West Ham staged a stirring second-half comeback to overpower Chelsea and
inflict the first loss of Rafael Benitez’s nervy reign as interim manager of
the European champions.
Chants of “sacked in the morning” rang around Upton Park – from both sets of
fans – after second-half goals from Carlton Cole, Mohamed Diame and Modibo
Maiga over-turned the lead given to Chelsea by the excellent Juan Mata who
was recalled to the starting line-up as Benitez dropped Oscar.
It’s three matches in charge now for Benitez and he is yet to record a
victory. Two goalless draws have now been followed by this defeat which was
made all the more worrying by the way in which Chelsea collapsed defensively
under West Ham’s pressure.
There was another wretched performance from Fernando Torres who played a vital
part in Mata’s goal, cutting the ball back to his fellow Spaniard who
side-footed beyond West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
However Torres cut a disconsolate figure – again – and missed three clear
chances to add to Chelsea’s total while Mata struck the cross-bar from a
free-kick and Victor Moses was refused a penalty after appearing to be