Chelsea 2-0 West Ham: Terry and Costa keep the Blues flying high

first_img1 Jose Mourinho accused West Ham United of playing ‘19th century football’ when they drew at Chelsea last season, but it never looked as though history would repeat itself at Stamford Bridge.The Hammers joked on their official twitter feed that they had arrived in west London on a horse and cart as they sought to prove they wouldn’t park the bus.But, while that may have been the only medieval tactic on show, in truth the visitors were hung, drawn and quartered by their vastly superior opponents.The first half was all Chelsea, and the only surprise was they went in only 1-0 up at the break, courtesy of John Terry’s 31st minute tap-in after Diego Costa had headed Cesc Fabregas’ corner down towards the far post.By then, however, they could have been out of sight.Oscar should have fired them ahead after just four minutes, but he blasted over from close range after Willian’s centre was allowed to drift across the front of the Hammers’ six-yard box.And the visitors had goalkeeper Adrian to thank for keeping them in the game during the opening 45 minutes.The Spaniard has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the top-flight this season, and he proved his class with a string of fine saves, the pick of the bunch being a strong block to deny Gary Cahill from close range, and a full length diving save to his left to turn Nemanja Matic’s curling shot side of the post.His opposite number meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois, was little more than a spectator as West Ham failed to muster a single attack worthy of the name in the first half.And the pattern of the second period largely followed that of the first as the Blues continued to dominate.West Ham did at least make it slightly more awkward for them to get into their free-flowing style in the early skirmishes following the re-start, but they were unable to halt the tide for long.Adrian again had to be at his best, saving brilliantly to prevent first Hazard, and then Oscar, from extending the hosts’ advantage.But he was helpless to prevent Costa stretching the lead in the 62nd minute with a goal of sublime quality.The Spaniard received the ball from Hazard, twisted one way and then the other to wrong foot three defenders, before firing his left foot across Adrian and into the far corner of the net.That settled the game as a contest, although West Ham did almost pull a goal back with their first genuine shot of the match, when substitute Morgan Amalfitano smashed his effort against the post.But Chelsea stood firm to keep the pressure on Manchester City, who play away to West Bromwich in one of the day’s 3pm kick-offs. Diego Costa celebrates his goal against West Ham last_img

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