Chelsea 0-0 West Ham Match Report (Premier League) – Wednesday 29th January 2014

Chelsea were held to a 0-0 draw at home with West Ham, a result that seriously damaged their title push on a night when Man City moved top with yet another impressive performance, beating Spurs 5-1 in London. The Blues are now three points behind City and two back from Arsenal and in the eyes of the bookmakers – and most people up and down the country – the title is now very much City’s to lose.

Three points at home to West Ham was fully expected and on the balance of the game was fully warranted. Much as Sam Allardyce can be proud of the resistance his team showed, the stats paint a picture of total home dominance that was a fair reflection of the game. Jose Mourinho’s men had 72% of the ball and had a huge 39 shots compared to just one for the visitors. That only nine of those 39 were on target is indicative of Chelsea’s poor finishing, a problem that has plagued them all season and whilst Hammers goalkeeper Adrian made three or four good stops, for the most part he was untroubled.

Mourinho claimed his side played against “19th century” football and that the only way they could have got past the “wall” they faced was with heavy duty DIY tools. Unfortunately this is a familiar tune from the Special One, who cannot seriously have been surprised that a side that had conceded 17 goals in their last five would come to defend. The Hammers came into this clash in 19th place and almost every “small” side that comes to somewhere like Stamford Bridge is more than likely going to defend and play for a point.

Would Man City have failed to break the Hammers down, or even Liverpool? This game proved once more what everyone – including, of course, Mourinho himself – already knew: Chelsea need a world class striker.

Whilst Samuel Eto’o has shown signs of improvement he was unable to score here, having one good effort well saved. Demba Ba replaced Oscar after 80 minutes – too late many will feel – and he flicked an attempt onto the post whilst the man he replaced had earlier seen a curling shot pushed onto the bar as well.

The home side just weren’t quite good enough and although they briefly hit their stride towards the end of both halves, John Terry having a header well saved near the end of the first period and Frank Lampard seeing a shot from 10 yards blocked in stoppage time, they just couldn’t make the breakthrough.

The visitors created nothing, their main striker Andy Carroll predominantly occupied in defence, clearing many set pieces but there can be no doubt that Allardyce will have been delighted with the point.

Next up for the Blues, a trip to the Etihad on Monday night where they will need to improve massively to get anything against the seemingly unstoppable Citizens and it could be Mourinho “parking the bus”.