West Ham United

Wolves too good for West Ham

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Wolverhampton Wanderers continued their superb run of form as they beat West Ham United 2-0 at Molineux on Wednesday.

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Goals in each half from Leander Dendoncker and Patrick Cutrone sealed the win for Wolves, as Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men have now gone 10 games unbeaten in the Premier League.

Wolves sit in fifth on 23 points, while West Ham are in 13th place.


3 things we learned

1. Top four hopes alive for Wolves: They sit six points off the top four and are the form team in the Premier League right now. Chelsea will be feeling Wolves breathing down their necks. With progression into the knockout round of the Europa League secured, this small Wolves squad continue to churn out dogged, determined displays.

2. Tireless Jimenez on autopilot: He didn’t score but Jimenez was so dangerous. He held the ball up, got shots away and set the tone for a dominant Wolves display. Mexico’s Jimenez is so crucial to this Wolves team, even when he doesn’t score.

3. West Ham struggle to grab control: After their win away at Chelsea last weekend you would have thought West Ham would have started with a spring in their step. They were off the pace from the start and the Hammers barely registered a meaningful effort on goal. At the start of the season Wolves and West Ham were two teams who should be pushing for European qualification. West Ham need to do a lot more, especially in midfield and attack, to take control of games.

Man of the Match: Diogo Jota – Never stopped running and opened up so many gaps in West Ham’s defense. The Portuguese star, like last season, is getting better as the season goes on.


Wolves looked dangerous on the counter as Raul Jimenez dragged an effort wide and that was a sign of things to come.

The home side took the lead as a corner from the left found Dendoncker who flicked his effort on target and it somehow found its way past David Martin.

West Ham did improve as Pablo Fornals whipped in a lovely effort which Rui Patricio tipped wide. At the other end Diogo Jota was denied by Martin as the hosts looked dangerous on the break.

Dendoncker header over after a late run into the box as Wolves continued to look the more likely to score next as West Ham had plenty of the ball but did little with it.

The Hammers did have a great chance to equalize as Fornals flicked the ball over the top to put Snodgrass clean through but a poor second touch saw Patricio clatter into the Scotsman to clear the danger. Snodgrass had to come off due to his injury with Andriy Yarmolenko coming on for the final stages.

Romain Saiss headed wide from close range after Jimenez’s flick as the hosts were dominant throughout with the Mexican striker dragging another effort wide.

Sebastian Haller clipped a ball to the back post just over as West Ham pushed for the equalizer.

Jimenez was then denied by Martin as Wolves huffed and puffed late on and two subs then combined to seal the win.

Pedro Neto set up Cutrone to make it 2-0 as the home fans went wild as their top four hopes are well and truly alive.

VIDEO: Martin’s joy turns to tears after PL debut, clean sheet at age 33

Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images
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Here’s the “Guaranteed to Put a Tear in Your Eye” story of the 2019-20 Premier League season…

[ MORE: Mourinho praises “phenomenal” Dele Alli, Spurs supporters ]

Meet David Martin, a career-long journeyman goalkeeper who currently serves as the backup to starter Roberto at West Ham United. With Roberto failing to impress manager Manuel Pellegrini thus far, Martin made his West Ham on Saturday. It was also his PL debut. Martin is 33 years old. He has been on the books at 10 different clubs — whether permanently or on loan — during his career. In every way imaginable, it was a dream come, all the way down to beating Chelsea and making six saves to keep a clean sheet.

Oh, and his dad, Alvin, made over 450 appearances for West Ham during his 21-year career at the club. He was in attendance at Stamford Bridge and David was sure to find him for an unforgettable embrace in the stands.

After the game, David did his best to sum up the joy he felt when his moment finally came, as well as the relief he felt when it was over — quotes from the Guardian:

“It just doesn’t feel real. I’m 33 now, I’ve had a decent career, I’ve played quite a few games but it still doesn’t prepare you coming into this. I’ve been struggling to eat for the last two days. Cress [Aaron Cresswell] was laughing at me because my plate kept being taken away and I couldn’t finish my food.

“When I saw my dad we were both in tears, so we didn’t actually say a lot. But for my dad to see that here with the club he played for for 21 years, to make my debut, keep a clean sheet and get the win for the boys more importantly, it’s just a fantastic feeling.”

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.

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Brighton, Chelsea v. West Ham headline 10am ET games

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Four Premier League games take place at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday with three of the top six in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Liverpool host Brighton, Crystal Palace travel to Burnley, Tottenham host Bournemouth and Chelsea and West Ham do battle in a London derby.

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You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for the four games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Tottenham v. Bournemouth – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Burnley v. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Chelsea v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Liverpool v. Brighton  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League Preview: Chelsea v. West Ham

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  • Chelsea sit in 4th place, two points back of Man City
  • West Ham sit in 17th place, three points above the relegation zone
  • The Hammers have lost four of their last five matches. Chelsea meanwhile is looking for win seven in its last eight Premier League games.
  • Chelsea are unbeaten in their last 13 home Premier League meetings with West Ham (W9), last losing to the Hammers by a 3-2 scoreline in September 2002.

Chelsea look to keep pace in the top four and get back to winning ways as Frank Lampard‘s side hosts a London derby against struggling West Ham United (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and NBCSports.com).

Chelsea dropped a 2-1 scoreline last week to Man City, and then was compounded with a wild 2-2 draw with Valencia in mid-week UEFA Champions League action. Defense has been an issue, as Chelsea has allowed two or more goals in three of its last four matches.

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Saturday’s match could be a big boost of confidence for Lampard’s men though, as West Ham comes to Stamford Bridge. The Hammers are in horrendous form recently under former Man City title-winning coach Manuel Pellegrini. Defensively the team has been all over the place, especially without Winston Reid, though Reid is back in training. However, based on current form, even a Chelsea team without Tammy Abraham, out with injury, should be just fine, with Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic running havoc along the wings.

Injuries/suspensions

Chelsea: OUT – Tammy Abraham (hip)

West Ham: OUT – Issa Diop (suspension), Winston Reid, Lukasz Fabianski, Manuel Lanzini, Jack Wilshere (all injured)


Projected lineups

Chelsea: Kepa – Azpilicueta, Tomori, Zouma, Emerson – Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic – Pulisic, Batshuayi, Willian

West Ham: Roberto – Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell – Felipe Anderson, Rice, Noble, Yarmolenko – Haller


What they’re saying

Frank Lampard on facing a struggling West Ham: “I expect West Ham to bring passion and effort. They are in a difficult place because of their recent run, and sometimes that can bring out the best in players. You look at people in their team like Mark Noble and Declan Rice, players that care for the club, and they want to react to a manager who is a top manager so I am expecting a reaction from them. We know they have individual quality in forward areas so I am taking the game nowhere near lightly. It is a tough match.”

Mark Noble on improving West Ham’s defense: “We have to defend better as a team but that side of the game does seem to have become ‘uncool’,” he observed. “The philosophy of football seems to have changed. Maybe it doesn’t look that great if the ball is near the touchline and you run over and smash it into the crowd so your team can get back into shape. Instead now, you maybe try and step over, pass it back to the ‘keeper who kicks it straight up in the air and results in a 50/50 challenge. The teams who defend best normally do well.”


Prediction

West Ham faces Chelsea at arguably the worst time. For a team in need of a pick-me-up, to have to go to Stamford Bridge and face one of the quickest, most dynamic attacks in the Premier League will leave some West Ham players with serious nerves in the tunnel before taking the field. Chelsea should have no issues, and though it’s a London derby, the hosts should take all three points.

Chelsea 3-1 West Ham