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The tactical change that won the game for West Ham against Chelsea



West Ham have toppled another top-six team by defeating title contenders Chelsea. It was a tricky game for Chelsea at the London Stadium and Thomas Tuchel's men couldn't afford to slip up. West Ham came into this game already beating the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool this season.


David Moyes started with a back three of Kurt Zouma, Issa Diop and Craig Dawson to mitigate Chelsea's impressive attack. The match started as expected with Chelsea dominating possession. West Ham sat very deep and invited pressure from Chelsea. Michail Antonio was isolated up top as West Ham defended in numbers.


Chelsea's dominance was evident as the Hammers had just 30% of possession in the first half-hour. This translated into facing more shots as well with the Hammers facing 12 shots and 6 of them were on target in the first half itself.


The goal duly arrived for Chelsea and ironically, it came from a set-piece. Thiago Silva scored from a free header to give the Blues the lead at the hour mark. The two wing-backs Reece James and Marcos Alonso bombed forward with freedom as James had the most number of touches than any other player on the pitch.


After the goal, West Ham improved a bit. Thiago Silva had to make a goal-line clearance to stop Vladimir Coufal's shot. In the first instance where they pressed high up the field, they got a penalty courtesy of shambolic passing at the back from Chelsea.


Surprisingly, the same pressure lead to their downfall as well when Declan Rice lost the ball in midfield and West Ham were short at the back. Chelsea made two long passes and Mason Mount came up with a beautiful volleyed finish to restore the lead.


West Ham had 7 shots, had just 240 touches and a pass completion rate of 73% in the first half. Meanwhile, Chelsea had 12 shots, 396 touches of the ball and completed 87% of their passes.


In the second half, West Ham had a bit more going forward. They managed to pressurize the Chelsea defence and pushed them into their own half. This immediately translated into a goal as Jarrod Bowen lashed his shot past Mendy. From the start of the 2nd half to the goal, West Ham had 55% of the ball and an 89% pass success rate.


Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were brilliant for West Ham as Antonio used his physicality to hold the ball well and Bowen was full of running the whole game. Both of them combined well to create a golden chance but Bowen couldn't meet Antonio's cross.


Chelsea obviously improved after the goal but couldn't find the winner. Lukaku, who was brought on after the break, was kept relatively quiet by the West Ham defence. West Ham clinched it late on through a freak goal from Arthur Masuaku.


The Hammers were a bit unambitious going forward in the first half. It was the same case a week ago against Manchester City. In that game, City had 68.5% of the ball and had 19 shots on West Ham's goal. They lost 2-1 in the end. David Moyes made sure it wasn't the case against Chelsea and got the rewards.


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