We’re off to a winning start then and our new manager certainly enjoyed celebrating our goals and our victory. We did too (as I used one of my newly acquired free bets to back us) and I thought first half were excellent, well on top and overall fully deserved the victory and all three points.
Yes, we got a late winner and the Hammers may think they were unlucky not to hold on for a draw, but if they were honest with themselves they should admit they were second best for the majority of the game. I suppose their early injury to Ayew didn’t help their preparation, but that is what happens in football and you have a squad their to deal with it.
My thoughts though were that it wouldn’t of made much difference as we started at a high tempo with good pressing and passing and just kept going until about sixty minutes. Hazard was excellent and easily the most influential player on the pitch. He looked confident and nearly all our good play was through him.
Unfortunately he seemed to step off the gas again, much like what he did all of last season and that is still something he needs to learn. I’d be happy for him to do that once we’re 3-0 up but at 1-0 or even 2-0 for that matter you can’t do that. Finish teams off first and then maybe you can slighty relax.
West Ham weren’t what I remember from last season, they didn’t have the same speed and flair as what I saw last season. However, it is the first game of the season and they did have at least four regulars from last season missing. When we stepped off though, they did manager to come back into the game and got their equaliser from one of their most unlikely scorers, James Collins.
Obviously the talking point at the end, if not before was why Diego Costa was still on the pitch, after a bad clumsy tackle on Adrian whilst already being on a yellow card. Don’t get me wrong I like to see aggression and good pressing on the opposition but he is going to seriously have to learn when and where not to do these challenges. It’s not just the game itself that is the issue, racking up red cards and bookings means he’ll miss games and that is something we can do without.
On his day and over a season, like he did when we won the league the previous year, he is a fantastic finisher and goalscorer. We just need him on the pitch doing that and not sat in the stands unable to play.
Anyway, victory was deserved and I was pleased for Conte and the way he made team decisions. It can’t of been easy dropping Cesc or taking off Hazard during the game, but he did and probably for the right reasons. Roll on Swansea away at 4pm this Sunday.
Cheers from Chelsea Tuesday @