Chelsea one step closer after West Ham test

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West Ham will look risky until Pedro scores in the 7th minute.

All the other teams in the league will be a bit envious of how injury-free Chelsea’s season has been.

Chelsea were content to sit deep and draw West Ham’s sting for the opening 20 minutes in which the home side enjoyed plenty of the ball without troubling goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Keeping Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta away from aerial duels with Andy Carroll will be important but should not be all that hard.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has moved to end rumours linking the club with a new goalkeeper in the summer transfer window as he insisted that he is very happy with the options he now has at his disposal. MF Edimilson Fernandes, NR – Replaced Noble for 15 minutes but couldn’t get into the game. The Belgium worldwide exchanged passes with Pedro as the visitors roared forward on the counter-attack, before rounding Darren Randolph to put his side ahead against the run of play.

Chelsea exploded up the pitch: Kante found Hazard, breaking through the middle. He released Hazard who glided forward with pace, whilst still having the composure to find Pedro. Made a terrible error in the first half and was lucky that Hazard’s ball in towards Costa came to nothing. However, it was thanks to his pressure on the Chelsea defence that helped contribute to the consolation goal. They almost scored with their second attack too, another Hazard break. The Blues should have doubled their lead when an air shot from Diego Costa led to Victor Moses’ shot being blocked before Darren Randolph saved Pedro’s follow-up. Costa has managed to score or assist a goal every 101 minutes this season and that looks ominous for West Ham.

Often used to refer to a striker who regularly scores against weaker sides but struggles to make an impact in the bigger games, it can also describe teams who possess significantly superior records when facing opponents they are expected to beat. Chelsea were totally content with a 2-0 lead, and looked set to claim their first clean sheet since mid-January as time bled away.

The Kiwi defender was left with his mouth open during the counter attack in the lead up to Chelsea’s first goal and could do nothing more than watch as the ball hit the net for the second. He just had to cushion the ball into the goal off his thigh before Reid and Robert Snodgrass, on the line, realised what was happening.

However, the Hammers did eventually get one back, with Manuel Lanzini slotting home from an Andre Ayew pass.

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Remember when Chelsea went winless in September, and some questioned whether Antonio Conte was the right manager? The rest of the league may soon feel the same.

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