West Ham 0 Chelsea 1: Thomas Tuchel's side strengthen grip on top four place as Timo Werner strike downs ten-man Hammers

CHELSEA found themselves at the centre of yet another huge football shock story as Timo Werner scored a goal.

The dust has yet to settle on their outrageous bid to join a European Super League and now the misfiring German has only gone and hit the target.


Werner’s first since mid-February and only his second in the Premier League this year was enough to settle this tepid episode of the battle for the top four.

Victory means Chelsea cement their spot in the Champions League places for now while West Ham concede a three point cushion to their big-spending rivals with five games to go.

As welcome as the win will be for Thomas Tuchel he won’t have come away from his first visit to London Stadium brimming with confidence about his team or Werner in particular.

For having put his team ahead a minute before the break, the £47million star forward of the team proceeded to miss an absolute sitter ten minutes into the second half.

It was from roughly the same distance out that he scored in the 43rd minute and was just as easy a chance as the tap in which ended his two month drought.

But just to confirm that it takes just as long to regain confidence as it does to lose it, Werner skewed his shot wide of the opposite post.

He looked bewildered as he watched the ball trickle past the upright but that was nothing to the look on the face of Chelsea boss Tuchel who only just managed to keep his head out of his hands in total disbelief.

If there was a deserved winner from a game which did not live up the billing then it was Chelsea.

They looked slightly more comfortable in possession, with that added bit of composure and had an edge on passing. But then they should have. 


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This is a team which has spent £220 million on buying in its own ‘Big Five’ – five star players in a bid to reassert the club’s strength financially and on the field in search of trophies.

Yet it was hardly a performance from Chelsea which suggests they have done that quite yet or in fact quite honestly deserve a place in the Super League.

They were well-matched against a West Ham team punching well above its weight. A team which this time last season was three points off the relegation zone.

The injury-hit Hammers could not muster many serious attempts on goal but came close enough with a cheeky lob from makeshift striker Jesse Lingard which was narrowly wide.

And any hope of a comeback was well and truly stuffed by the ridiculous sending off of Fabian Balbuena nine minutes from time – in his first league start since December.

With ten men it was an even tougher ask for West Ham to get anything from a game which was struggling to provide much of a spectacle for the viewers in the first place.

All week Tuchel has had one eye on this game and Tuesday’s even bigger match against Real Madrid in the Champions League semi final.

As a result no player in royal blue knows if he is coming or going and six changes from Tuesday’s goalless draw at home to Brighton was a clear indicator of that.


Maybe that is why Chelsea looked disjointed and disappointing for the second game in a row.

In Werner’s defence he started the move that led to the breakthrough, wrestling past West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna in the middle of the pitch before sliding the ball wide to Christian Pulisic.

You can argue that if West Ham’s crocked talisman Declan Rice had been on the pitch he’d have nipped the run in the bud.

But Pulisic found Ben Chilwell on the overlap and his low ball into the centre evaded the West Ham defence and allowed Werner time to pick his spot unmarked from seven yards out.

Hardly a classic but any crumb is welcome for wasteful Werner at the moment.

He had another shot at goal saved by Lukasz Fabianksi before being replaced by Tammy Abraham in the 87th minute.

Chelsea are a conundrum at the moment, especially up front and when Abraham missed a sitter of his own with the last action of the match it meant Tuchel left East London with three points but still with many questions to answer about what is his best team.

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