West Ham United made a dream start to their first home game of the new Premier League campaign by dispatching big-spending Chelsea 3-1. The Hammers were always considered second best in this contest due to the massive difference in the squad quality and depth. Add to it, Chelsea spent astronomical figures over the last few transfer windows by acquiring the services of some of the top talented players to their squad. Despite all the big-name signings Chelsea made, it was West Ham United’s new recruit James Ward-Prowse who stole the show on Sunday night.
It was from Ward-Prowse cross Nayef Aguerd scored the opener, while he played an equally important role again in Michail Antonio’s goal. West Ham United manager David Moyes was understandably pleased with his performance against Chelsea. “We want midfielders who look to make assists and score. We’ve got him in now and he’s already made a difference with his set-piece quality today. I’m really pleased for him. He’s settled in well and he looks a really good lad for our dressing room,” he was quoted as saying by the club’s website after the match.
‘For us to get a result was incredible’
Moyes spoke about how this was the only home Premier League game the team will have before the international break, hence he was happy to get the three points from it. “It was a brilliant win! Unfortunately the run is that, before the international break, we’d have three away games and one home game. This was the one home game, against Chelsea, who I’ve seen in pre-season and went to watch last week at Liverpool, and they were so, so good. So for us to get a result today was incredible,” he explained.
The West Ham manager believes that Chelsea will be a team competing for Champions League places, hence it will undoubtedly be difficult to play them. “There were lots of bits I liked. I like the word ‘brilliant’ for moments like Michail’s goal and Alphonse’s penalty save. There were parts of the game I didn’t like too though. I want us to have more possession and win the ball better. But there are sometimes other circumstances which are easy to talk about but are not easy in practice,” he added.
“They had a centre-forward in Nicolás Jackson who can run like Linford Christie, and if you press too high up the pitch then you could be done in behind. You could see how quick they were down the sides. They had the pace in midfield which meant our lads were always going to find some difficulty with it. So, it’s not just about us; it can also be about what the opposition do and can do to us. Right now, I think Chelsea look like a really good team.”
David Moyes on playing with 10 men
What made the win so special was that West Ham played the final quarter with 10 men following Nayef Aguerd’s second yellow. “I’m thrilled with how we hung in after going down to ten men. I don’t think Nayef should have gone to ground and made that second tackle after being booked, but I think we’re going to see a lot of cards this season,” he elaborated.
“Last year, I can’t remember us having a red card, but I think we’re going to see more people sent off this season. It will certainly make things a lot harder. We had to sit in and defend the box, which we did brilliantly well in the second half. I’ve got to say I’m also pleased with a couple of the counter-attacks we had, particularly the one that led to the penalty. It was good to see.”