Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday Night Football: Chelsea bags late win over West Ham

Chelsea 2-1 West Ham
The Antonio Conte era began at Chelsea with a match against a West Ham side with great ambitions for this new season. His side played a quick and direct style early on in the hatch, but it wasn't resulting in very many chances. The first half was filled with some quick runs by Diego Costa, but no real looks at goal.

West Ham were similarly ineffective. They didn't have the possession to create anything, though. There were times when the Hammers struggled to get the ball out of their own half. Chelsea's attackers were doing well to create turnovers that led to minor looks at goal.

The second half picked up quickly. Eden Hazard for the chance to put cherries in front by drawing a target obvious penalty in the 46th minute. He roofed his shot with authority and the Blues were in front.

West Ham, while not looking great, wasn't going away. They brought Dmitri Payet on for a little more attacking power, and it worked. His chance creation led to free kicks and corners, one of which provided James Collins's wonderful equalizer in the 77th.

But this is the new look Chelsea were talking about here. Gone are the days of folding for an incompetent manager and here are the days of renewed life until Antonio Conte. They got their 89th minute winner on a low shot from Diego Costa that never looked like a goal until it surprisingly rolled over the line.

West Ham will feel they deserved a point in today, although they weren't exactly great overall. They had a late draw in the works and it was foiled by a seemingly harmless shot and their late pressure was fruitless.

It's a comforting opening win for Chelsea, who have themselves a new manager and plenty of new faces to turn around last season's misfortunes.

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