Putting in what was another downbeat display on Saturday lunchtime, Chelsea eventually had to settle for a 1-1 draw against West Ham at the London Stadium.
While the returning Joao Felix might have opened the scoring after just 16 minutes following a maiden Premier League assist from Enzo Fernandez, Graham Potter’s struggling squad once again failed to lay down any kind of marker.
Holding the lead for just 12 minutes as ex-Chelsea defender Emerson Palmieri poked home at the back post, the Blues find themselves under a huge amount of scrutiny and will know that they missed out on a real chance here.
Although Potter might have been furious after being denied a penalty for a potential Tomas Soucek handball in the final moments, West Ham will feel like they deserved to leave east London with a point to show for their efforts.
With the Hammers looking like they could have turned a corner since opening 2023, we have taken a look at the main talking points from Saturday’s 1-1 draw in the capital.
Pressure only continues to grow for Potter
While Chelsea’s new hierarchy might have appointed Potter as the man to replace Thomas Tuchel back in September, the former Brighton boss finds himself at the heart of a Stamford Bride nightmare.
Although the Blues might have stunned almost everyone across Europe as they spent over £300million during the January transfer window, their blockbuster new arrivals are failing to find any real chemistry in SW6.
While Felix might have impressed after opening the scoring following his three-match suspension, there are real questions as to whether Potter is the man to take this current Chelsea crop forward.
Although the English giants might get their Champions League knockout stage adventure underway on Wednesday night when they travel to Borussia Dortmund, they are seeking a minor miracle if they’re to claim a much-needed top-four finish come May.
Quickly gaining a reputation for their issues in the final third, it is becoming a real possibility that Chelsea could miss out on European football entirely next season.
With many fans around west London now feeling that a change in the dugout is needed, Potter is certainly facing the toughest spell of his managerial career.
West Ham are finding some 2023 stability
Although West Ham might still find themselves at the heart of a shock relegation scrap this season, the Hammers should be boosted by another gritty display on Saturday lunchtime.
Shocking many across the Premier League last season as they snatched another 1-1 draw away at Champions League contenders Newcastle, Moyes’ men do appear to have found a much-needed boost since opening 2023.
Sat outside the bottom-three and really failing to find any kind of stability on either side of the World Cup break, the one-time Manchester United boss has been vocal about his side’s recent improvements.
Making history last season as they reached the Europa League semi-finals, West Ham have now lost just one of their seven domestic matchups across all competitions since opening the New Year.
With it feeling like the mood around the London Stadium is starting to turn around, Moyes has also taken some of the pressure off his shoulders.
However, next seen when they make the trip to bitter rivals Tottenham, the Hammers would have been worried to see both Lucas Paqueta and Nayef Aguerd suffer respective injury blows on either side of the half-time break.
Chelsea’s nightmare issues on the road
Although Chelsea supporters might be growing more frustrated by the week as the Blues seek a much-needed clinical edge, Potter should have a major headache over his side’s nightmare run away from Stamford Bridge.
Finishing Saturday’s 1-1 draw at the London Stadium sat nine points adrift of breaking into the top-four, they have now remarkably failed to win any of their last eight straight Premier League appearances on the road.
With that woeful away day run stemming all the way back to a 2-0 victory against Aston Villa on October 16th, they have also suffered some notable defeats on their nightmare spell.
Including an infamous 4-1 drumming when Potter made his return to Brighton prior to the World Cup break, Chelsea have also suffered defeats at Newcastle and Fulham.
Likewise, crashing out of this season’s FA Cup following a routine 4-0 loss away at Manchester City, Saturday’s guests are without a single away win to their name over the past four months.
West Ham: Fabianski, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Coufal, Paqueta, Rice, Emerson, Antonio
Subs: Downes, Johnson, Ings, Soucek
Chelsea: Kepa, James, Silva, Badiashile, Cucurella, Fernandez, Loftus-Cheek, Mudryk, Felix, Madueka, Havertz
Subs: Gallagher, Ziyech, Mount, Chilwell
Goals: West Ham: Emerson (28′) – Chelsea: Felix (16′)
Yellow Cards: West Ham: Coufal – Chelsea: Badiashile
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Craig Pawson
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