Premier League
Chelsea 1-1 West Ham United 

Sunday, 8th April 2018
by Staff Writer

A late Javier Hernandez equaliser was enough to lift West Ham SIX points clear of the relegation zone as West Ham held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge this afternoon.

The Mexican international struck a matter of minutes after entering the fray to cancel out Cesar Azpilicueta's first half opener and earn the Hammers a priceless point in their fight against relegation.

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And the Hammers could even have left west London with all three points, had referee Kevin Friend spotted a clear foul on Marko Arnautovic as he strode into the penalty box with the game entering its closing stages.

Current Hammers boss David Moyes went into the game having failed to win any of his last 15 visits to Stamford Bridge, but was close to pulling off a shock win against a Chelsea side far removed from that which tore through the Premier League last term.

However the Hammers were forced to do it the hard way after conceding a soft opening goal, when Azpilicueta converted Alvaro Morata's knock down nine minutes ahead of the half time interval.

On what was always going to be a tough day for the Hammers, with the match being Chelsea's first since the passing of former midfielder Ray Wilkins, Moyes' side spent much of the game on the back foot.

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So much so that when Javier Hernandez stole into the penalty area in order to covert Marko Arnautovic's clever pull-back and draw West Ham level 17 minutes from time, it was only United's third touch inside the Blues' penalty area.

However there were no hysterical claims of "19th century football" from current Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, whose side have gone from Champions to Europa League contenders inside the space of 12 months.

Hernandez, for whom life at West Ham could be coming to an end sooner rather than later, was on hand to grab his eighth goal of a stop/start season - a typical poacher's finish from inside the box.

And the point it brings could be vital come the end of the campaign, with West Ham finally beginning to pull away from trouble as a result of four points from their two most recent outings.

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Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Comments to follow.

Pablo Zabaleta
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Aaron Cresswell
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Angelo Ogbonna
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Declan Rice
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Mark Noble
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Cheikhou Kouyate
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Joao Mario
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Edimilson Fernandes
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Marko Arnautovic
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Arthur Masuaku
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Patrice Evra
(Replaced Cresswell) Comments to follow.

Javier Hernandez
(Replaced Fernandes) Comments to follow.

Josh Cullen
(Replaced Mario) Comments to follow.

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.

Grady Diangana
Did not play.

Josh Pask
Did not play.

Jordan Hugill
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice, Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate, Joao Mario, Edimilson Fernandes, Marko Arnautovic, Arthur Masuaku.

Goals: Javier Hernandez 73 Marko Arnautovic                 .

Booked: Mark Noble           .

Sent off: None.

Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Moses (Pedro 78), Fabregas, Kante, Alonso, Hazard, Willian, Morata (Giroud 78).

Subs not used: Caballero, Drinkwater, Bakayoko, Christensen, Emerson.

Goals: Azpilicueta (36).

Booked: .

Sent off: None.

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Attendance: 41,324.

Man of the Match: Joe Hart.