West Ham United were this evening dealt a fresh injury blow, during the club’s credible 1-1 draw away to Chelsea.
The two sides went head to head in a London derby at Stamford Bridge, with Premier League champions Chelsea hoping for an immediate bounce-back performance following their morale-draining 3-1 loss at the hands of Tottenham last time out.
Chelsea sat in a disappointing 5th-place in the English top-flight ahead of this evening’s kick-off, a massive 11 points adrift of Spurs for the Premier League’s final Champions League spot for next season.
West Ham, meanwhile, bounced back from a couple of harrowing defeats at the hands of Swansea and Burnley before the international break with a crucial 3-0 win over Southampton in their last outing, putting some much-needed space between the Hammers and the relegation zone.
The first-half of this evening’s clash unsurprisingly saw hosts Chelsea on top, with Eden Hazard and Willian looking particularly dangerous.
And the Blues were rewarded for their dominance 10 minutes before the interval, when Cesar Azpilicueta got on the end of a cushioned Alvaro Morata header to scuff a finish home past the helpless Joe Hart.
However, in typical Chelsea fashion of late, despite having had numerous chances to do so, Antonio Conte’s men failed to add to their lead over the remaining hour, with substitute Javier Hernandez making the champions pay for their profligacy in front of goal with an excellent finish from a Marko Arnautovic pull-back in the 73rd-minute.
While today’s matchup proved a positive one overall for West Ham, there was one sour note for the Irons on the injury-front.
The problem came for full-back Aaron Cresswell, who was forced off just past the hour-mark to be replaced by Patrice Evra.
The blow comes as the latest in a seemingly never-ending string of injuries for David Moyes’ squad, who are particularly short on numbers at the back.
The seriousness of the issue remains to be seen, but the English stopper will likely now be viewed as a doubt to take on Stoke City in the club’s next Premier League outing.