Chelsea put in a solid display when they took the short hop across the capital to visit West Ham on Saturday, with Frank Lampard grabbing a brace against his former club on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Jose Mourinho’s men never looked in any serious danger of conceding, as much an indication of the Hammers’ lack of attacking options as Chelsea’s solidity. And after a confident start the Blues got the breakthrough after Oscar was brought down by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen in the area after a poor back-pass from Guy Demel. Lampard duly converted from the spot against the club at which he made his name but whose fans never really appreciated his talents (fools!).
Oscar and Eden Hazard, with decent support from Lampard, were pulling the strings in the centre of the park and it was Oscar himself who made it 2-0 after 34 minutes when his drilled strike went into the bottom corner.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce obviously gave his side something of a rollicking in the dressing room at half time as they emerged after the break showing more fight and desire. But they still fell way short of their visitors in the quality stakes and managed to muster only a single shot on target in the whole match.
The Blues, meanwhile, played with an assurance that will have pleased Mourinho, and after they created a number of goal-scoring opportunities it was left to Lampard – already Chelsea’s all-time highest scorer – to put the icing on the cake in the 82nd minute when an initial shot from Hazard was blocked and fell to Lamps who made no mistake from the edge of the box.
Another West Ham old boy, Demba Ba, who came on for a cameo minutes before his side’s third goal, had a goal disallowed for offside late in the game, but on another day the marginal decision could have gone the way of the Blues. But overall it was a dominant display, and while Chelsea were expected to win they still had to do the business on the pitch, and they did it without needing to overexert themselves.
The win moves the Blues up to third in the table, level on 24 points with Liverpool (who drew 3-3 at Everton) and four points behind leaders Arsenal, who themselves put in a solid performance as they beat in-form Southampton 2-0 at the Emirates.
Chelsea’s next Premier League match will be played on Sunday 1st December when the Saints will visit Stamford Bridge looking to bounce back from that defeat to the Gunners. Prior to that, though, is a Champions League trip to Basel, where Mourinho will hope his side can seal progression to the knockout stage of the competition. If they play like they did on Saturday we think they’ll certainly have a very good chance.