Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Player ratings: Chelsea suffer major title blow as West Ham man causes Tuchel star to endure shocker

Jonny Whitfield
Arthur Masuaku scores for West Ham against Chelsea, December 2021

Chelsea suffered a blow in the Premier League title race as a spirited West Ham twice came from behind to beat the Blues 3-2 at the London Stadium.

The Blues went into the half-time break 2-1 up after a topsy-turvy affair. Neither side could dominate from open play, but Thiago Silva broke the deadlock with a header from a corner.

After Jorginho’s poor back pass allowed Jarrod Bowen to win a penalty from Edouard Mendy, Manuel Lanzini converted. However, Mason Mount’s expert volley was the perfect response for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.

Bowen was impressive again after the break and equalised with a fine curling finish into the corner. Chelsea made attacking substitutions as both sides sought a winner and it was Arthur Masuaku’s freakish goal won the day for the hosts, in a blow for title-chasing Chelsea.

As for who stood out, Mount was excellent for more than just his goal – as was Silva. For West Ham, Declan Rice bossed the midfield battle from open play in the first half but Bowen was all over the pitch and put in a Man of the Match display for David Moyes’ side.


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West Ham

Lukasz Fabianski: Saved efforts from Reece James, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the first half, but his touch was not enough to stop Silva’s opening goal going in. Made a couple more decent saves in the second half. 7/10.

Kurt Zouma: Made several key interceptions and played well in the first half as West Ham largely sat in deep. Defended well again after the break but succumbed to a hamstring injury. 7.

Craig Dawson: Made clearances and had an effort on goal saved, but could not get to the cross for Silva’s goal. Defended Romelu Lukaku’s presence well when the Belgian came on. 7.

Issa Diop: Got out well to defend from open play on several occasions, but was not alert enough from the corner for 1-0. Made a few more key blocks after the break and stood firm. 7.

Vladimir Coufal: Did well to deal with Mount on Chelsea’s left-hand side at times, blocking two of his advances. Had a shot saved off the line. Played a neat and crucial flick for Bowen’s goal. 7.

Tomas Soucek: Solid in midfield, but mostly sat in deep in the first half, bar one run forward when his header glanced just wide. Played a nice pass to get West Ham forward for the second equaliser. 6.

Declan Rice, Marcos Alonso, Ruben Loftus-Cheek December 2021

Declan Rice: Bossed the midfield for West Ham throughout the first half, making interceptions and winning fouls. However, his loss of possession allowed Chelsea to get back in front. Helped West Ham out in defence when Zouma went off. 8.

Ben Johnson: Quiet on West Ham’s left, apart from a few short passes, and came off with an injury issue before the break. 4.

Jarrod Bowen: A lively presence in the first half, firing just wide. Pressed Chelsea throughout, which paid off when he won the penalty for Lanzini’s equaliser. Curled in the second equaliser fantastically under pressure and almost made it 3-2 himself. 9.

Manuel Lanzini: Like Bowen, pressed and won fouls before coolly netting from 12 yards to make it 1-1. A change of position in the second for him worked well. 7.

Michail Antonio: Operated wide most of the time in the first half, sending in two crosses. Struggled to hold the ball up, though, and was passive in his marking of Silva at the corner. Much improved after the break, holding the ball up to help Bowen score. 8.

Substitutes:

Arthur Masuaku (on for Johnson, 45+2): Very quiet until he stole the headlines with a cross from the left which dipped and somehow beat Mendy at his near post. 8.

Pablo Fornals (on for Zouma, 71): Kept West Ham steady in the final 20 minutes or so. 6.

Said Benrahma (on for Antonio, 87): N/A.


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Chelsea

Edouard Mendy: Made a couple of saves, but also made a hash of his clearance and gave the penalty away for Lanzini to score. Looked nervous again at times after the break and should have done better to save Masuaku’s bizarre cross-cum-shot. 5/10.

Andreas Christensen: Quiet but solid in the first half, dealing well with Antonio in Chelsea’s defence. Struggled to get hold of West Ham’s forwards after the interval. 6.

Thiago Silva: Recovered from some poor touches to put Chelsea in front and then clear Coufal’s shot off the line excellently. Solid in the second half. 7.

Antonio Rudiger: Did not have much to do in the first half, but made some interceptions. Got forward at times in the second half but poor passing did not help Chelsea. 6.

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Reece James: Caused problems with a couple of dangerous crosses and a shot from the centre. Helped defend in the second half down the flank. 6.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: Played some nice early passes before his great interception and cross-field ball helped Chelsea make it 2-1 on the break. Very good in the second half, driving forward, beating opponents and keeping Chelsea in possession. 8.

Jorginho: Looked solid in controlling Chelsea’s midfield but his short back-pass to Mendy was another culprit for West Ham’s penalty. Had an effort on goal in the second half. 6.

Marcos Alonso: Worked well with Mount to create and use an overlap in attack, before making some blocks in defence. 6.

Hakim Ziyech, Vladimir Coufal December 2021

Hakim Ziyech: Quiet in the opening stages. However, his perfect cross-field ball to Mount was a fine assist for his side’s second goal. Sliced an effort over in the second half. 6.

Mason Mount: Caused West Ham problems with his runs while controlling the tempo with nice flick-ons. However, his volley to make it 2-1 to Chelsea was his highlight. 8.

Kai Havertz: Fired two efforts just wide and straight at Fabianski, respectively. Also operated well out wide, sending in a dangerous cross but suffered an injury close to half time. 6.

Substitutes:

Romelu Lukaku (on for Havertz, 46): Struggled to get into the game as West Ham defended resolutely. 4.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (on for Ziyech, 64): Came on to get at West Ham defenders and his flick-on set Mount up for a shot. Was heavily involved but could not find a winning contribution. 4.

Christian Pulisic (on for Alonso, 73): Lively but could not do anything meaningful. 4.