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Sunday, 20th January 2002

Chelsea 5
West Ham United 1

by Vinny Ryan

So another away game, and another defeat. As most people present at the game were - I am gutted.

We put out a team which is the strongest that we have got. No changes to the match against Leicester yet we came out looking totally different. This was typical West Ham - good one week and cr*p the next.

The first half was poor but not totally awful - we gave the ball away a lot but Chelsea didn't produce too much.

Hasselbaink had a free kick saved well from James and Zola went one on one due to the fact that Schemmel and Repka got themselves in a mess.

We didn't have one notable shot on target in the half; only a few efforts from Hutchison and Di Canio which went wide.

But in typical West Ham style we conceded just before half time from a corner. I thought (watching it again on the TV) that Cole should have been marking Hasselbaink, but it's perhaps unfair to single out one player for the performance.

Chelsea furthered their lead five minutes after the break when Michael Carrick gave the ball away in the middle of the park; Gudjohnsson made it 2-0 with a clinical finish.

Kanoute gave the ball away in a similar fashion on the hour mark and Chelsea duly scored number three courtesy of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (for which Kanoute took some stick from the Hammers fans). Kanoute was just dire today.

I left at about the 70 minute mark (yes, you could say that it
was pointless going if I was going to leave then but I just couldn't put up with the display from our boys).

Just before we left though Di Canio was sent off for something myself and most of the supporters didn't see - but he didn't debate it too much so I'm guessing he had to go.

Chelsea got a fourth from Gudjohnson (86 minutes) and Jermain Defoe came off the bench to score for us just a minute later.

Forssell made it 5-1 in the last minute to round off a terrible away day for the Irons.

Player ratings:

David James (6) Made one or two notable saves in the first half but the only exercise he had after the break was to continuously pick up the ball out from the back of his net. Not to blame in any way for any of the five goals, yet he still managed to drop one or two shots in the opening fifteen minutes. The jury will still be out as far as the watching Sven Goran Erikson is concerned.

Sebastien Schemmel (5) Started brightly enough, combining well on the right flank to create the better Hammers moves (which, to be fair, were few and far between). But his defending was, at times, absolutely woeful as he and the other defenders contrived to gift three points to the opposition. Atoned late on to some degree by setting up Jermain Defoe for the sole Hammers goal.

Nigel Winterburn (5) Once again poor old Nige was cruelly exposed against the very best, just as he was at Leeds on New Years Day. His lack of pace is now a real problem for Glenn Roeder, who must be edging towards starting with new boy Vladimir Labant in next weekend's rematch instead. Not really at fault alone for any of the goals, but Nigel has been a major part of the more shaky defences this season. But to finish on a positive note, he can't be faulted for his level of commitment which remains absolutely first class.

Tomas Repka (4) Another shocker for Tomas. The big Czech is beginning to develop a kind of Jekyll and Hyde type character which alters dramatically when away from Upton Park, where, since joining the club he has thus far been consistently outstanding. On the road however he has rarely looked less comfortable than today, where at times his all round defending was almost comical.

Christian Dailly (4) Make no mistake, this was a return to the Dailly of old; the Dailly who was much derided for his consistently under-par performances. All over the place today, and guilty on more than the odd occasion of some slack defending. His understanding with Repka appeared to have disappeared overnight, as the two were run ragged by the powerful Chelsea front line.

Trevor Sinclair (5) In recent weeks we have enjoyed watching a rejuvenated Trevor Sinclair, putting in the kind of performances which deservedly won him his first England cap earlier in the season. But today he was completely off the boil, despite being watched by the England boss who normally appears to draw the best out of him. Sincs was saved further misery by Chelsea's Melchiott who lunged in on him on 64 minutes; whether that injury is serious enough to keep Sinclair out of next week's FA Cup tie remains to be seen.

Don Hutchison (7) The pick of the Hammers on show today. Hutchison enjoyed a match long battle with Mario Stanic on the right flank and arguably came off the better for much of the game. Hutch's initial dominance led to an early yellow for Stanic who was becoming increasingly frustrated by the Hammers midfielder. Unfortunately Hutchison faded later on, but he gave 100% whilst the team were still in with a shout. Man of the match.

Joe Cole (6) Joe's midfield battle with former colleague Frank Lampard was the one to watch today; two potential England world cup stars going head to head knowing that only one of them is realistically likely to make Japan this summer. Cole certainly tasted success in the early part of the game, most notably when he nicked the ball off Lampard (sending the Chelsea man tumbling to the ground at the same time) three minutes before half time. But he faded badly after the break, and Lampard, who was at the heart of many of the Chelsea attacks will have done his own claims for a World Cup place no harm at all.

Michael Carrick (4) Without doubt his worst performance of the season so far; Michael looked far from fit despite being given the all-clear on Thursday to play today. He was overran by Emmanuel Petit in the middle of the park and looked far from the accomplished passer and tackler that he has blossomed into this season. Hopefully another weeks recovery time will see him back to full fitness, in time for next weeks FA Cup tie.

Paolo Di Canio (5) This time last week the chances of Paolo Di Canio starting for West Ham today appeared more than slim, after the emotional 'farewell' at Upton Park against Leicester, and constant media speculation led us all to believe that a move to Manchester United was imminent. But here he was, and how he'll be wishing that last weeks triumphant performance was his last in a Hammers shirt instead of today's - assuming, of course, that he does eventually go. Even until the sending off he was well under par; that incident just appeared to sum up his game. The tackle by Jody Morris was late, Di Canio lashed out and in the current climate you simply cannot afford to do that - however innocuous it may seem in retrospect.

Freddie Kanoute (4) Once again we were subject to a lacklustre, ineffective and below-standard performance from Kanoute. Ever since he returned from the hamstring injury which caused him so much trouble in the early part of the season he has performed consistently poorly. A return of only six goals so far this season tells the story of troubled times for Kanoute, whose position in the first team must be seriously under threat by Jermain Defoe, who, conversely, cannot stop scoring goals.

Jermain Defoe (6) See above. On for just eleven minutes, yet still managed to score his eighth of the season with a superbly taken drive. Some say that he serves the team best in just this fashion, appearing as a late substitute to trouble tiring defenders with his pace and acceleration. Yet there are as many who will be demanding he replaces partner in crime Freddy Kanoute down here next weekend.

Match highlights

First Half

1 - Schemmel clears off line direct from corner
2 - Cole run stopped by D'Urso for a foul
9 - Zola shot spilled by James but the keeper recovers
10 - Hutch drags 20 yard shot wide
15 - James spills a Stanic shot but takes Lampard's effort
21 - fingertip save by James from Hasselbaink's free kick
22 - Stanic goal disallowed for leaning on Winterburn
23 - Stanic booked for going through the back of Hutch
26 - Stanic warned for another bad challenge on Hutch
28 - Schem recovers well to stop Hasselbaink from shooting
35 - Repka error lets Zola in but James saves at feet
37 - Zola booked for kicking ball away
42 - Cole dispossesses Lampard brilliantly
45 - Hasselbaink picks up on loose ball to fire home

Second Half

50 - Gudjohnson evades offside trap to score second
52 - Carrick finds Sinclair but his header is weak
59 - Hasselbaink capitalises on defensive mix up to make it 3-0
60 - Sinclair booked for lunge on Terry
61 - (sub) Morris on for Petit
64 - (sub) Sincs off for Courtois after heavy challenge from Melchiott
64 - Zola nutmegs Repka but shoots wide
66 - Zola shoots over from 30 yard free kick
67 - deflected Cole shot easily saved by Cudicini
69 - Di Canio sent off for kicking out at Morris
74 - Zenden on for Zola
77 - James comfortably saves weak Lampard shot
78 - Morris booked for lunge on Cole
78 - Hasselbaink off for Forssell
79 - Defoe on for Kanoute
83 - Lampard drags shot wide
85 - Chelsea have 3 men through on goal but James saves at feet
86 - Gudjohnsson slips a fourth beyond James
87 - Defoe latches on to a Schemmel ball and finishes brilliantly
89 - Forssell slips a fifth in against some desperate defending

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: James, Schemmel, Winterburn, Repka, Dailly, Sinclair, Hutchison, Cole, Carrick, Di Canio, Kanoute

Subs: Courtois (Sinclair 64), Defoe (Kanoute 79), Andersson, Foxe, Kitson

Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Desailly, Terry, Gallas, Lampard, Petit, Stanic, Zola, Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen

Subs: Morris (Petit 61), Zenden (Zola 74), Forssell (Hasselbaink 78), De Goey, Keenan

Goals: Hasselbaink (45, 59), Gudjohnsen (50, 86), Forssell (89), Defoe (87)

Booked: Stanic (23, late tackle), Zola (37, kicking ball away), Sinclair (60, late tackle), Morris (78, late tackle)

Sent off: Di Canio (69, kicking player)

Attendance: 40,035

Referee: Andy D'Urso (5)

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