Fabian Balbuena

West Ham beats Chelsea behind surprise star Martin

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West Ham United got a massive win, easing some of the pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini with a 1-0 defeat of Chelsea on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

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It was a second-straight league loss for the Blues, whose 26 points are six better than fifth place Spurs.

West Ham’s win moves it all the way up to 13th with 16 points.


Three things we learned

1. Martin‘s long awaited debut ends in tears (the good kind): David Martin had made 346 senior appearances in his career, 282 in League One, before being called upon by Manuel Pellegrini for a woeful West Ham facing dangerous Chelsea. It went incredibly well for the 33-year-old, with an emotional Martin lifted off the turf by his teammates after a six-save appearance. He wasn’t just a good story, he was the easy Man of the Match. 1-for-1.

The phrase “Look what it means to him” is incredibly over-used, but first perfectly here.

2: Pulisic Watch: American winger Christian Pulisic showed good interplay with Olivier Giroud and was dangerous enough on the day, though his impact waned in the second half as the Blues focused on Willian and the right side of the attack. Based on form, you would’ve expected him to score a difficult back post volley that served as his most promising chance to score a goal. Five shots and six successful dribbles show he was far from the problem, but a 1-0 loss hurts more when you’re a star attacker.

3. No passengers as Irons back their boss: West Ham was not supposed to be struggling in the bottom half this season, and Manuel Pellegrini appeared on the brink well before this match. He showed the guts to sit struggling star striker Sebastien Haller, and Michail Antonio was a force up top (even if his goal was pulled back by VAR). Who knows how long of a stay this earned Pellegrini, but it was certainly earned with solid performances from his Starting XI.


Christian Pulisic was lively again for Chelsea, and spun away from a defender in the 21st minute to see his attempted 1-2 with Olivier Giroud bound back onto his path, his shot attempt blocked by a sliding West Ham defender.

It was the same two Blues combining late for a possible penalty shout, as Pulisic thought he won one when his 1-2 with Olivier Giroud struck Fabian Balbuena’s arm, but no call arrived.

West Ham then went in front through Cresswell, who came forward from his left back position to lash a shot across goal that beat Kepa Arrizabalaga to the far post.

Frank Lampard pulled off Jorginho and Pedro in the 63rd in favor of N’Golo Kante and Willian.

West Ham looked to have made it 2-0 when Robert Snodgrass drove around Willian and crossed over Kurt Zouma, but VAR saw that the ball bound off Michail Antonio’s arm and into the goal.

Newcastle United breaks out in win at West Ham

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Jonjo Shelvey scored a wonder goal and two of his center backs also found the net as Newcastle United beat West Ham United 3-2 at the London Stadium on Saturday.

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Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez also scored for the Magpies, whose 12 points have them 16th. That’s four places and a point below the Irons.

Fabian Balbuena and Robert Snodgrass scored late for West Ham, but it would’ve been larceny had the hosts taken a point.


Three things we learned

1. West Ham defense a first half shambles: Newcastle entered the day with six league goals and could’ve had four by halftime were it not for some close range saves by Roberto. Both goals came off short set pieces which saw the Irons undone by one or two extra passes.

2. Creativity to the (Saint)-Max: Allan Saint-Maximin butted heads with Patrick Vieira at Nice, but has been nothing but positive on-and-off the field for Newcastle. His dribbling wizardry has brought something to Newcastle missing since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa. Yet to be rewarded with a goal — and he should’ve had two on Saturday — “Saint-Max” is one of the redemptive reasons to watch Newcastle despite the 5-4-1 formation.

3. Shelvey steps in and shines: The only certainty when it comes to a Jonjo Shelvey start is unpredictability (We know the logic doesn’t work there). Stepping in for Matty Longstaff, the bald-headed passing maestro scored and incredible free kick and struck the cross bar as well. Steady next to Isaac Hayden, Shelvey has a shot to keep his spot when Sean Longstaff returns from suspension.

Man of the Match: Jetro Willems — The Eintracht Frankfurt loanee was a delightful playmaker who provided plenty of tackles, interceptions, and field changing on the night.


The teams traded corners before Miguel Almiron won a free kick on the edge of the 18.

Jonjo Shelvey’s long swung kick was headed back across goal by Joelinton, and Clark headed it past Roberto for 1-0 in the 16th.

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It was 2-0 in the 22nd through another center back, as Fernandez had time and room to head home Jetro Willems’ cross off a short corner.

Allan Saint-Maximin then arrived behind the West Ham to back line for a long 1v1 dribble ended by a substandard strike saved by Roberto.

The Magpies were all over the Irons, Saint-Maximin stopped on another breakaway from Roberto and then playing Almiron who saw his shot saved, too. Then Shelvey smashed the cross bar.

West Ham had a few solid chances inspired by Robert Snodgrass, but Martin Dubravka was credited with a few good saves for the Magpies.

Roberto made another diving save to deny Saint-Maximin in stoppage time, and Shelvey’s corner was defended before the match hit halftime.

Saint-Maximin turned playmaker in the second half with a chip to DeAndre Yedlin, who was denied on his header and then by the offside flag after depositing the rebound.

Shelvey then delivered the stomach punch with a spinning free kick around the wall which snuck inside the near post.

Fabian Balbuena pulled one back for West Ham after Dubravka could only slap a cross onto his path in the 74th.

But wait, Snodgrass had something else to say with a sensational low volley inside the far post in the 90th.

Barnes saves Leicester point at West Ham (video)

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  • Antonio gives Irons halftime lead
  • Vardy answers
  • Perez, Barnes trade late goals

Harvey Barnes used stoppage time to score his first Premier League goal as Leicester City twice came back in a 2-2 draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Michail Antonio and Lucas Perez scored for West Ham, while Jamie Vardy had Leicester’s other goal.

Leicester moves to 48 points, one back of seventh place Watford, while Manuel Pellegrini‘s Irons have 43 and sit 11th.

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West Ham were better money for an early goal, and Ricardo Pereira got to Michail Antonio just ahead of Marko Arnautovic‘s splendid 26th minute cross to deny the Irons an opener.

Robert Snodgrass stole a pass and fed Felipe Anderson for a shot which looked headed for the far post but smashed Antonio in the chest from close range.

Antonio got a deserved goal of full intent when he collected a Mark Noble crosss and turned a header beyond the reach of Kasper Schmeichel.

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Vardy scored for Leicester out of nearly nothing, with Vardy cutting in front of Fabian Balbuena to knife a Ben Chilwell cross inside the near post.

Balbuena made some amends with a fine block of a James Maddison chance cued up by Harvey Barnes.

Substitute Pedro Obiang cranked a shot off the post that clattered onto the path of Perez for the goal.

Barnes then struck in the second of five minutes stoppage, rolling across and under Lukasz Fabianski following a Youri Tielemans through ball.

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Leicester City equalizes late versus 10-man West Ham

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  • Balbuena scores first WHU goal
  • Noble sees straight red
  • Fabianski stars in net
  • Ndidi scores via 90th minute deflection

Wilfred Ndidi’s deflected effort finally brought Leicester City level with 10-man West Ham United at King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Fabian Balbuena’s 31st minute goal came seven minutes before teammate Mark Noble was sent off for a dangerous tackle, but West Ham United nearly held on for the win.

The points gives Leicester 13 points to West Ham’s eight, the 13th place Hammers a slot below the Foxes.

Leicester’s Daniel Amartey suffered a gruesome leg injury in stoppage time.

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Kelechi Iheanacho scored a goal pulled back for offside in the second minute.

Leicester was all over the early stages, and West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski had to poke a possible own goal over his frame in the 11th minute.

West Ham got their bearings a minute later, and Felipe Anderson ripped a low shot to force Kasper Schmeichel into his first save of the match.

Robert Snodgrass spun an effort across the six and wide of the far post in the 24th minute.

And West Ham went ahead in the 31st minute, with Paraguayan center back Fabian Balbuena heading off the post before scrambling to his feet to smack home the rebound.

In control of the match, Irons captain Mark Noble went studs up into Wilfried Ndidi’s ankle and took a 38th minute red card.

Fabianski then made an outstanding save on a Vicente Iborra header to preserve West Ham’s lead.

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Fabianski would make two more saves in the 62nd minute, stopping a pair of Marc Albrighton rips.

Substitute Jamie Vardy then spun an Albrighton cross just over the frame, and Fabianski stopped Vardy before Ndidi’s late deflected shot defied the goalkeeper’s fine performance.

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