West Ham in trouble
Violence mars Hammers win over Chelsea
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.
West Ham United’s fans clash with Chelsea fans in their EFL Cup match in London