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West Ham 0 - 4 Chelsea


BlueLion.

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West Ham United 0 - 4 Chelsea F.C.

Saturday 1 March 2008, Premier League Gameweek 27, Upton Park, London

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Chelsea put the pain of last weekend's Carling Cup final defeat to Tottenham by thrashing West Ham at Upton Park.


Goals from ex-Hammers Frank Lampard and Joe Cole put Chelsea 2-0 up inside twenty minutes before Michael Ballack volleyed home moments later. Chelsea had Frank Lampard harshly sent off before the interval, though ten-man Chelsea were playing with such confidence and quality that allowed Ashley Cole to net his first goal for the Blues since arriving from Arsenal in the summer of 2006.

Criticised for his team selection the week before, Chelsea coach Avram Grant opted to make six changes to the side that lost against Tottenham at Wembley. Paulo Ferreira and Ashley Cole were recalled to the side, along with Michael Ballack and Joe Cole who were forced to watch most of the final from the substitutes bench. Salomon Kalou replaced Didier Drogba, the Ivorian forward rested with next week's crunch cup ties at home to Olympiakos and away to Barnsley in the FA Cup both in the mind of the Chelsea manager.

West Ham decided to name an unchanged side from the team that served Alan Curbishley well against West London opposition last weekend; though goalscorer Nolberto Solano was once again left on the bench.

Chelsea would have been ahead after a matter of seconds but for an offside flag. John Terry's powerful header was instinctively saved by Rob Green in the West Ham goal, before Nicolas Anelka poked the ball home. Replays indicated that the Frenchman's third Chelsea goal was incorrectly ruled out, though Chelsea had shown West Ham their intent early on.

With fifteen minutes played, Ballack fed Kalou who danced into the penalty area. Tripped up by Anton Ferdinand, referee Peter Walton had no hesitation in pointing the spot. Former West Ham midfielder Frank Lampard stepped up, and the England midfielder conclusively beat Robert Green from the spot to put Chelsea 1-0 up. Incidentally, Green had saved four of the five penalty kicks he had faced so far this season, but Lampard's effort into the far corner was too hot to handle.

Chelsea were looking rampant, and Joe Cole sublimely put the visitors even further ahead moments later. Taking the ball across his body, he cleverly dinked the ball before executing on the half-volley with his left foot. Green was conclusively beaten by the brilliance of the Chelsea winger; Cole demonstrating to his manager that leaving him out of the team for the cup final was a bad move.

But if Joe Cole's effort was excellent, then Michael Ballack's fourth league goal of the season was close to perfection. Frank Lampard marauded down the Chelsea left, and his chipped ball off the outside of his boot found Ballack in plenty of space. The German poked the ball home with a wonderful combination of accuracy and power; the ball bending into the bottom corner and beyond Green in a flash of the eye.

Chelsea were in cruise control, but West Ham were adamant not to give up with only twenty-two minutes played. Mark Noble tested Petr Cech from long range before Lampard was controversially dismissed. Deemed to have man-handled Luis Boa Morte, the Chelsea player was shown a red card despite replays showing Boa Morte was kicking at the player. Lampard reacted by pushing the Portuguese, although the West Ham midfielder went down easily. Noble headed goalwards in the dying seconds of the first period but Terry blocked on the goal line.

On sixty minutes, West Ham thought they had found consolation, but John Terry would not be beaten. Carlton Cole lobbed Petr Cech with a delicate volley, but his effort was cleared off the line by John Terry's overhead kick, underlining the bravery of the Chelsea captain, leading to the fact there should be no question over Fabio Capello's choice of England captain.

But for all of West Ham's pressure in the second half, Chelsea were passing with conviction and made it 4-0 moments after the home team threatened to make a game of the encounter. Joe Cole forced a smart save out of Green; Ashley Cole netting the rebound for his first Chelsea strike. Malouda, Essien and Alex were introduced late on with Essien shooting just wide with a deflected effort.

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Match Fact : Chelsea's 4-0 hammering of the Hammers is their biggest win at Upton Park; beating last season's 4-1 demolition.

West Ham: Green (6), Neill (6), Ferdinand (5), Upson (7), McCartney (4), Faubert (7) (Solano (6)), Noble (5), Mullins (5), Ljungberg (6), Boa Morte (5) (Ashton (6)), Cole (6) (Zamora (5)).

Chelsea: Cech (7), Ferreira (7), Carvalho (7), Terry (9), Ashley Cole (8), Ballack (8), Makelele (6) (Alex (6)), Lampard (7), Kalou (7) (Malouda (6)), Anelka (6), Joe Cole (8) (Essien (7)).

Sent Off: Lampard

Booked: Ballack, Terry

Attendance: 34,969

Referee: Peter Walton

Man of the Match : John Terry

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Edited by BlueLion
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Harsh on Anelka. Held the ball up well, and was all over the place. Was involved in Joe and Ballacks goals too. Didn't get many chances, but wrongly had a goal disallowed.

6 is average, he didn't have the best of games but was involved at all the right times.

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