West Ham in trou­ble

Vi­o­lence mars Ham­mers win over Chelsea

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International -

Crowd trou­ble marred West Ham United’s con­tin­ued resur­gence as fans clashed at the Lon­don Sta­dium near the end of their 2-1 League Cup derby vic­tory over Chelsea on Wed­nes­day.

Goals from Cheikhou Kouy­ate and Edim­il­son Fer­nan­des earned West Ham a third con­sec­u­tive win to put them in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion while Gary Cahill’s stop­page time con­so­la­tion went al­most un­no­ticed as trou­ble brewed.

Spe­cial security ar­range­ments had been put in place for the most volatile match yet staged at West Ham’s new sta­dium, in­clud­ing an al­co­hol ban and a re­duc­tion in tick­ets on sale.

For the most part the 45,000 crowd were bois­ter­ous but or­derly un­til, with vic­tory vir­tu­ally se­cured for West Ham, ri­val fans be­gan surg­ing to­wards each other be­hind the goal guarded by home keeper Dar­ren Ran­dolph.

Ste­wards had their hands full try­ing to keep hun­dreds of fans apart and sev­eral plas­tic seats were ripped out and thrown from the home fans to­wards the Chelsea sec­tion.

Po­lice in riot gear fi­nally ar­rived to quell the trou­ble be­fore it got out of con­trol although fur­ther dis­tur­bances were re­ported out­side the ground.

In a state­ment, the club said: “West Ham un­re­servedly con­demn the be­hav­iour of in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in in­ci­dents dur­ing this evening’s fix­ture with Chelsea.”

“What­ever hap­pened we are to­tally against it as a club. For those kind of things to hap­pen it’s un­ac­cept­able.”

The Chelsea match was flagged up as a po­ten­tial flash­point.

“I don’t re­ally like to see these sit­u­a­tions. It’s im­por­tant to al­ways see the right at­mos­phere and in Eng­land this as­pect is fan­tas­tic,” Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte said.

Conte was more dis­ap­pointed with his side’s exit from the com­pe­ti­tion. Tight security ar­range­ments, in­clud­ing a ban on the sale of al­co­hol in the vicin­ity of the Olympic Park, was in­tended to pre­vent flash­points off the pitch, but there were still ugly scenes to­wards the end as ri­val fans clashed be­hind the goal.

Southamp­ton’s record sign­ing Sofi­ane Bo­ufal scored from long range in the sec­ond half in their 1-0 vic­tory over Sun­der­land, a fourth de­feat in five games.

/REUTERS

West Ham United’s fans clash with Chelsea fans in their EFL Cup match in Lon­don

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