West Ham 3 Chelsea 1: Rafa's revolution in tatters as Blues' winless steak extends to seven games
15:09 GMT, 1 December 2012
Rafael Benitez's Chelsea nightmare continued as West Ham hit back to inflict his first defeat in charge and extend his winless start as interim manager.
Already the first boss of the Roman Abramovich era not to oversee a victory in his opening two games under the Russian, it got worse for Benitez at Upton Park this afternoon as the Blues made it seven Barclays Premier League games without maximum points.
Juan Mata appeared to ease the pressure on the former Liverpool boss by ending the European champions' five-hour, 34-minute goal drought after 13 minutes.
Sealing the deal: Modibo Maiga ensures the three points for West Ham
At full stretch: Rafa Benitez has claimed just two points from a possible nine
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Tomkins (Taylor, 46), Noble, O'Neil (Diame 46), Nolan, Jarvis, Cole (Maiga 87). Subs not used: Spiegel, Spence, Fanimo, Moncur.
Goal: Cole 63, Diame 86, Maiga 90+1.
Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Moses (Marin 78), Hazard (Oscar 73), Mata, Torres. Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Bertrand, Romeu, Piazon.
Booked: Cech, Mikel.
Goal: Mata 13.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
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But the visitors squandered several
chances to score again and were deservedly made to pay through a
controversial Carlton Cole equaliser and goals from substitutes Mohamed
Diame and Modibo Maiga.
West Ham fans taunted Benitez with,
'You're getting sacked in the morning', while the torrent of abuse from
Chelsea supporters also continued.
There were early warning signs for
Chelsea today, with a defence reshaped by David Luiz's suspension
failing its first real test in the 10th minute when a straight free-kick
from James Collins sailed over everyone to Winston Reid, whose header
across goal was scrambled to safety by Cesar Azpilicueta.
Fernando Torres was dropping into
midfield to get involved with mixed results but it was the return of his
striking instincts that helped Chelsea end their longest goal drought
of the Abramovich era.
The Spaniard burst in behind onto Victor Moses' 13th-minute through ball
and coolly cut it back for Mata to sidefoot home easily,
Benitez kept his promise not to
celebrate the first goal of his reign, which did not spare him chants of
'One Di Matteo' and 'You're not welcome here' from the visiting fans,
along with the ubiquitous 'Rafa Out' banner.
On a run: West Ham won against Chelsea for the first time in the Premier League since 2003
In the ascendancy: Mohamed Diame blasts West Ham's second of the game
Chelsea should have given their
supporters something else to cheer about, Moses horribly mis-hitting his
20th-minute finish from Ramires' pass.
And after Carlton Cole – in for the
injured Andy Carroll – saw a shot blocked, Ramires and Torres blew a
four-on-two break, the latter skying his finish to spark the inevitable
“What a waste of money” chants.
West Ham were also causing problems
and thought they had equalised in the 33rd minute through Kevin Nolan's
close-range overhead kick but referee Martin Atkinson controversially
chalked it off for a push.
Happy Hammers: Players mob Carlton Cole after he came back to haunt his former club
Lean on me: Carlton Cole fends off Branislav Ivanovic to nod West Ham level
Mata could have made it 2-0 in the
40th minute when he fired Moses' cutback too close to Jussi Jaaskelainen
and saw his follow-up blocked by Joey O'Brien.
The home side had the final attempt
of the first half when Petr Cech was booked for punching the ball clear
outside his area the goalkeeper redeeming himself by tipping Nolan's
header over the bar from the resultant free-kick.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce had seen
enough by the break, sending on Matt Taylor and Diame for James Tomkins
and Gary O'Neil after what could only have been a half-time roasting.
No mistake: Juan Mata beats Jussi Jaaskelainen from close range to put the visitors ahead
Pointing the way: Juan Mata fired Chelsea ahead after 13 minutes
Both had the desired effect, Carlton
Cole's header from just inside the box sailing over before he got in the
way of Diame's effort.
Chelsea's defending became more
desperate, Branislav Ivanovic getting a vital touch to prevent Carlton
Cole turning in Nolan's pass after Cech went AWOL.
An equaliser looked only a matter of time and it arrived in the 63rd minute in controversial fashion.
Matt Jarvis' cross looped up off Azpilicueta and Carlton Cole climbed
all over Ivanovic to nod it in, Chelsea's protests only resulting in a
booking for John Mikel Obi.
Celebration time: Victor Moses joins Fernando Torres and Juan Mata after the latter's goa
Mayhem ensued and Jarvis tested Cech
before the visitors surged down the other end, Torres scuffing a
glorious rebound chance straight at Jaaskelainen after the keeper saved
from Eden Hazard.
Mark Noble was booked for clattering
into Ramires and Mata almost added further punishment when he hit the
inside of the post with a brilliant free-kick.
Moses appealed in vain for a penalty
under Taylor's challenge and Hazard failed to chip Jaaskelainen after
the keeper threw the ball straight to him.
The drought goes on: Fernando Torres was once again a shadow of his former self
Oscar immediately replaced the Belgian but West Ham were still on top and Moses soon departed for Marko Marin.
Although Chelsea enjoyed some pressure, they were almost undone when Noble sent Jarvis clear and Cech came to the rescue again.
Ashley Cole did likewise from the resultant corner, nodding Reid's header off the line but West Ham were not to be denied.
Caught out: Petr Cech reacts to his yellow card after handling outside the area
With four minutes remaining, a
throw-in found its way to Carlton Cole, who laid the ball off to Diame
to drill home and it got worse in stoppage time when fellow substitute
Maiga followed up after Taylor's shot was parried.
Torres had the final say with a header that was saved but it was already too late.
Watching brief: Sam Allardyce and Rafa Benitez look on as Cesar Azpilicueta tackles Joey O'Brien