A first-half strike from Eden Hazard was enough to hand Chelsea a 1-0 victory over West Ham United in their Premier League clash on Wednesday.
The Hammers were the first team to threaten as Kevin Nolan found Cheikhou Kouyate on the edge of the area, but the midfielder failed to beat Thibaut Courtois with a drive from the edge of the box.
Jose Mourinho’s men edged ahead when Ramires crossed from the right and his delivery was pinpoint for Hazard as the Belgian guided his header past Adrian.
West Ham almost got themselves level when Diafra Sakho managed to get free in the penalty area and he headed a powerful effort towards goal, but Courtois made an excellent save to turn the ball past the post.
After the break, Sam Allardyce’s men pushed to get back into the match and Sakho did well to collect Kouyate’s cross, but he could only drill his effort into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Chelsea kicked into gear minutes later as Diego Costa released the run of Ramires through the middle with a defence-splitting pass, and although midfielder’s strike beat Adrian, it failed to find the net as the ball crashed off the post.
The Blues pushed forward again in numbers and Hazard almost repaid the favour from his strike when he found Ramires with a cross into the box, but the Brazilian was denied by a good save from Adrian.
The game became an end-to-end affair as West Ham came close to finding an equaliser as Stewart Downing raided down the left and whipped a cross to Sakho, only for the striker to miss the target with a header from close range.
Chelsea managed to see out the victory, despite the Hammers’ best efforts in the final minutes of the game at Upton Park.