Chelsea Hand Out Thrashing To Hammers

Last updated : 22 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Paolo takes an early bath
West Ham have already been defeated 7-1 by Blackburn and 5-0 by Everton this season. Add Sunday's 5-1 loss to Chelsea to that, and our Away record this season looks more like a cricket score than football records.

West Ham have the tightest home defence in the Premiership, but have conceded 32 goals in 12 games away from home - the an average of almost 3 per game.

West Ham started off on the back foot, with Chelsea dominating play throughout the first half, with several chances that they failed to convert.

Zola had the first chance of the match within ten minutes, but James gathered the ball at the second attempt. Stanic and former Hammer Lampard both had further chances, before Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink took an excellent curling free-kick which James expertly tipped onto the bar.

Stanic and the Chelsea faithful thought they were in front when he headed the ball into the net, although it was ruled out by referee Andy D'Urso for a clear foul on Nigel Winterburn.

Their best chance of the first half fell to Gianfranco Zola who picked the ball up following confusion and hesitation between Repka and Dailly. However, Zola's second touch was poor, and James was able to get to the ball first and bravely knock it out from his feet.

West Ham had only one real chance in the first half, but following good strong work by Joe Cole, he shot weakly, and Cudicini gathered the ball with ease.

The inevitable occured just before half time though, when the Hammers defence was at sixes and sevens following a Chelsea corner, and the inexplicably unmarked Hasselbaink shot through a crowded box, and amazingly the ball ended up in the back of the net.

The Hammers went in at half time with their heads down, knowing that they had given away a soft goal seconds before half time. If they had known how the match was going to pan out, doubtless they would not have come out again for the second half.

But come out they did, and within five minutes of the restart, Eidur Godjohnsen struck the ball sweetly into the back of the net, and they were 3-0 up on 61 minutes when Hasselbaink scored again.

It was all becoming too much for the Hammers, and they were clearly becoming frustrated. Trevor Sinclair got injured, and was replaced by Laurent Courtois, before Paolo di Canio was upturned in a ridiculous challenge by Jody Morris.

Paolo reacted badly to it, and was given a red card by ref D'Urso, but Morris escaped without punishment, although he did receive a yellow for a later incident. West Ham may seek to appeal against this decision. With ten minutes to go, the uninterested Freddie Kanoute was subsituted for Jermain Defoe.

With only 4 minutes on the clock Gudjohnsen scored his second, before Defoe replied with on 88 minutes with an excellent goal. With little chance of scoring, all it took following Schemmel's pass was a bit of skill to put it past the Chelsea shot-stopper.

Chelsea weren't finished yet though, and further humiliated the Hammers with one last goal from Mikael Forssell moments before the final whistle.

Part 1 of this week's Chelsea fixtures were complete. And not a moment too soon for the sorry-looking Hammers.

Player Ratings:

David James 7 - Did all he could with virtually no protection from his back four.

Nigel Winterburn 5 - An aging performance from Nige today, but played better than the others in defence.

Christian Dailly 4 - For once the better of the centre-backs, but still poor.

Tomas Repka 3 - The worst display yet from Repka - gave away possession a lot, and defended poorly. Out of position far too much.

Sebastien Schemmel 5 - Not Premiership quality - tries hard, but that's not enough in these sort of matches. Set up the goal for Jermain though.

Don Hutchison 5 - Worked hard, and played well in first half, but lost it in the second half.

Joe Cole 5 - Some good footwork in the first half was let down by poor finishing. He was the best of the midfield today, but was bad by anyone's standards - let alone Joe's.

Michael Carrick 3 - Like Repka, the worst performance for West Ham. He probably wasn't fully fit, but passed the ball to Chelsea more than West Ham.

Trevor Sinclair 4 - Disinterested and lacking in enthusiasm, although he did make some good runs. Courtois did better today.

Paolo di Canio 4 - Not a very inspiring performance from our captain, and was sent off for petulance more than anything else. We need Paolo in much better form on Saturday.

Freddie Kanoute 3 - Dire from the Frenchman today. He doesn't seem match fit, but he looks so lazy with it.


Laurent Courtois 5 - The worst possible match to come on as a subsitute in, but he worked hard.

Jermain Defoe 8 MOTM
(for Kanoute) - What can you say. The only outfield player to come off the pitch with the slightest hint of any credibility, and he was only on for 10 minutes. Must start on Saturday.