Chelsea stumble as West Ham battle to 0-0 draw

Chelsea dropped their first points of the season on Sunday as West Ham held Maurizio Sarri ’ s team to a 0 -0 draw at the London Stadium .
Chelsea had won all five of their Premier League matches before the weekend , going toe to toe with Liverpool , who won again on Saturday to make it six wins out of six .

The visitors dominated possession at the home of their London rivals but failed to create many clear -cut chances and had to deal with West Ham ’ s constant threat on the break .
Olivier Giroud won his battle with Alvaro Morata for a starting spot up front for Chelsea , keeping his place for the second Premier League match in succession .

But Marko Arnautovic , West Ham ’ s leading goalscorer this season , missed out after failing to recover from an injury he sustained against Everton last week .

Chelsea enjoyed more than 70 percent of possession in the first half but West Ham were dangerous when they were able to break out, Michail Antonio proving a real handful .

After a cagey opening spell , Chelsea established control but the home side could have taken a lead against the run of play just before the half hour .

Felipe Anderson was quick to seize on a loose ball and played in Antonio , who blasted over with his left foot .

That chance breathed new life into the home crowd and the players and Antonio drew a smart save from Kepa Arrizabalaga in the West Ham goal just two minutes later after a fine run from Andriy Yarmolenko.

As the sun came out at the London Stadium , Chelsea again established control and nearly took the lead when N ’ Golo Kante headed wide.

The match fell into a similar pattern in the second half, Chelsea searching for openings around the West Ham box but Felipe Anderson and Yarmolenko looked dangerous when the home side broke forward .

The home side dealt well with the threat of Willian and Eden Hazard and Giroud — picked for his more physical threat — struggled to make a big impression on the game .

The Frenchman was replaced 20 minutes into the second half by Morata , who went close to breaking the deadlock moments after coming on only to see Lukasz Fabianski pull off a stunning stop from close range .

But with about 13 minutes to go West Ham had a wonderful chance to win the match , when the unmarked Yarmolenko headed just wide at the far post after a cross by Robert Snodgrass .

Fabianski pulled off another fine save as the clock ticked into injury time , diving to his left to deny substitute Ross Barkley and Willian blazed wide as Chelsea applied intense late pressure .

( AFP )

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