Date: 9th December 2017 at 2:29pm
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Antonio Conte once again rung the changes as Chelsea headed across London to take on a West Ham side that were yet to win under David Moyes. Chelsea`s form coming into the game was better than the Hammers, who hadn`t won in eight games.

Chelsea lined up in a 3-5-2 formation. Alvaro Morata got the game underway but it was Moyes men who started the stronger, pressing Chelsea from the off. If Chelsea have a weakness, it`s against the lesser teams, particularly those from London. Their inferiority complex sees them able to raise their game when the Blues come to town.

That was certainly the case at the start of the game. West Ham took the lead with just six minutes gone when Marko Arnautovic jinked his way into the penalty area and curled the ball past Courtois into the bottom right hand corner. It was a sloppy start for Conte`s side.

It took Chelsea twenty minutes before there had any sort of rhythm. Their possession grew, but in a scrappy game, the chances were few and far between. Chelsea`s performance across the whole team in the first half was collectively poor. Nothing went for them but they played in a way that warranted nothing.

Hazard was anonymous, Morata was petulant and going to ground at every opportunity. Even N`golo Kante was struggling. Half time came and Antonio Conte was going to earn his weekly wage and find a way to bring Chelsea back into the game.

Conte made the decision at half time to change to a 3-4-3 formation in the hope of affecting the game somehow. Tiemoue Bakayoko made way for Pedro at the start of the half. The change saw Chelsea look a bit more at the races but still lacking true penetration.

Conte made his second change of the afternoon early, swapping Marcos Alonso with victor Moses. Davide Zappacosta swapped to the left wing back position. Chelsea continued to press.

As Chelsea upped their attacking game, so West Ham upped their cynical one. The time wasting and tactical fouling began. Adrien was booked for taking too long with his goal kicks and numerous outfield players found themselves with yellow cards as they ‘took one for the team`.

Conte made his final substitution of the afternoon replacing Zappacosta with Willian. This time Pedro switched to the left wing back role. As the game entered the final quarter, it was very much a case of back to the wall for the Hammers. The question was could they hold out for the win.

The game edged towards the end and still, Chelsea failed to really trouble the keeper. Moyes tactic of packing the box and playing on the break worked to great effect. On the touchline, Conte cut a frustrated figure as he watched both Hazard and Morata fail to deliver time and again. He knew how this game was going to end.

In what was a bad performance, Chelsea`s failure to gain anything from the game allowed those around them the chance to catch up and pull away. From a fans point of view, this may have been a rotation or two too far from Conte. You can`t expect to win games with the constant switching and swapping of formations and players. Conte played three different left wing backs during the game.

With no let up in games, Chelsea travel up to Huddersfield on Tuesday for yet another Premier League game and it`s not even Christmas. This was a bad afternoon.

 
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