West Ham’s winless run continued against Chelsea on Wednesday evening as they couldn’t get the goal that their performance desperately deserved.
The Hammers gave the Premier League leaders an almighty scare at the Boleyn Ground, creating a host of chances and really testing Jose Mourinho’s side’s title credentials.
Eden Hazard's offside goal turned out to be enough for the visitors, but Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia’s wastefulness let Chelsea off of the hook and manager Sam Allardyce feels that had his record signing Andy Carroll been fit the outcome could’ve been different.
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"We’re short of numbers because Winston has now got injured and there are no alternatives there or up front – maybe bringing an Andy or Carlton on would have brought the goal, because while we were playing so well we couldn’t break through," Allardyce told the club's official website.
"Everybody who started playing the best they could play, but a change might have seen us play a different way and Andy might have gone up against them and broken through. That’s why we want the players fit and to have options available," he added.
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Sakho is the club’s top scorer with 11 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions although he’s only scored two in the league since the turn of the year, if he was at his early-season, razor-sharp best West Ham could’ve beaten a Mourinho-managed Chelsea for the first time.
Things weren’t quite happening for the Senegal international, though, and Carroll would have provided a brilliant alternative from the bench in the latter stages.
West Ham played direct for the majority of the match and to great effect as the Blues defenders struggled to deal with the bombardment of balls into the box.
Sakho had a free header right in-front of goal in the second period and had he directed it either side of Thibaut Courtois it would’ve been a certain goal. It’s hard to envisage someone with Carroll’s aerial ability missing the same chance.
The England international was enjoying a fine season prior to his latest season-ending injury, with five goals in 14 appearances, and the Hammers have been crying out for his game changing aerial presence in the last few matches.
West Ham’s failure to score against Chelsea was described as “unusual” by Allardyce as they have been consistent with finding the net this term, particularly at home. But, lately there has been signs that the goals, along with the wins, are starting to dry up.
Their performance and effort can’t be faulted, though, they just need to start turning these impressive displays into three points or risk their season coming to a disappointing finish.
Where will West Ham finish in the Premier League table this season? Have your say in the comments below!
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