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West Ham United 2-1 Chelsea: Post-match reaction

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Clive Rose/Getty Images

Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. On today's evidence, the gods wish to destroy football.

Chelsea's season has been bad enough that we're used to the team playing appallingly and losing, which is therefore how this match is likely to be interpreted. But it was something different, something far more interesting. The defeat at West Ham came thanks to razor-fine margins, and if not for the breaks going the Hammers' way -- this isn't to say that they didn't deserve the win -- we might all be in a very different mood right now.

Consider:

  • Mauro Zarate, who scored the opener, started for Victor Moses, who couldn't play for Chelsea because we're his parent club.
  • Diego Costa missed his clearance by an inch. John Terry failed to block Zarate's volley, by an inch.
  • Kurt Zouma's superb header from a corner was cleared off the line, by an inch.
  • In the immediate aftermath of that goal not going in, Nemanja Matic was forced into taking a booking on a counterattack.
  • Cesc Fabregas had a goal ruled out for offside. If he was off, it was by an inch.
  • Ok, Matic's red was fairly standard being-stupid.
  • Jose Mourinho's red card was not standard in any way.

Anyway. We had some brief hope when Gary Cahill got us back in the game with a smartly-taken half volley, but Andy Carroll dispelled that ten minutes from a header. He was being marked by Cesar Azpilicueta, who couldn't have got to that ball if he'd stood on one of his clones' shoulders.

Honestly, this is a difficult one to rate. We played reasonably well all match, battled back well from a big disadvantage that was in many ways down to luck, and simply couldn't hold out. That happens. Unfortunately, it also happens in the context of a series of disasters, so ... have at it, I suppose.