Chelsea thrash Hammers to stay in race for European spot

Chelsea 5-0 West Ham


Chelsea scored three first-half goals in a dominant win against West Ham that saw them move up to seventh in the Premier League.

Cole Palmer’s 21st league goal of the season opened the scoring, while Conor Gallagher and Noni Madueke also netted before the break for the Blues.

Nicolas Jackson’s second-half brace completed the impressive win, which sees Chelsea move above Manchester United in the league table.

Madueke’s good work on the right flank created the first goal inside 15 minutes. His cross towards Jackson was blocked by Kurt Zouma, but the ball sat up nicely for Palmer, who smashed it into the bottom corner.

Seconds later, Djordje Petrovic was rooted as Jarrod Bowen’s header bounced off the woodwork at the other end.

The visitors went on to hit the bar three times in the game.

Chelsea’s luck was in though, and Palmer was involved again in the second goal, which came on the half hour mark. He drilled a pass at Madueke’s feet and while the winger was unable to control the ball, it bounced off Zouma into the path of Gallagher, who caught it on the volley to fire in.

Madueke extended the lead five minutes later, nodding in from close range after Thiago Silva headed Mykhailo Mudryk’s corner back across goal, where his teammate was waiting.

The winger then added an assist to his goal soon after the restart. He burst into the West Ham box to get on the end of Trevoh Chalobah’s brilliant long pass and squared to Jackson to tap into an empty net.

It was the perfect afternoon for Mauricio Pochettino, who was able to make plenty of changes at 4-0. Christopher Nkunku, who hasn’t played since February, featured for the last 15 minutes on his long-awaited injury return.

The Blues went on to wrap up the big win in the 80th minute. Jackson was slipped in by Moises Caicedo’s through ball and he beat Alphonse Areola one-on-one for his second of the afternoon. The goal was initially ruled out for offside, but Chelsea’s fifth was confirmed after a lengthy VAR check.

Chelsea: Petrovic; Chalobah (Gusto 82), Silva (Disasi 82), Badiashile, Cucurella; Caicedo, Gallagher; Madueke (Casadei 75), Palmer (Gilchrist 88), Mudryk (Nkunku 75); Jackson.
Subs not used: Bettinelli, Colwill, Sterling, Washington.