Most Chelsea fans would’ve felt a sense of déjà vu when Marko Arnautovic put West Ham into an early lead, having gone behind early on against Newcastle last week. But this time the Blues couldn’t turn it around and laboured to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of David Moyes and the Hammers. Despite having around 70% possession, Chelsea couldn’t break down a stubborn West Ham side and also looked uncomfortable at the back. It was one of the poorer performances of the season by Antonio Conte’s men as they fall further behind in the title race.

Things didn’t seem right from the start for Chelsea – Gary Cahill said that they were way off the pace throughout the game in his press conference after but this was a particularly slow start. Arnautovic, who was excellent all game, played a one-two with Manuel Lanzini on the edge of the Chelsea penalty area and found himself in a dangerous position. He shifted the ball onto his left foot and bent it round Cesar Azpilicueta and beyond the reach of Thibaut Courtois to put West Ham in front.

The Hammers continued to put the pressure on Chelsea’s back line which led to some very uncomfortable moments for Thibaut Courtois and Andreas Christensen. After this period of pressure, West Ham retreated to solid banks of 5 and 4. Arthur Masuaku was having the game of his life on the left-hand side and caused Davide Zappacosta all kinds of problems. On the other side there was Tiemoue Bakayoko – he seemed completely lost in the Chelsea midfield and was wandering around without doing much at all. He picked up some good attacking positions but the attack always seemed to break down when he had, and lost, possession.

Alvaro Morata had a penalty shout turned down when he went over under the challenge of Winston Reid before he came mightily close to putting his team level. The ball looped up towards Eden Hazard at the back post and he volleyed the ball goal-wards, inches away from Morata’s knee, and it flew past the far post. Half time came and Pedro made his entrance, replacing Tiemoue Bakayoko, but Antonio Conte stuck with his 3-5-2 formation with Pedro fitting into centre midfield. It was a very quiet second half for both goalkeepers; Adrian wasn’t kept busy because of the tireless West Ham defenders while Thibaut Courtois was virtually a spectator as he watched his team dominate.

That domination came without reward, however. Inside the last 10 minutes, N’Golo Kante found Alvaro Morata with a ball that eluded the Hammers’ defence but Chelsea’s top scorer this season could only fire wide from close range. The side netting felt the full force of the powerful strike and Adrian’s goal continued to lead a charmed life. Just a couple of minutes later, Eden Hazard found himself in space on the edge of the West Ham area but fired his effort high and wide of the left-hand side of the goal. Things were just not falling for the Belgian and his teammates.

With Hazard, Morata, Pedro, Fabregas, Willian and Moses on the pitch during the closing stages, Chelsea still couldn’t make the breakthrough and the final whistle brought relief to David Moyes and the rest of the London Stadium. It was the Scot’s first win in charge of the Irons and it was a thoroughly deserved one as his team showed the necessary fight and passion to down the Premier League Champions.