The Observer, David Hytner: “For José Mourinho and Chelsea, there was beauty in this East End stroll. Needing victory after the loss at Newcastle United and the fortunate home draw against West Bromwich Albion, they found opponents only too happy to oblige. West Ham United were a shambles in the first half. Sam Allardyce persisted with his 4-6-0 formation and the manager watched his players offer nothing and, seemingly, look to do little more than cling on. So bad were his tactics and his team that he made two substitutions in the 40th minute, with one of the new faces being a striker, Modibo Maïga. Joe Cole was furious to be withdrawn and he stormed straight off to the dressing room. The damage was done by then. Chelsea took advantage of West Ham’s lack of ambition and, also, defensive slackness; the opening goal, thrashed home from the penalty spot by Frank Lampard against his old club, followed a faintly ludicrous lapse. Oscar got the goal that his man-of-the-match performance deserved after the half-hour and that was pretty much that.”
The Sunday Telegraph, Oliver Brown: “Frank Lampard rather enjoys sabotaging his former club. Despite the unrepeatable slurs he endures whenever he returns to this corner of E13, he has now scored five goals in his past five encounters with West Ham, and none better than the luscious strike with which he rounded off a superlative contribution on Saturday night to lift Chelsea into third place in the Premier League. It was refreshing, too, to see him celebrate with such exuberance, subverting the absurd maxim that one should mark a goal against one’s ex-employers like a lapsed monk. By rights, and there is never any such thing for a player who leaves a club for a loathed enemy, Lampard ought to be accorded a little more respect by West Ham’s fans.”
The Independent on Sunday, Miguel Delaney: “This time, no close shave. A crew-cut Jose Mourinho may have said on Friday that it’s “not good to compare” this current Chelsea team with his old one, but they are increasingly illustrating many of the same fine qualities. Just at the point when a poor run of results looked set to become a problem, they showed a remarkable capacity to claim the kind of win that levels everything out again. Between 2004 and 2006, his title-winning teams never went three successive league games without a victory and that is still the case. Chelsea responded to the dropped points and poor performances against Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion with a commanding victory. Frank Lampard, meanwhile, responded to a 10-game drought to score twice against his old club.”
The Official Chelsea FC Website: “A ruthless Chelsea display in east London saw us move up to third in the Barclays Premier League table, level on points with Liverpool, as a Frank Lampard brace and a well-taken Oscar goal secured a 3-0 win against West Ham United. Lampard opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 21st minute after Oscar had been brought down by Jussi Jaaskelainen, and the Brazilian extended our lead 13 minutes later with a low drive from outside the box. The Blues had been in control of proceedings for much of the game, and though West Ham briefly threatened during the second half, Lampard put the seal on a thoroughly deserved victory when he made it 3-0 eight minutes from time. A first league win in three will undoubtedly please Jose Mourinho, particularly given the manner of the performance, and we head into Tuesday’s Champions League encounter with Basel in fine shape.”
21′ Lampard (pen) 0-1
34′ Oscar 0-2
82′ Lampard 0-3
Match of the Day highlights
Jose Mourinho: “The game was very good for us, it was very comfortable. I can’t say everything was under control because 2-1 with 15 minutes to go, which could have happened, would have made it difficult, but we were very solid. It could have been 3-0 before it was and I think we deserved the victory. Everybody in the stadium must have thought the same.
“We had a few matches where we played very well, away in the Premier League it was the most solid and consistent. We had a very good second half against Spurs but we didn’t play well in the first half. We had some good moments against Norwich but not the complete game. Today was from the first to the last minute, very solid, very comfortable and everybody was committed to the clean sheet against an opponent that is always difficult, where every set-piece is a threat and they are very physical. We coped well with that style and at the same time, when we had the ball, we played according to our qualities.
“We played in a way where everyone felt very comfortable. We organised the team in a way where Hazard didn’t need to defend, he was protected behind him so he just had to get the ball, turn and go. Again, there was a bit of frustration we didn’t score the third goal before because when you are away against a team like West Ham 2-0 is not enough. If they score in the 89th minute you are in danger. This was an important victory.”
Sam Allardyce: “I am disappointed and the fact of the matter is that, because we didn’t win the games we should have done at the start of the season, we not only had to play against a big team like Chelsea but we also had to fight the demons that our in our minds at the moment.
“The difference between what we were doing prior to Norwich and what we’re doing now is that individual errors are making so much of a difference to us. We hadn’t seen that before, but it happened in the second half at Norwich and it happened again on Saturday.
“In the 17 or so minutes before they got the penalty, there was little between the two sides and I think we then had a few moments, but none better than the one that fell to Joe Cole that was blocked by Petr Cech. Then, within the space of a few minutes, we made a big error and it cost us a penalty.
“We had to come back from that. While we were trying to change it and get a couple of subs because I didn’t think we had overcome the manner of conceding the first goal, Oscar scored the second.
“After half-time we got a little better and were more resilient and had to be patient to create a chance. The big chance fell to Modibo Maiga, and if he had scored it would have rallied the crowd and given them something to get on the edge of their seats about. It might have helped us go on to get a draw, who knows?”
Apologies for the delay – a case of crossed wires.
So it appears that if opponents give us lots of time and space we can indeed still play attractive, one-touch football and Lamps can look like he has some football left in him – who’d have thunk it?
A mixture of relief and sadness to see our old boys reduced to being hiked off after 40 minutes [Cole, Joe] or not even making it off the subs bench despite the complete lack of anything approaching a striker in the West Ham side that produced its only attempt on target in the 94th minute [Cole, Carlton]. A sorry end to the career of Ranieri’s “Young Lion”.
Watching Lukaku in the Everton v Liverpool game I couldn’t help think how much stick he would have got from the substantial perfection-requiring section of the Stamford Bridge crowd for his two 1-on-1 misses.
Mr. Angry who sits behind me in the West Upper and others would have slaughtered him in the same fashion Sturridge used to get for poor choices/ misses and he might well have been substituted long before he got his 2 goals. The loan out decision may not be such a bad idea as it seemed initially.
Unfortunately I was unable to watch the game, being in the wilds of Suffolk. It’s partly my fault there’s no report as I didn’t get Nick’s communication until late Saturday night.
I heard parts of the game through the good offices of Talk Radio and the most noteworthy event was Stan Collymore awarding MoM to JOM. Noteworthy because Stan confessed to not ever really understanding what JOM did for the team prior to Saturday night, but saw sufficient to single out Saturday’s performance.
One up for those who have always felt that our best 11 has to have him in there somewhere. With Stan on board JOM’s stock can but rise. And he’s nominated for African Footballer of the Year.
It also seemed as though Oscar found a little of his form after seeming to be out of sorts recently, while Frank playing further forward was back in the goals. It will be interesting to see whether JM persists with this adjustment or whether it was a means to flummox old Sam.
So all good then. Except there’s 1 more game in November so don’t stop the prayer wheel yet.
And then there’s December…..
What a shocker that was last night (v Basel). So much for the liberating effect of 4-3-3 on Saturday. The reality was that West Ham were just rubbish. Cech was excellent last night and just as well. The defence looked nervous and jittery but at least held things together until the last minute. The midfield trio of Ramires, Mikel and Lampard were truly awful. Not much better further up the field either but at least they had the excuse that they were getting no service. When will this marginalisation of Mata end?