- West Ham United hosted Chelsea in match week two of the 2023/24 Premier League season
- Chelsea came in with a lot of hopes after a stunning display against Liverpool last week
- The Blues were, however, stunned by 10-men West Ham, losing by three goals to one
On his debut for West Ham United, James Ward-Prowse played a crucial role by setting up two goals, while Lucas Paqueta sealed the deal with a late penalty, leading the 10-man Hammers to an unexpected 3-1 victory over Chelsea.
Ward-Prowse, who was acquired for £30 million from Southampton, orchestrated goals for Nayef Aguerd and Michail Antonio, sandwiched between Carney Chukwuemeka’s equalizer. Despite Enzo Fernandez’s missed penalty and Aguerd’s red card, which left West Ham a player short for the last 25 minutes, David Moyes’ team not only managed to hold on for their first win of the season but also secured the win with Paqueta’s penalty in injury time.
Ward-Prowse is renowned for his expertise in set pieces, but even Moyes couldn’t have anticipated such an immediate impact. Just seven minutes into the game, Ward-Prowse delivered a cross from his second corner in a West Ham jersey, and Aguerd, unmarked at the far post, nodded it in.
Chelsea’s defensive struggles continued, with this being the 13th consecutive match they’ve conceded a goal, their worst run since 1996. Despite this, they created opportunities, with Nicolas Jackson looking to exploit West Ham’s defense.
One of Jackson’s runs resulted in a chance for Chukwuemeka, who calmly slotted the loose ball past Alphonse Areola for his first Chelsea goal after Kurt Zouma cleared Ben Chilwell’s cross.
Paqueta, despite facing an investigation by the Football Association for possible betting rule violations related to yellow cards awarded against him in his homeland, was in West Ham’s lineup. Although he received a first-half booking for dissent, he came close to scoring moments later, hitting the post in a crowded penalty area.
Chelsea had the opportunity to take the lead before half-time when Tomas Soucek fouled Raheem Sterling in the area, but Fernandez’s penalty was saved by Areola. Instead, Antonio put West Ham back in front eight minutes into the second half, capitalizing on Ward-Prowse’s clever through ball.
Mauricio Pochettino introduced Chelsea’s latest high-profile signing, Moises Caicedo, for his debut in the 60th minute, but his long-range shot missed the mark. In the 68th minute, West Ham was reduced to 10 men after Aguerd received a second yellow card for an unnecessary foul on Jackson.
However, Chelsea appeared to be running out of ideas and managed only a deflected shot from Noni Madueke, which was tipped wide by Areola. The away fans began to leave in large numbers even before Paqueta confirmed West Ham’s victory with a penalty after Caicedo fouled Emerson Palmieri.