Chelsea drop first points
CHELSEA dropped their first Premier League points after a frustrating London derby at West Ham.
The visitors enjoyed 71% of possession at London Stadium, but failed to score for the first time this season.
Despite seeing little of the ball, West Ham had the best chance to win it as Robert Snodgrass picked out the unmarked Andriy Yarmolenko on 78 minutes, but the Ukrainian sent his header wide.
Second-half substitute Alvaro Morata almost made an instant impact for Chelsea, but he was unable to steer the ball past Lukasz Fabianski from close range, as the Blues missed their chance to keep pace with league leaders Liverpool.
Maurizio Sarri’s men remain third after Manchester City won on Saturday, while Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers side stay in 17th.
Eden Hazard has been in magnificent form for Chelsea this season, exemplified by the superb hat-trick that inspired victory after they fell behind to Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge.
Yesterday, the brilliant Belgian was kept in check by West Ham and consequently the Blues’ threat was hugely reduced, with winger Pedro injured and striker Olivier Giroud on the periphery.
Chelsea’s best chance fell to the feet of substitute Morata after he replaced Giroud in the 65th minute, but he was thwarted by the bravery of Fabianski.
It summed up the visitors’ frustration as their 100% winning start came to an end in a performance that was flat and lacking in energy, perhaps understandable after Thursday’s trip to Greece to face PAOK in the Europa League.
Ross Barkley almost snatched it late on with a long-range effort that brought another excellent save low to his left from Fabianski, but this was not a Chelsea display that deserved three points.
The Blues remain undefeated under Sarri in competitive action and, despite the dropped points here, this still represents a satisfactory start for the Italian.