Craig Dawson, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were colossal, but the Chelsea players were disappointing as West Ham United eked out a 3-2 win on Saturday.
Both teams started the game tentatively, with neither goalkeeper being troubled much in the opening quarter of the proceedings. That was until the 28th minute when Thiago Silva headed the ball in from Mason Mount’s corner.
However, after that, Chelsea failed to build on their lead, with West Ham taking the game to their visitors with aggression. But the Hammers’ goal came courtesy of a gift from Chelsea, as Jorginho and Edouard Mendy combined to produce a bizarre lapse in concentration, with Jarrod Bowen winning a penalty when Mendy fouled him inside the box.
Manuel Lanzini stepped up to take the penalty and made no error in converting from the spot. However, Chelsea were back in front heading into half-time, thanks to a brilliant volleyed finish by Mason Mount from close range. The second half began just as the opening period had, but West Ham made their pressure count this time around.
That is because Bowen unleashed a fiery strike from the edge of the Chelsea box after some superb work by Michail Antonio and Vladimir Coufal. Chelsea then had the bulk of the possession but could not trouble Lukasz Fabianski. And against the run of play, Arthur Masuaku netted the winner late in the game with a freakish strike that outfoxed Mendy.
With that, West Ham eked out a 3-2 win over Chelsea, leaving Liverpool and Manchester City with a glorious chance to leapfrog the Blues in the standings. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over both sets of players.
West Ham United
Lukasz Fabianski: 6/10
Fabianski did not have a big save to make in the game. However, he showed superb positioning to ensure he only made regulation stops while also commanding his area smartly. The West Ham no. 1 could not have done anything to deny either Thiago Silva or Mason Mount.
Craig Dawson: 9/10
Dawson produced one of his best performances in a West Ham shirt, keeping a check on Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic brilliantly. The experienced defender rarely ever let a Chelsea player slip off him, completing three blocks and winning five duels. Job well done.
Kurt Zouma: 7/10
Playing against Chelsea for the first time since joining West Ham, Zouma did well to keep Kai Havertz quiet for the most part apart from one or two hairy moments. More impressively, the Frenchman did not Romelu Lukaku get out of second gear before being taken off with an injury.
Issa Diop: 7/10
Diop should have done better to close down the space for Mount for his goal. However, apart from that one moment, the Frenchman was in fine touch, helping Dawson keep the Chelsea attackers neutralised with aplomb. Like every other West Ham defender, he also made multiple blocks to alleviate the pressure off Fabianski.
Vladimir Coufal: 8/10
Given a chance to impress from the right wing-back slot, Coufal grabbed his opportunity with both hands. A constant outlet down his flank, the Czech defender troubled Marcos Alonso relentlessly and even assisted Jarrod Bowen’s goal with a delicate touch. Defensively, he was solid and made three clearances. He should have done enough to win his spot back.
Tomas Soucek: 8/10
It is not often that Soucek outshines Declan Rice in the middle of the park. However, the Czech midfielder was critical in cutting out the passing lanes for Jorginho to exploit, while his ghosting runs were on full display whenever West Ham charged forward. His figures were mighty impressive – five clearances, one block, two tackles and four duels won.
Declan Rice: 7/10
Saturday’s display was somewhat sub-par by Rice, as he lost the ball to Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the build-up to Mount’s goal. And there were some sloppy moments on the ball in the first half. However, the West Ham skipper recovered superbly in the second half, barely letting Mount have any joy through the middle.
Ben Johnson: 6/10
It was a frustrating evening for Johnson. The youngster did not have a great time defending Reece James on his flank, but he was solid enough for the most part. However, as half-time approached, he picked up an injury that forced him to be withdrawn at the break. His fitness will be a source of concern for Moyes.
Jarrod Bowen: 9/10
Jarrod Bowen’s last 3 PL goal involvements:
? Assist vs. Liverpool
? Assist vs. Liverpool
? Goal vs. Chelsea
Stepping up against some of the top sides in the league. ? pic.twitter.com/h7AGSDMoPi
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 4, 2021
The big reason West Ham got into a position to even think about a win. When the Hammers had nothing going their way, Bowen positioned his body perfectly to win the penalty that Lanzini converted in the first half. The cherry on top was his impeccable finish that levelled the score a second time. He could have even celebrated a hat-trick with better finishing on another day, but this will do.
Manuel Lanzini: 7/10
Lanzini was calm and composed when he stepped up to take the penalty to level the score in the first half. Other than that, he could not influence the proceedings too much as he dropped too deep to help out the midfielders. Nevertheless, he played his part in the comeback win.
Michail Antonio: 9/10
Antonio did not enjoy the best of first halves, particularly when he failed to mark Silva for the opener. However, after that moment, he produced a tireless performance that deserved multiple assists. The experienced forward will get credited with one for Arthur Masuaku’s goal, but Bowen should have done better with two brilliant passes. Antonio never gets tired, and it was a showing reminiscent of one Park Ji-sung.
No player created more chances against Chelsea than Michail Antonio (4).
He also created two big chances and got an assist for Arthur Masuaku’s goal. ? pic.twitter.com/xQKP1ys5KI
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 4, 2021
Arthur Masuaku: 8/10
On for Johnson at half-time, Masuaku was solid on his flank and negated the influence of James smartly. The 28-year-old won seven duels while completing five tackles. However, the standout moment for him was the bizarre goal he scored. It might be termed as fluke by many, but it got the job done.
Pablo Fornals: 7/10
On for Zouma, Fornals did not get many chances to influence the proceedings. However, he put in the hard yards in the final 20 minutes to ensure Chelsea were outnumbered in the middle of the park.
Said Benrahma: N/A
A late introduction, Benrahma helped see the game out without much of a fuss.
Edouard Mendy: 3/10
Édouard Mendy’s worst game in a Chelsea shirt today, and he’ll know that.
He’s a world class goalkeeper – he’ll be back, get behind him. pic.twitter.com/t9YrtoIAiY
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) December 4, 2021
It is not often that Mendy leaves a lot to be desired with a performance. Saturday’s game was one such instance, as he was at fault one way or another for each of the goals West Ham scored. The Chelsea no. 1 should have cleared the ball despite being put in a spot of bother by Jorginho. His positioning was suspect for Bowen’s goal, and while he was wrong-footed leading up to Masuaku’s goal, he did get a hand to the ball.
Andreas Christensen: 6/10
The best of the three Chelsea defenders, Christensen, did not do much wrong on Saturday. However, he struggled to build play from the back efficiently, with the West Ham attackers putting him under a lot of pressure. Still, the Dane was one of the few who could hold their head up high in defeat.
Thiago Silva: 6/10
Silva might have received the highest rating for a Chelsea player, but that is solely because of his goal. Defensively, his best moment was a clearance in the first half shortly after scoring, but he lost the ball cheaply a few too many times and could have closed the space down better for Bowen’s goal.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2021
Antonio Rudiger: 5/10
Rudiger had a game to forget against West Ham, with Bowen and Antonio putting him under a lot of pressure. The kicker was when he was caught napping as the ball went to Bowen leading up to the second West Ham goal. The only positives in his game came when he progressed the ball forward, even playing a couple of key passes.
Reece James: 6/10
Back in the starting lineup, James was one of the better players for Chelsea. The Englishman was the most potent outlet for his side, playing two key passes, but he faded as the game progressed. He should have done better to close down the space when Masuaku scored with a cross/shot.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 6/10
Loftus-Cheek was probably the best player for Chelsea, and he played a key role in ensuring his side saw more of the ball. The Englishman won possession in the build-up to Mount’s goal and played two key passes. However, he could not create the openings in the game’s final quarter, when West Ham strangled Chelsea out of the running efficiently.
Back in the side after recovering from a knock, Jorginho endured a forgettable outing on Saturday. The Chelsea skipper played a loose pass towards Mendy before Bowen won the penalty. And he was constantly under a lot of pressure from Soucek, who did not allow him to open up play as well as he usually does. A rare blip, perhaps.
Marcos Alonso: 4/10
Thomas Tuchel cannot have Ben Chilwell back at his disposal sooner. That is because Alonso was once again dreadful, as he hardly posed a threat from the left flank while being a liability off the ball. The Spaniard allowed Coufal enough time to dink the ball towards Bowen for West Ham’s second. While moving forward, he was utterly wasteful and needed to do better.
Hakim Ziyech: 5/10
Ziyech provided the assist for Mount’s goal, which is the only saving grace for him. The Moroccan playmaker could not create the chances, which is his primary task. His deliveries from set-pieces were poor while he lost possession 15 times. At a time when he is being linked with a move away from Chelsea, he needs to be doing better.
Mason Mount: 6/10
Mason Mount has scored or assisted in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since April 2021
Robin van Persie-esque volley. ? pic.twitter.com/9bvZn0u7HL
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 4, 2021
Mount, along with Loftus-Cheek, was Chelsea’s best performer, and he did not stop trying until the final whistle. The Englishman ran his socks off and played a joint-game-high four key passes. The standout moment for him was the peach of a finish for his goal. He needs better support from his teammates out in the front.
Kai Havertz: 6/10
Havertz worked hard to create pockets of spaces for his teammates to exploit in the first half. He even had a chance going his way but only headed straight at Fabianski. However, his afternoon was cut short at half-time after sustaining a knock following a coming together with Zouma.
Romelu Lukaku: 5/10
On for Havertz at half-time, Lukaku did not see much of the ball in the second half and hardly got into the game. He has to do so much better.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6/10
On for Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi tried his best to make things happen. However, Dawson and the rest of the West Ham defenders were immovable in the final quarter of the game.
Christian Pulisic: 6/10
Introduced in place of Alonso, Pulisic made no impact late in the game.