As a measure of West Ham United’s startling transformation into contenders for Champions League qualification, perhaps nothing illustrates it better than a draw here feeling more like a defeat than a decent result after a moment of high controversy in the dying minutes denied Slaven Bilic’s side their first win in this part of the capital since 2002. Before Robert Madley awarded Chelsea a penalty with one minute of normal time left, despite Michail Antonio’s foul on Ruben Loftus-Cheek appearing to take place just outside the area, it had seemed more likely that West Ham were going to score a decisive third goal to add to the strike from Andy Carroll that made it 2-1 in the 61st minute. Carroll had seen a header cleared off the line, Thibaut Courtois was required to make a fine save and West Ham were looking comfortable, knocking the ball around with tremendous assurance, until Antonio was penalised for bringing Loftus-Cheek down after Willian had led a sudden Chelsea break, allowing Fàbregas to equalise from the spot. For West Ham, the wait for their first double over Chelsea since the 2002-03 season goes on, while they squandered the chance to take Manchester City’s place… Read full this story
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