Tammy Abraham scored twice as Chelsea ended their recent mini-slump by beating West Ham United at Stamford Bridge to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
Back-to-back defeats had seen the Blues slip down the table but they made the ideal start on Monday as Thiago Silva powered home a header in the 10th minute.
Timo Werner spurned a couple of good chances to add to the hosts’ lead but he played his part in his side’s second 12 minutes from time as his scuffed shot was turned in by Abraham.
The Chelsea striker, back in the side in place of Olivier Giroud, then netted another barely two minutes later when he was in the right place to pick up the loose ball and curl home after Christian Pulisic had missed a simple header from a cross.
The scoreline somewhat flattered Chelsea with West Ham having been the better side for large periods, but the visitors paid the price for a lack of a cutting edge as they finished the game without a shot on target.
Victory means Chelsea have 25 points – one behind fourth-placed Everton – while West Ham remain 10th on 21 points.
“We’d dropped off slightly and it was important in this game we came back,” said Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. “There were loads of things for the team to show their character – we want more.”
An ankle injury to left-back Ben Chilwell, which saw him come off early in the game, was a minor blemish on the evening for Lampard, who also has right-back Reece James out with a knee problem.
“We hope both their injuries are not that bad and they will be in and around it for those Christmas fixtures,” he said.
Chelsea nervy but back to winning ways
Chelsea started this month being talked about as potential title contenders. They had topped the table after a win over Leeds, but losses to Everton and Wolves had left them in eighth and desperate to rediscover their early season form.
Silva’s early goal helped settle the nerves a little but their play soon became scrappy and West Ham took control instead.
However, Chelsea found the Hammers enduring a rare off day in front of goal – this was only the second time this season that David Moyes’ side had failed to score in the Premier League – and when Abraham slid in their second late on the Blues were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
It was a much-needed win for Lampard’s team, with the only real frustration the continued disappointing form of Werner in front of goal.
This was the eighth game in a row that the Germany international has failed to find the back of the net, with misses at the end of both halves very much those of a striker low on confidence, first hitting a tame effort from a good position at Lukasz Fabianski, then heading on to the crossbar when it looked easier to score.
“That’s the period Timo is in,” added Lampard.
“It’s unfortunate but he’s getting in the positions – when one goes in it will be a run for him. Tammy and Oli [Giroud] both bring different things. Tammy did his thing today and that’s what we needed.”
An off day for the Hammers
West Ham have developed into a disciplined and difficult side to beat under Moyes this season and quite rightly have their eye on finishing towards the upper end of the Premier League.
A win at Chelsea would have seen them leapfrog their opponents in the table, but that rarely looked likely as they struggled to create in the final third.
The presence of Michail Antonio in attack was missed as Sebastian Haller – who scored one of the best goals of the season so far in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace last time out – was largely ineffective against the hosts’ defence.
Silva’s early goal was also the first time that West Ham’s normally well-drilled defence had conceded from a set-piece in 2020-21, underlining that this was a bad day at the office for them.
“It was a harsh scoreline but we were not good enough in our box and we weren’t good enough in their box when we had the opportunities,” Moyes said.
“Any small decisions did not go for us; the flow always went in Chelsea’s favour tonight.
“The players played really well. This was our biggest test so far this season. For the majority of it we played very well, but we didn’t do enough where it matters: the boxes.”
Abraham out in front – the stats
- Chelsea have lost just one of their past 13 home Premier League games, winning 10 and drawing two.
- West Ham failed to score for the first time in their past 10 away league matches, losing for just the third time on the road in that period.
- Chelsea have scored more goals from corners than any other team in the Premier League this season (eight).
- West Ham are the last Premier League team to concede from a set-piece this season. They last did so on 1 July, also against Chelsea, when Willian scored direct from a free-kick.
- Moyes is without a win in any of his 16 Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge, the joint-highest tally of any manager never to win at a stadium in the competition – level with his own record at Liverpool’s Anfield.
- Mason Mount made his 50th Premier League appearance for Chelsea on Monday, becoming the youngest English player (21 years 346 days) to reach this milestone for the club since John Terry in January 2002 (21 years 36 days).
- Abraham has scored 25 goals for Chelsea since the start of last season, seven more than any other Blues player.
- Werner has failed to score in his past seven starts for Chelsea, his longest such run in club competition since September 2016, between spells at Stuttgart and RB Leipzig (nine).
Chelsea travel to Arsenal in the league on Saturday, 26 December (17:30 GMT), while West Ham host Brighton on Sunday, 27 December (14:15).
West Ham United
- 6Thiago Silva
- 21ChilwellSubstituted forEmersonat 10′minutes
- 5JorginhoSubstituted forKovacicat 66′minutes
- 10PulisicSubstituted forHavertzat 84′minutes
- 20BowenSubstituted forFredericksat 90′minutes
- 18FornalsSubstituted forBenrahmaat 67′minutes
Match ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ryan Fredericks replaces Jarrod Bowen.
Timo Werner (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.
Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Christian Pulisic.
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sébastien Haller (West Ham United).
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mason Mount with a cross.
Goal! Chelsea 2, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Timo Werner.
Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mason Mount.
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Foul by Emerson (Chelsea).
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Pulisic.