Chelsea maintain grip on top with win at West Ham

Chelsea maintain grip on top with win at West Ham

West Ham 0 Chelsea 1

Chelsea followed up their Capital One Cup victory with a hard-fought 1-0 win on their return to Barclays Premier League business at West Ham.

Jose Mourinho won a first trophy of his second spell as Blues boss with a 2-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday and Chelsea remain well placed to add a first Premier League title in five years.

The Hammers had one win in 17 against the Blues entering the contest but refused to be cowed by the leaders and deserved more, only for Eden Hazard’s first-half header to settle the contest, keeping Chelsea five points clear of second-placed Manchester City.

Mourinho spoke of short celebrations after the Wembley win and captain John Terry insisted they had been postponed until the end of the season, when he hoped there would be further cause to party.

Yet at times it appeared as though Chelsea’s defenders had a hangover as the pace of Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Stewart Downing found holes.

Terry was booked for pulling down Valencia in the first half and cautious thereafter, with Chelsea indebted to a number of fine saves from the restored Thibaut Courtois – namely from Cheikhou Kouyate and Sakho – as the Hammers pressed forwards.

Ramires struck a post on the counter-attack and had a header well saved by Adrian, while Willian spurned a late chance for a second to settle the contest.

The Hammers now have one win in 11 league games to slip further down the standings – and Sam Allardyce appears to be running out of time to convince his bosses to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

Chelsea’s players, meanwhile, have two days off before resuming preparations for next week’s Champions League last-16 second leg with Paris St Germain.

More in this Section

Brendan O'Brien: A low-key coronation but Stephen Kenny has plans to exciteBrendan O'Brien: A low-key coronation but Stephen Kenny has plans to excite

PFA chief Gordon Taylor insists players will do all they can to save clubsPFA chief Gordon Taylor insists players will do all they can to save clubs

Raymond Van Barneveld gets one over old rival Phil Taylor in charity matchRaymond Van Barneveld gets one over old rival Phil Taylor in charity match

Joe Schmidt missing 'the adrenalin rush' of coaching at the highest levelJoe Schmidt missing 'the adrenalin rush' of coaching at the highest level


Lifestyle

Benefits of alpine plants scale new heights for Peter DowdallFall in love with stone huggers: Reasons to grow alpine plants

We may all have had a sneaky go at air-guitar playing, but what about crafting a real-life musical instrument yourself from scratch? If that hits a bum note, perhaps designing a pair of snazzy earrings or becoming your own interiors expert and redecorating your entire home is more your thing?Getting creative while staying home: Online workshops that should be a hit with all ages

Remote working has helped companies around the world to stay open during the virus crisis. It's a key building block to build the case for reduced hours in the workplace, says an entrepreneur who say we are more productive when we work four days a week.Less is more: Building case for the four-day week

Kya deLongchamps puts sails on the laundry with refreshing reasons to dry outdoors.Great drying out there: How to make drying clothes a breeze

More From The Irish Examiner