well, big Guus says it's all over in the title race, but is playing such a weakened team ahead of Barcelona the right thing to do? Chelsea: Cech, Mancienne, Ivanovic, Terry, Bosingwa, Mikel, Belletti, Kalou, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka. Subs: Hilario, Ashley Cole, Essien, Di Santo, Drogba, Ballack, Stoch. Chelsea, as expected, have chosen to rest several players in preparation for the midweek tie against Barcelona, meaning that Didier Drogba, Michael Ballacka and Michael Essien all drop to the bench. Michael Mancienne starts, Bosingwa is back to rehearse marking Messi and Alex fails to make the squad. West Ham: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Boa Morte, Noble, Stanislas, Dyer, Tristan, Di Michele. Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Nsereko, Kovac, Spector, Sears, Payne. The Hammers opt to give a first start in almost two years to injury-plagued midfielder Kieron Dyer, while James Tomkins comes in to replace the injured James Collins at centre-back. The teams are in so here they come... Good afternoon and welcome to our live minute-by-minute commentary of the capital clash between West Ham and Chelsea!
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