Arnautovic Nets First Hammers Goal To Down Blues In Shock Win

Match Report West Ham United

A first-half volley from Marko Arnautovic was enough to overcome a shell-shocked Chelsea side under Antonio Conte and deliver David Moyes a first win in charge of West Ham United at The London Stadium on Saturday.

The Austrian’s strike came in just the eighth minute of The Premier League clash, as the travelling Blues enjoyed plenty of possession but could never really find a final ball.

When they did have their moments, however, the likes of Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard were unable to find their shooting boots, much to the delight of a very vocal Claret & Blue Army from the Stands.

The historic win for the home side, their first since late September, moves The Irons a single place up to 18th, a step closer to safety, whereas, The West Londoners, with their fourth PL defeat of the season, remained in third place and now 14 off The Citizens’ pace at the top.

From the start in East London, David Moyes decided on three changes from his side’s slim defeat at the hands of Manchester City last Sunday evening at The Etihad Stadium.

Returning to the starting Xl was Skipper Mark Noble, his Vice-Captain Winston Reid in defence and club-record winger Marko Arnautovic, they took the places of youngsters Edimilson Fernandes and Declan Rice and the injured Cheikhou Kouyate.

Whereas, Antonio Conte also made three alterations in the wake of the impressive Premier League home victory over Newcastle United last Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

In defence, Captain Gary Cahill replaced Antonio Rudiger, further up the field, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Davide Zappacosta took the places of Victor Moses and former Leicester City man Danny Drinkwater.

On a very chilly afternoon indeed in East London, the hosts would get off to the best possible start, shocking the visitors by taking the lead with the first real goalmouth action of the affair.

A free-flowing Hammers move found its way to Pablo Zabaleta down the right, who found Michail Antonio with a short pass, he was able to pick out Manuel Lanzini, eventually feeding Arnautovic.

The Austrian took the ball in his stride to find the far bottom corner with a well-placed effort from just inside the box, giving Thibaut Courtois no chance and raising the roof on the former Olympic Stadium.

But, the away side were not going to back down and began a long period of domination, enjoying more than their fair share of possession with very little end product to show for it.

The closest they came was when Adrian San-Miguel, retaining his place in goal ahead of England man Joe Hart, was forced to make two strong saves in quick succession.

The first spot came from a dipping N’Golo Kante shot, tipping it around the post nicely, from the resulting corner, Zappacosta was able to exchange passes with the Frenchman before trying his own luck from a little closer, the Spaniard between the sticks equal to it once more.

Prior to that, Morata had a penalty claim turned down after going to ground softly from a Winston Reid challenge and Hazard flashed a volley across the face of goal, with no attacker in white able to get a decisive touch on the end of it.

Despite being hemmed in for most of the half, Moyes’ boys made it to the break in the ascendancy, readying for a second period onslaught as the away side swapped midfielder Bakayoko for the more attack-minded Pedro.

However, it would be the home side doing most of the early pressing as Arnautovic had a seemingly legitimate penalty claim turned down by Referee Anthony Taylor.

Having been played in on the left side, the Austria International was deprived of the ball by the outstretched arm of Andreas Christensen, the Norwegian was rather fortunate in that instance.

Despite this, there would be yet one more opportunity for Arnautovic, after being put clean through by Antonio, he was unable to beat Courtois from a one-on-one, the linesman’s flag was up anyway on the far side.

This early pressure paved the way for a late Blues push as the hosts looked to dig in for a vital three points, the man pulling the strings on the offensive was Kante.

He was able to provide Conte’s men with their best attacking moment of the match, slipping in Morata for a fantastic opportunity, but the Spain man could only fire inches wide of the target.

Kante again was creating in the latter stages of the tie, laying off Morata to set up Hazard for a go from the edge of the box, although he could only fire a considerable distance over the bar.

But, The West Londoners were thwarted many a time in the last ten minutes by a stern Hammers defence, unable to create anything of note meaning that Adrian kept a proud clean sheet to ensure his Manager made the right call.

That man Moyes is now off the mark in terms of wins In charge in East London by defeating a bitter local rival, the Derbies are coming thick and fast though with Arsenal up next in The Premier League on Wednesday night.

Whereas, The Blues are also in action midweek, looking to redeem themselves after a very disappointing afternoon indeed, they will face off with Huddersfield Town away from home in two days’ time.

Hammer of the Match: Arthur Masuaku.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.