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Havertz relief! Chelsea winners, losers and ratings as VAR aids victory over West Ham

19:07 SAST 2022/09/03
Kai Havertz celebrate West Ham Chelsea 2022-23
Chelsea came back from behind to secure a much-needed 2-1 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Kai Havertz sure needed that! And so too did the Blues.

The German hadn't scored a Premier League goal since May 22 - but he ended his slump in the 88th minute Saturday by sweeping in a low Ben Chilwell cross in a powerful response to being dropped from the starting line-up.

Havertz was one of several usual first-team players left out, as Thomas Tuchel also benched Jorginho and Mason Mount after a disastrous mid-week defeat to Southampton.

It wasn't a perfect all-round showing by the Blues, but Tuchel will take it.

The Hammers found a breakthrough just after the hour mark, with Chelsea's calamitous defending giving them a helping hand. Once again, Tuchel's team failed to deal with a corner and the ball eventually broke for Michail Antonio to tap home.

Chilwell, brilliant off the bench, levelled the score soon after coming on. The wing-back took down Thiago Silva's long ball expertly and then nutmegged Lukasz Fabianski with a deft finish. He was involved in the winner too, setting up Havertz to be the hero in the final minutes of an intense second half.

West Ham then thought they had an equaliser, only for Maxwel Cornet's apparent goal to be controversially disallowed by VAR.

  • Ben Chilwell Chelsea 2022-23

    The Winners

    Winner: Kai Havertz

    The German has not been a popular man with Chelsea fans so far this season. His winner came through a fairly standard conversion most forwards at his level would score, but it will nonetheless provide a huge confidence boost.

    He needed this. Tuchel needed this. Chelsea needed this.

    Winner: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

    With the Blues' front players underperforming for much of the game, Aubameyang may be able to walk straight into the team when fit.

    Tuchel started Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic up top on Saturday, a pair of out of position wingers not as suited as Aubameyang to lead a line.

    Winner: Ben Chilwell

    It's been a long road back to full fitness for Chilwell, and everyone at Stamford Bridge was pumped up to see him put in such a strong shift. Havertz will get the headlines, but Chilwell was the driving attacking force down the left wing in the second half.

    Cucurella's arrival in the summer had put his position in the side under doubt, but after such an impressive substitute cameo, he may force Tuchel into more of a rotation if he continues in this way.

  • West Ham goal pile Chelsea 2022-23

    The Losers

    Loser: Christian Pulisic

    After being handed a rare start by Thomas Tuchel, the American failed to stake a claim for a regular spot in the first XI.

    Fielded alongside Sterling, he rarely gave the ball away but needed to take more risks as his side were crying out for an offensive spark.

    You cannot help but feel he should have left the club in the summer for his own sake.

    Loser: Goalkeepers

    Mendy set the tone with his unassertive role in West Ham's opener and Fabianski nearly topped his antics by getting nutmegged soon after.

    The Blues stopper was also perhaps lucky on Maxwel Cornet's disallowed goal, when he limply parried the ball to Cornet when challenged by Jarrod Bowen.

    Loser: Maxwel Cornet

    What a way it would have been to score his first West Ham goal. Unfortunately, VAR had other ideas.

    On balance it was probably the right decision to chalk off his powerful effort, but this did not make it any less sickening for the former Burnley man.

  • Edouard Mendy Chelsea 2022-23

    Chelsea Ratings: Defence

    Edouard Mendy (5/10):

    What's happened to Mendy?! Another off game from a goalkeeper recently considered among the Premier League's best, if not Europe's best. He failed to properly clear a corner to set up Antonio's goal, did a circle in no-man's land when Cornet crashed an effort into the post when he had the whole goal to aim at and nearly let in the late equaliser when challenged for the ball by Bowen.

    Wesley Fofana (6/10):

    Looked well-suited to Tuchel's system on the right side of the back-three. Decent in possession but could have been stronger for Antonio's goal.

    Thiago Silva (7/10):

    Set up Chilwell's goal with one of his trademark, searching long passes. Started Chelsea's attacks with typical composure from the base of defence.

    Kalidou Koulibaly (7/10): Sprayed some excellent crossfield passes. Defended authoritatively for the most part and timed his tackles well.

  • Conor Gallagher Chelsea West Ham 2022-23

    Midfield

    Reece James (6/10): Chelsea's best player in the first half, though he faded late and played a horrific backwards header to nearly gift West Ham an equaliser.

    Conor Gallagher (5/10): A couple of loose passes early on. Full of energy but not massively creative. It's been a struggle for him this year.

    Ruben Loftus-Cheek (5/10): Picked up an early booking for an unnecessary foul. Not as domineering as he has been in recent weeks.

    Mateo Kovacic (5/10):

    A welcome return to the starting line-up, but he is clearly not firing on all cylinders just yet.

    Marc Cucurella (5/10):

    Booked for a wild challenge in the first half. Swung in a load of crosses, but there was not enough bodies in the box.

  • Christian Pulisic Chelsea West Ham 2022-23

    Attack

    Raheem Sterling (4/10):

    Not sure he does his best work as part of a nominal front two. Some good link-up play but did not affect the game consistently.

    Christian Pulisic (4/10):

    Neat and tidy in the final third, but was too safe at times. Needs to start driving at players more frequently.

  • Kai Havertz Chelsea West Ham 2022-23

    Subs & Manager

    Armando Broja (5/10):

    Fans were calling for him to start, but was not that influential after coming on.

    Mason Mount (5/10):

    A couple of strange decisions in the final third.

    Ben Chilwell (9/10):

    Made an immediate impact with an excellent finish, then set up the winner.

    Kai Havertz (8/10):

    First goal of the season came at a perfect time.

    Thomas Tuchel (6/10):

    The German altered his line-up to try and spark a reaction from players. Got the result, though it wasn't the prettiest performance.