West Ham secured a massive 3 points in their fight for Premier League survival with a late winner over Chelsea.
One of the most anticipated London derbies in recent memory came with high billing, with both sides desperate for the win for differing reasons.
The game didn’t disappoint, with a pulsating affair ending 3-2 to the Hammers.
West Ham felt they had taken the lead in the 34th minute, when Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek bundled the ball home from a corner.
However, VAR forensically analysed the goal for almost four minutes, before chalking off the strike due to the most marginal of offside calls.
Michail Antonio was the alleged culprit, seemingly in an offside position whilst sprawled on the ground from the tussling in the box.
The official explanation from Stockley Park was that “Antonio was in an offside position and directly in the line of vision of Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga”.
Hammers boss David Moyes looked angry and he was ready to explode moments later when Issa Diop tripped Christian Pulisic in the area and Willian tucked away the penalty.
However, Chelsea clearly had not learned their lesson, as from another corner, Soucek met the ball in almost exactly the same spot, rising above Cesar Azpilicueta at the far post to head his first goal for West Ham.
The home players barely celebrated, probably expecting another VAR check, but the Hammers really had scored their first goal of the resumption.
Six minutes after the interval they had their second.
Michail Antonio appealed for a penalty when Antonio Rudiger tugged him over, but when that was waved away he simply got up, burst forward and converted Jarrod Bowen’s cross.
Soon-to-be departing Willian bagged a memorable equaliser for Chelsea, a stunning free kick which went in off the far post.
West Ham weren’t deterred however, and secured a vital victory when Antonio fed Andriy Yarmolenko in space.
The often-absent Ukrainian reminded everyone at the London Stadium of his ability when he jinked inside Antonio Rudiger and fired home a sweet strike into the far corner.
Yarmolenko’s goal was enough to secure West Ham their first win of the restart, and after Bournemouth’s emphatic defeat by Newcastle, some much-needed daylight between themselves and the bottom three.
For Chelsea, Frank Lampard will know it’s an opportunity missed, with Leicester dropping points to Everton earlier on in the evening and Manchester United and Wolves hot on the top 4 trail.
Final score: West Ham United 3-2 Chelsea