CHELSEA massively missed Tammy Abraham as they lost 1-0 to West Ham at Stamford Bridge.
Olivier Giroud replaced the Englishman up top and the difference between the two men was huge as Giroud’s lack of pace regularly blunted some of the Blues’ attacks.
Aaron Cresswell opened the scoring for the Hammers in the second-half and Chelsea were lucky they didn’t double that lead when Michail Antonio’s back post bundle was ruled out by VAR for handball.
A Champions League hangover seemed evident in Frank Lampard’s men and here’s what SunSport’s William Pugh thought of the Blues’ performances this afternoon.
KEPA – 7
Didn’t have a great deal to do before the break but done well to save Antonio’s header when called upon. Couldn’t do much with Cresswell’s superb finish and stopped West Ham doubling their lead with a good save from Fabian Balbuena’s header in the second-half.
REECE JAMES – 5
Did really well supporting attacks in the first-half as West Ham’s narrow shape was there to be exploited. But done like a kipper by Cresswell for the Hammers’ opening goal.
KURT ZOUMA – 4
Looked assured enough, but should have done better with a free header on 20 minutes that would have given his side the lead. Got VAR to thank for bailing him out in the second half when he ducked under Frederick’s cross before Antonio bundled it in.
FIKAYO TOMORI – 5
Did what was asked of him. Had a clear plan to stand off the pace and power of Antonio and he did that fairly well.
EMERSON – 6
Started well as West Ham looked to attack Chelsea wide and got himself involved in many of Chelsea’s quick counters. One of the better players.
JORGINHO – (subbed off, 62 mins) – 5
Quiet. Really quiet. Hauled off on the hour mark.
MATEO KOVACIC – 7
Some driving runs set Chelsea on the counter on a number of occasions and done his defensive work with no fuss. Chelsea’s best player on a flat afternoon for the Blues.
PEDRO – (subbed off, 62 mins) – 5
The most impressive thing he done all afternoon was curl one into the top corner during the warm up. Should have done better against a West Ham defence that has been weak this season.
MASON MOUNT – 5
A lively start as Chelsea countered with speed time and time again in the first-half. Had the better of his best pal Declan Rice early on but faded out for the remainder which will disappoint Lampard as he has rested the youngster recently.
CHRSITIAN PULISIC – 6
Continually tested Fredericks in the first-half and created a couple of half chances for his team but needed to be more clinical.
OLIVIER GIROUD (subbed off, 72 mins) – 4
Was certainly no Tammy Abraham. But we knew that beforehand. Slowed down too many of Chelsea’s attacks as they broke at ferocious speed. Subbed off deservedly.
MOST READ IN FOOTBALL
Chelsea loanee Baker 'very annoyed' to be warming the bench at Dusseldorf
Ex-Chelsea hero Costa set for £25m move to Copa Libertadores champs Flamengo
Ljungberg instantly promotes John-Jules, 18, into first team training squad
Lampard had a lot to prove when he arrived at Chelsea, reveals Le Saux
Veteran Defoe ready to cut £100k-a-week Bournemouth wages to land Rangers move
How Arsenal could line-up under Ljungberg at Norwich with go-to guy Bukayo Saka
Idiot's guide to Euro 2020 draw with 24 teams in 12 venues across the Continent
BACK FOR MAUR
Bielsa backs Poch to 'be back in 15 days' – with Barcelona interested
Willian (on for Pedro) – 5
Tried to have an immediate impact going forward but was done by Fredericks for Antonio’s disallowed goal. Lucky man.
Kante (on for Jorginho) – 5
Got more involved than the man he replaced.
Hudson-Odoi (on for Giroud) – 5
Had next to no impact when he came on.