It wasn't very pretty, but every club has days when they just aren't at their best. Luckily for Chelsea, they were able to take maximum points away from their trip to East London, maintaining the five point lead on top of the Premier League table, with a match in hand against the league's worst side.
The game's only goal came from a source only slightly more likely than John Obi Mikel, when Eden Hazard scored with his head for the second time this season. The goal came after several excellent Chelsea chances couldn't be knocked home, and at the time, it was hard to imagine that there wouldn't be several more tallies before the final whistle blew.
1-0 will do for Chelsea fans though, and the boys will now have the weekend off (FA Cup) before their date with PSG at Stamford Bridge. Thoughts:
- I quite dislike the Matrix-styled third kit. I like the colors, but hate the shirt design. Hopefully we don't see much more of it, as the yellow kits are swell.
- This West Ham side has an awful lot of underrated talent. If they can keep everyone together next season and manage to stay healthy, they should in the hunt for a European place.
- For the first time since Mourinho started complaining about the way Chelsea has been referee'd this season, I feel like the Blues may have gotten a few sympathy calls on fouls that Andre Marriner hadn't even seen, such as James Collins' yellow. It was a pretty poor performance overall from the referee, but it feels like he went out of his way to make sure Chelsea weren't overly hard done by due to his obvious shortcomings.
- How Ramires finished today's match without putting a ball in the back of the net is beyond me. The Brazilian had a great match, and probably should have finished with two goals and an assist.
- Kurt Zouma might not be the overall player that David Luiz is, but he's a better emergency option as a holding midfielder (in my opinion) than the Brazilian ever was. I like the simple approach he takes, making sure he doesn't make an error, and trying to find a more creative outlet to feed the ball to as opposed to attempting something he's not capable of. That said, I'm pretty happy that Nemanja Matic's suspension is now over.