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English Premier League

West Ham beat Chelsea 1-0 to end winless run

Champions’ hopes of retaining their English Premier League title are dealt another blow after losing to David Moyes side at Olympic Stadium

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 December, 2017, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 December, 2017, 10:54pm

Chelsea’s attempt to retain their Premier League title was dealt another blow on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at West Ham.

Marko Arnautovic’s early strike was backed up by a resilient defensive display that ended an eight-game winless run for the hosts and provided a first victory under David Moyes.

Chelsea appeared to have overcome a slow start to the season as they moved up to third with a seven-game unbeaten run. With that run over, the Blues trail leader Manchester City by 11 points – a gap which could be extended to 14 points when City face second-place Manchester United on Sunday.

Arnautovic was well pleased by his team’s victory, saying they deserved victory.

“We had to work hard, as a striker we had to do many other jobs as well – defence and offence,” he told Sky Sports. “I can’t describe my feelings, it was amazing. All the players what they did was amazing and we deserve the three points. I wanted to do it [score] on my first day at West Ham but I think I am back on track. I don’t want this to be my last goal. I want to make the club happy.

“The last few weeks we have put in a lot of work but we were not always lucky. I think it is come back and the confidence is going to be high now. We beat one of the top teams. Now we have to look to go up the table.”

West Ham’s intensity was too much for Chelsea in the opening stages and they were rewarded after just six minutes when Arnautovic finished off a flowing move with a fine left-footed strike.

From then on West Ham retreated, often defending with all 11 players inside its own third of the pitch at the Olympic Stadium.

The approach worked for the most part as Chelsea rarely tested goalkeeper Adrian, picked ahead of England’s Joe Hart. The Blues’ best chance came in the closing stages as Alvaro Morata dragged his shot wide, having been put clean through on goal.

West Ham remain in the relegation zone but the win takes the Hammers to 13 points, level with 17th-place West Brom, who played Swansea on Saturday.