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West Ham beat Chelsea 3-2 in EPL

West Ham beat Chelsea 3-2 in EPL
Players of West Ham and Chelsea fight for the ball during their Premier League match.
London, Jul 2 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/2/2020 10:05:13 AM IST

Andriy Yarmolenko stepped off the bench to hit the winner as West Ham shrugged off VAR controversy to beat Chelsea 3-2 and give their Premier League survival hopes a huge boost.

The Hammers had controversially been denied an opener when Tomas Soucek’s strike was scrubbed out by VAR but battled back from Willian’s (42) penalty to lead when Soucek (45+2) and Michail Antonio (51) netted either side of the break.

However, a superb free-kick from Willian (72) looked to have shared the points until West Ham broke away and Antonio teed up Yarmolenko to cut past Antonio Rudiger to fire home in the 89th minute.

That goal sealed just the third win of David Moyes’ second tenure at West Ham and lifts the Hammers three points above the relegation zone with six games remaining.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will be frustrated at failing to capitalise on Leicester’s loss to Everton earlier in the day, when a win in east London would have moved them up to third.

With only goal difference keeping West Ham out of the relegation zone at kick-off, they were pushed back early on by Chelsea, with Marcos Alonso and Willian hitting the target for the Blues, who were wearing their new home shirts.

But Antonio was a threat on the break and should have done better when he scuffed wide on 13 minutes. Pulisic then blew a good chance of his own at the other end, curling over from 15 yards out as Chelsea resumed control.

However, it was West Ham who thought they’d taken the lead against the run of play on 34 minutes when Soucek finished off a goalmouth scramble - but after three and a half minutes of deliberation, VAR ruled the floored Antonio was offside.

Chelsea rubbed salt in West Ham wounds by winning a penalty at the other end moments later when Pulisic was too slick for Issa Diop and Willian made no mistake from the spot.

But West Ham refused to be denied and from another corner, Soucek once again got the better of Cesar Azpilicueta at the back post and headed the hosts level seconds before the half-time whistle with his first goal for the club.

West Ham began the second half impressively and within six minutes of the restart completed the comeback when Antonio - who had a good penalty appeal against Rudiger in the build-up - slammed home Jarrod Bowen’s low centre.

But hopes of a vital win were short-lived, and when the standout Pulisic was brought down on the edge of the box Willian whipped a fantastic free-kick in off the post - although Lukasz Fabianski’s positioning on his side of the wall looked questionable.

Sub Jack Wilshere - making his first appearance since October - played in Antonio for a one-on-one but Kepa Arrizabalaga was out well to deal with the danger before Chelsea replacement Olivier Giroud mis-kicked at the vital moment at the other end.

There was no mistake from Yarmolenko though. The ice-cool Ukrainian - who had left Alonso trailing - showed exemplary composure in the final moments to twist past Rudiger and fired past Kepa to grab three vital points for his side. Chelsea host Watford on Saturday while West Ham travel to Newcastle on Sunday.

 

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