Jose Mourinho and Nemanja Matic were both sent off as Chelsea suffered another defeat on Saturday. The Blues lost 2-1 at West Ham after goals from Mauro Zarate and Andy Carroll for the home side, leaving the Blues now sitting 15th in the table having amassed only half the number of points of Man City or Arsenal. Gary Cahill had equalised for the 10-man visitors, 10 minutes after his manager was dismissed for comments made to the referee at half time, but it was an uphill battle and Carroll’s 79th minute strike settled it.
The team picked for this trip was unchanged from the one which drew with Dynamo Kiev. Matic and Ramires lined up in central midfield as a defensive-minded pairing, with Cesc Fabregas in the number 10 role. Once again there was no Branislav Ivanovic, with Kurt Zouma continuing at right back. Marco Amelia was on the bench after joining on a free to add goalkeeping cover.
The slightly makeshift defence that Mourinho named struggled from a set piece again, conceding after failing to deal with a corner. It was Mauro Zarate who finished off just before the 20 minute mark, much to the delight of the home support. After wins against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, the Hammers fans have seen their team thrive against the big guns.
Recently the Chelsea players’ mentality has seen them crumble when behind in games, and that could have played a part in Nemanja Matic’s dismissal. There wasn’t too much to argue about his red card after two clear bookings, but it clearly infuriated the Blues staff. Mourinho’s assistant Silvio Lauro was then sent from the touchline after his reaction to the decision. Fabregas and Diego Costa were both booked in the aftermath as well.
Mourinho continued his complaints into the half time break, trying to talk to the referee at half time. It brought back memories of the infamous Barcelona game in 2005, and the more recent charge handed to the manager by the FA. With a suspended stadium ban hanging over his head, that was a startlingly careless decision by the Portuguese.
He watched the second half from a directors’ box, the lone Blue in a sea of Claret fans. That’s where he sat to watch Cahill’s equaliser, a goal that came after a cross from Willian. While this has been an awful season for Chelsea, it’s hard to imagine just where they’d be without the Brazilian’s set pieces.
While West Ham have played some neat stuff this season, it was a route one approach that helped to secure them the win. Carroll, who always causes John Terry problems, was the one who popped up with the goal. He’s not seen much action, but he did manage to hit the winner. That result keeps West Ham in the top four, with Chelsea in the bottom half.
Mourinho refused to speak to the media after the game, so questions over his future have gone unanswered. His short term future is simple, a now massive game away to Stoke in the League Cup on Tuesday.
LCN Man of the Match: Willian