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Chelsea 2-0 West Ham United

Filed: Sunday, 17th March 2013
By: Staff Writer

West Ham slipped to a predicatable defeat at Stamford Bridge this afternoon - a defeat aided by predictably one-sided refereeing.

Today it was Michael Oliver's turn to come to the aid of the wealthier club in order to preserve the Premier League's status quo - and Andy Carroll the one to suffer as a result.

Little will be made of it elsewhere but had Carroll's perfectly legitimate, first half strike been allowed to stand it may well have made for a different game, with Chelsea 1-0 up through Frank Lampard's 19th-minute opening goal at the time.

As it was, Eden Hazard's effort five minutes after the break was enough to see the home side take all three points with a comfortable 2-0 win.

The controversial moment came just three minutes after Lampard had taken advantage of some poor defending by West Ham to nod the Blues into a 19th-minute lead with his 200th goal for the west London club.

Matt Jarvis did incredibly well to retain possession on the left wing before centreing the ball for the advancing Carroll, who eased away from marker David Luiz before poking the ball over the line.

However match official Oliver - the Premier League's youngest referee at just 28 - immediately flagged for an infringement, presumably for a non-existent foul on Luiz, much to Carroll's bemusement.

Of course it had been a similar story at the Boleyn Ground earlier in the season when Kevin Nolan saw a perfectly legal 'goal' wiped out by Martin Atkinson in the corresponding fixture - even if West Ham eventually righted that particular wrong by going on to win 3-1.

And whilst few will be surprised at the perceived bias, once again there was further clear evidence that the Premier League's chosen officials are geared towards favouring the league's wealthier entities.

In addition to Carroll's 'goal', the decision to award a free-kick against Jarvis when he shrugged off his marker to leave him one-on-one with Petr Cech also left a bad taste in the mouths of West Ham fans who had made the short sojourn across town.

Of course, to blame today's defeat entirely on the referee would be churlish; West Ham, a freshly-promoted team created from the cast-offs of others and second division players were unsurprisingly second best on the day to a team stuffed with multi-million pound internationals.

Despite that, United gave a good account of themselves in the opening half and but for a little more luck (plus a higher standard of refereeing) could have gone into the break on level terms with Carroll and Collins both enjoying good chances.

However the second half was virtually one-way traffic and Hazard's goal five minutes after the restart - the result of a clever one-two with Juan Mata - was the very least Chelsea deserved from an efficient, if not top-class, second half performance.

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by Ian O
02:25PM 18th Mar 2013
''Always interesting to see how others see a game.

Unfortunately, hands lightly placed on an opponent usually results in the latter falling over and the ref awarding a foul – although I do remember Carlton not being penalised in the reverse fixture when scoring.

Agreed, there was very little in Andy Carroll’s hands on the back of David Luiz and, perhaps five or ten years ago, the goal would have stood...but the fact remains he did ease / push Luiz out of the way. I like Andy Carroll and it’s great that he has such physical presence but players should realise that few officials will let such things pass these days without blowing the whistle. If he had kept his hands down the goal would have stood.

Of course, the ironical thing is how all the skirmishing in the penalty area at corners and set pieces goes unpunished.

Still, looking forward to the West Brom game....

by ChelseaR
08:25PM 17th Mar 2013
''West Ham were so outclassed in the last hour of this game that each of about six defensive players made at least two bookable fouls each - almost always on the Hazard and Mata who could have outplayed them in their sleep.''

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