Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Saturday as Joao Felix’s opener was cancelled out by ex-Blues defender Emerson Palmieri, leaving Graham Potter’s expensively assembled team still a long way from a top-four spot.
Felix, returning to the team after the on-loan Portuguese winger was sent off in his Chelsea debut last month, side-footed home in the 16th minute after a pinpoint pass by British record signing Enzo Fernandez, one of Stamford Bridge’s many new faces.
Chelsea sought to extend their lead but it was their former wing-back Emerson who equalised in the 28th minute when he arrived unmarked at the far post to meet a headed flick-on by Jarrod Bowen and shoot past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In a second half of few chances, Tomas Soucek put the ball in the back of the net in the 82nd minute but Declan Rice, who headed the ball on to the Czech, was ruled offside by VAR.
A few minutes later, Chelsea appealed in vain for a penalty, claiming substitute Conor Gallagher’s shot was stopped by Soucek’s hand.
Chelsea were not awarded a penalty after this handball. Good decision? #WHUCHE pic.twitter.com/9Ocdq67zaW
— Reyi (@Reinaldodcg9) February 11, 2023
The draw meant Chelsea have now won only one of their last seven league games – and they have not won away since October. They stayed ninth in the table, nine points behind fourth-placed Newcastle who have played a game less.
Chelsea coach Potter said he saw positives in the performance of his players, especially in the first half when the Blues, as well as scoring through Felix, had the ball in the back of the net twice but both were ruled out for offside.
“It was a step forward for us in terms of the previous game and lots to go forward with,” he told BT Sport.Advertisement
“We had real control of the game and it was a cheap goal from our perspective. That lifts the crowd and makes it more difficult but that is something we have to manage better. We will get better from the experience.”Top Sports News Now
West Ham climbed up to 15th but are only two points ahead of Everton, the highest placed team in the relegation spots.
West Ham manager David Moyes said he was happy that his side survived Chelsea’s early dominance.Advertisement
“If you had given me a point after 20 minutes I’d have shook your hand and walked away. We didn’t start well and they were good but we made some basic errors defensively,” Moyes told the BBC.Also Read‘Can’t understand why coming here would damage Henderson’s legacy and Mes...Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo looks bemused after being snubbed for player of ...Jose Mourinho substitutes Roma player, forces his own team to play with 1...Neymar set for Saudi move after Al Hilal agree near-USD100M transfer fee ...
“I was hoping it was going to be our day but we had a couple of close calls as well. We take the point and it keeps a bit of a better run going right now.”