Chelsea get ready for Barcelona with win over the Hammers

West Ham 0 Chelsea 1

Chelsea warmed up for their Champions League clash against Barcelona with victory over West Ham courtesy of Salomon Kalou’s winner and Petr Cech’s penalty save.

Kalou struck in the 55th minute at Upton Park but it needed Cech to save Mark Noble’s penalty to keep them ahead and send them into European action in high spirits.

The celebrations for Kalou’s goal were marred by objects being thrown in the direction of Frank Lampard and John Terry, although that is hardly likely to affect a Chelsea team that are focused on ending their season with silverware.

They started the weekend six points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United and Guus Hiddink, in charge until the end of the season, has given up hope on catching them.

With that in mind, this match served to tee-up their clash at the Nou Camp on Tuesday, with Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack on the bench.

Ashley Cole was also among the substitutes and, as he was suspended for the Barca clash, Jose Bosingwa was given a dry run in the position ahead of facing Lionel Messi. Luis Boa Morte was his sparring partner three days before the heavyweight clash in Spain.

There were reunions in the dug-out and on the pitch, with Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola and assistant Steve Clarke facing their former club.

Both were poised to announce long-term deals at West Ham following a successful first season together, with West Ham still in the hunt for a place in the Europa League despite this defeat.

For the visitors, midfielder Lampard was given his usual hostile welcome from West Ham fans who are still bitter after he left them in 2001, while Terry was not spared either.

England’s captain spent five years at the Hammers’ academy before joining Chelsea as a 14-year-old, and there were poisonous chants from the home fans towards the centre-back.

It was Lampard who created the first chance, in the 16th minute, when he slid the ball through to Florent Malouda but the Frenchman dragged his shot wide after racing through.

Kieron Dyer, making his first start since August 2007, should have given the hosts a lead shortly after but he shot tamely at Cech after Diego Tristan had split the Chelsea defence.

Lampard, with jeers ringing in his ears, had a few sighters on Robert Green’s goal. One volley flashed wide, a second went straight at the West Ham goalkeeper and Noble bravely blocked another.

Chelsea were applying pressure but almost fell behind just before the break. John Mikel Obi was needed to clear off the line when Tristan prodded towards goal after Noble’s corner was nodded down by Matthew Upson and Cech was out of position.

After that scare, the visitors were ahead 10 minutes after the restart.

Lampard wriggled to the byline down the left and floated a cross to the far post, where Kalou took one touch before planting his finish into the empty net for his ninth of the season.

Lampard and Terry celebrated in front of the Bobby Moore Stand and missiles were thrown towards them from the crowd, an incident the Football Association could now look at.

Bosingwa was given a breather just before the hour mark, with Cole coming on at left-back, while Zola’s response to falling behind was replacing Dyer and David di Michele with Freddie Sears and Radoslav Kovac.

Nicolas Anelka should have doubled the lead when Juliano Belletti sent him through after Upson slipped, with Green rushing out to block the finish. Cole then shaved the crossbar after exchanging passes with Malouda.

The Hammers were given their penalty 20 minutes from full-time when Herita Illunga’s shirt was pulled by Kalou.

Noble’s penalty was struck well but Cech leapt to his left and tipped away the effort.

More on this topic

All the team news for the opening weekend of the Premier LeagueAll the team news for the opening weekend of the Premier League

Mauricio Pochettino: Spurs may miss transfer targetsMauricio Pochettino: Spurs may miss transfer targets

Manchester City defender Pablo Maffeo to join StuttgartManchester City defender Pablo Maffeo to join Stuttgart

All these Premier League records were rewritten in the 2017-18 seasonAll these Premier League records were rewritten in the 2017-18 season

More in this Section

O’Sullivan aiming to play most of his tournaments in China with ‘odd few’ in UKO’Sullivan aiming to play most of his tournaments in China with ‘odd few’ in UK

Wales’ class of 2011 still hurting over France semi-final defeat – GatlandWales’ class of 2011 still hurting over France semi-final defeat – Gatland

WATCH: The best tries of the #RWC2019 pool stagesWATCH: The best tries of the #RWC2019 pool stages

New Zealand boss Hansen looks to turn Schmidt's strengths into a weaknessNew Zealand boss Hansen looks to turn Schmidt's strengths into a weakness


Gerry Fitzgerald runs Bandon Books Plus in Riverview Shopping Centre, Bandon, Co Cork.We Sell Books: Turning over a new leaf from bank to bookshop in Bandon

As UK legend John Surman gets ready to play at Cork’s jazz fest, he tells Philip Watson about his well-travelled career and why he’s so angry about Brexit.Jazz legend John Surman on a well-travelled career and why he's angry about Brexit

Dr Naomi Lavelle answers a weekly science question.Fish live in water all their lives but does that mean that they never get thirsty or do they even drink at all? To answer these questions we need to look at where the fish live.Appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty?

More From The Irish Examiner