Frank Lampard scored twice against his former club and Oscar also got in on the act as Chelsea brushed West Ham aside.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce was forced into a change to the XI that started the 3-1 defeat at Norwich before the international break. Razvan Rat got injured playing for Romania, so Joey O’Brien deputised at left back.
Jose Mourinho also made one alteration after the home draw with West Bromwich Albion by including John Obi Mikel. That freed Ramires up to play further forward at the expense of fellow Brazilian Willian.
Guy Demel’s awful back-pass belied a decent West Ham start on 20 minutes as he played keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen into real trouble. The veteran Finn brought down Oscar in the area and referee Chris Foy pointed to the spot. Lampard smashed in the penalty, so Chelsea went ahead.
Scorer Lampard saw other half chances go off target as the visitors had the better of what little goalmouth action there was at Upton Park. Ten minutes before half time Oscar found the bottom corner to double the Blues’ lead with an accurate finish following a driving run when set away by Eden Hazard’s flick.
Big Sam reacted to Chelsea going two up with a double substitution. Ineffectual players Joe Cole and Jack Collison were taken off in favour of Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga. Jaaskelainen then tipped over an attempted Samuel Eto’o chip. The first half had been so easy for the visitors that West Ham were booed off at the break.
Little changed in the second half. Mark Noble cleared Gary Cahill’s header from a right winger corner off the line as the Blues continued to dictate play. Oscar then fired wide on the slide when Cesar Azpilicueta stood up a cross. Eto’o later curled just over.
The best Allardyce’s Hammers mustered was a deflected Demel cross that sub Maiga stabbed wide. Lampard sealed victory for Chelsea eight minutes from time when he swept in his second and their third.
Unless he can get some strikers fit soon it’s going to be a long hard winter for Big Sam battling against relegation. Mourinho meanwhile will hardly have an easier game all season than this. His Blues are now back on track and level on points with Liverpool in second.
- West Ham: 22 Jussi Jaaskelainen, 20 Guy Demel, 5 James Tomkins, 19 James Collins, 17 Joey O’Brien, 26 Joe Cole (21 Mohamed Diame 40’), 16 Mark Noble, 4 Kevin Nolan (c) (7 Matt Jarvis 76’), 15 Ravel Morrison, 10 Jack Collison (11 Modibo Maiga 40’), 23 Stewart Downing 4-6-0
- Chelsea: 1 Petr Cech, 2 Branislav Ivanovic, 24 Gary Cahill, 26 John Terry (c), 28 Cesar Azpilicueta, 12 John Obi Mikel, 8 Frank Lampard, 7 Ramires, 11 Oscar (14 Andre Schurrle 83’), 17 Eden Hazard (5 Michael Essien 84’), 29 Samuel Eto’o (19 Demba Ba 79’) 4-2-3-1
- Goals: Frank Lampard pen 21’, 82’ Oscar 34’