Timo Werner scored his first goal since February to hand Chelsea a vital 1-0 win over West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
Chelsea held on for a crucial three points at the London Stadium to put them in the driving seat for Champions League qualification with five games to play.
Timo Werner ended his goal drought as he put Chelsea ahead in the 43rd minute with a neat finish from close range.
West Ham were reduced to 10 men in the 81st minute after Fabian Balbuena was sent off for a follow through on Ben Chilwell.
It was a lively start from Chelsea and Timo Werner had the first chance of the game four minutes in. Mason Mount found space on the right and cut it back for the German but he could only fire it over the bar.
Mount showed why he has been Chelsea’s best performer this season. Twisting and turning inside the Hammers box in the 10th minute, but his low shot was easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski.
Christian Pulisic had a chance five minutes later after a good run in behind from Werner. He picked him out in the box but could only fire straight at Fabianski.
Cesar Azpilicueta struggled for pace out on the right and was caught out going forward and defending. Mount was the standout in the first half for the Blues once again and a minute after the half hour mark, an excellent touch set Werner up again but he smashed wide.
West Ham wanted a penalty nine minutes before half time as Thomas Soucek’s shot hit Azpilicueta, but Chris Kavanagh’s initial decision was stuck with by VAR.
David Moyes’ side enjoyed a positive period in the final ten minutes of the first half as they looked to win set pieces, an area of strength for the hosts.
But it was Chelsea who took the lead. Werner finally got on the scoresheet to score his goal since February as he finished from close range, converting Ben Chilwell’s cross in past Fabianski two minutes before half-time.
Werner should’ve had his second nine minutes into the second half as Mount’s strike from distance was spilled by Fabianski, but the German had his effort somehow saved from close range. Tuchel’s reaction of shock and bewilderment said it all on the touchline.
Chelsea were early punished for the miss seven minutes on as West Ham searched for a leveller but Mount blocked Fredericks effort from outside the area, before Jesse Lingard fired wide.
Mount was enjoying himself in east London and found more room from distance. He forced Fabianski into action once again, but the Polish international matched the effort.
Like Mount, Werner was enjoying himself despite the miss. An extremely bright performance from the German who came in off the left, continuing to test Fabianski.
Christian Pulisic was Chelsea’s first substitution in the 74th minute as Hakim Ziyech came on for the 22-year-old.
West Ham were reduced to 10 with nine minutes to play after Fabian Balbuena caught Chilwell on the follow through.
Kavanagh’s initial decision was controversially changed after a VAR check to make it an uphill battle for the Hammers heading into the final stages.
Tammy Abraham was recalled to the squad and made his first appearance in over two months for the Blues. He came on in the closing stages along with Reece James for Cesar Azpilicueta and Timo Werner.
And Chelsea saw the game out and held on for the win to ensure they capitalised on results elsewhere to move three points clear of West Ham in fourth.
A pivotal win for the Blues who could’ve made it much more comfortable, but the three points will be the only thing Chelsea care about ahead of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
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