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Chelsea vs. West Ham, half-time: Slim lead for wasteful Blues

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Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea have taken a good long while to get going on what started as a somber afternoon at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea remember one of our own, the legendary Ray Wilkins who passed away this week. A full minute’s applause when the clock read 8, Butch’s usual number, was the game’s highlight for a most of the first-half.

But eventually, Chelsea’s quality over the visiting Hammers started to tell, even if Hazard’s flicks have mostly gone to the opposition and Morata has dithered on more passes than can be counted easily. Yet it was the two of them who combined for a wonderful goal, which was unfortunately ruled out for offside, and were central to a similar move not much later, which unfortunately Willian failed to finish, drawing an excellent toe-save from Joe Hart.

Chelsea did eventually find the breakthrough and it was far from pretty. A short corner was played to an unmarked Moses, who played what looked like the umpteenth overhit cross to the far post. But Morata got a head to it, nodded it back, and Azpilicueta bundled it home. Dave may not be wearing the captain’s armband today with Cahill restored, but that was a captain’s goal at a much-needed time. A kiss of the badge and an acknowledgement of Wilkins completed his wonderful celebration as well.

Chelsea of course took the lead last weekend as well only to succumb to three Spurs goals later. This weekend we’ve at least managed to make it to half still with a clean sheet. They’ve threatened a bit, mostly early, especially when Arnautovic was played in over the top of Cahill, but so far so good for Chelsea’s Christensen-less back three.

So, more of the same, perhaps a bit better. Chelsea have had a few games lately when the second-half effort dropped off precipitously, and that must not be allowed to happen again today. An early second-half goal could do wonders.