West Ham ends Chelsea's ideal start

Mae Harvey
September 24, 2018

Maurizio Sarri's side were dominant in possession on Sunday but did not create many clear-cut chances as Manuel Pellegrini found a way to limit the Hammers' local rivals.

Finally, asked about how his vision of "Sarriball" is coming on, he said: "We need to move the ball quicker I think". West Ham for being organised or Jorginho for having so much of the ball. We are improving in the defensive phase.

But it is in defence that Sarri will have the most concern as he prepares to face Liverpool's formidable front line next weekend.

"We started to work all together 35 or 40 days ago, 35 or 40 days and less time [because of breaks] with the worldwide teams". Less if you include the worldwide breaks.

"So for us I think it's a bit early".

With West Ham sitting deep, it was hard for Chelsea to play the intricate, one touch football - known as "Sarri-ball" - demanded by their manager, and Giroud felt they needed to try something different.

"The best games are games like that".

First, after being put through on goal by Felipe Anderson, he could only fire over when one-on-one with the 'keeper.

Kepa Arrizabalaga then kept Chelsea level a few moments later, blocking Antonio's close-range effort after a driving Yarmolenko run. "Against a team who have worked with the same coach for three or four seasons".

For all their dominance, Chelsea made barely one real opportunity before the interval when N'Golo Kante arrived to head wide from Willian's smart volleyed cross.

Chelsea hogged the ball in the first half but West Ham were unsafe when they were able to break out, Michail Antonio proving a real handful. They had one clear chance that (Alvaro) Morata's missed after the rebound.

With about 13 minutes to go West Ham had a wonderful chance to win the match, when the unmarked Yarmolenko headed just wide at the far post.

"But when you have chances against big teams you must score them".

"In this moment it's not a great problem because we have played only six or seven matches, but in two or three months maybe it could be a problem. You must score - you don't deserve to score, you must score".

For all of Chelsea's first-half domination, clear-cut chances were hard to come by and they were almost punished by West Ham just before the half-hour mark, but Antonio blazed wide after exquisite play by Felipe Anderson.

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