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Live Commentary: West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea - as it happened

Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Premier League encounter between West Ham United and leaders Chelsea.
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Chelsea have maintained their five-point cushion at the top of the Premier League table with a 1-0 victory away at West Ham United.

In a London derby played at a frenetic pace, Eden Hazard's early header proved to be the difference as Jose Mourinho's team took a step closer to the title.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will be delighted with his side's efforts, but their failure to equalise has heaped the pressure on his role at the club.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at Upton Park.


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Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match between West Ham United and Chelsea in the Premier League.

It's been just over 72 hours since Chelsea secured the first piece of domestic silverware of the season in the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur, but already, it's time for the Blues to get back to Premier League action as they attempt to win a fourth Premier League title. West Ham don't have the greatest of records against the league leaders but after they suffered defeat against Crystal Palace at the weekend, manager Sam Allardyce will be eager to see a change in his team's fortunes.

We still have just under 50 minutes remaining until kickoff but let's not hang around with the team news. Full details of both starting lineups are coming right up.

WEST HAM UNITED XI: Adrian, Jenkinson, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell, Noble, Kouyate, Nolan (c), Downing, Valencia, Sakho

WEST HAM UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Song, Jarvis, Nene

Earlier in the day, it had been rumoured that Alex Song wouldn't be involved this evening, and that report has proven to be half-correct. The on-loan Barcelona midfielder has been dropped to the bench, with Kevin Nolan being included in the only change to the team that started the game at Palace. New signing Nene had been pushing for a start, but he, too, must do with a place among the substitutes.

CHELSEA XI: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Zouma, Fabregas, Oscar, Hazard, Costa

CHELSEA SUBSTITUTES: Cech, Luis, Willian, Cuadrado, Loftus-Cheek, Drogba, Remy

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had suggested that he was considering ringing the changes this evening but he keeps it to just the two alterations, with Thibaut Courtois and Oscar coming in for Petr Cech and Willian.

It's an interesting move from Mourinho to not rotate his squad to a greater extent. Teams have played matches within three days before, but it's a sharp turnaround for a team who have just won a domestic trophy. If you're Mourinho, I don't suppose there are too many further changes that you could make - maybe Filipe Luis and Juan Cuadrado for Cesar Azpilicueta and Ramires - but it's a case of wait and see as to whether the team can lift themselves after their Wembley jubilation.

As for West Ham, securing a top-eight finish or better in the Premier League is their sole objective but they are going to have to turn around a run of form that has seen them fail to win in the top flight since January 18. That run only spans five games but it's during that period that the Hammers have fallen away from the top five and now look to only have a slim chance of securing seventh place at best.

KEY MAN! Chelsea have quality players all over the pitch but it's defender Branislav Ivanovic that has stolen the headlines over the past few weeks with four goals coming from his last seven games. Jose Mourinho will place more importance on his performances at the other end of the pitch, but the Serbian's contribution in the final third has proven key, with each of his efforts earning Chelsea one point, three points or a place in a cup final.

KEY MAN! West Ham could do with Enner Valencia recapturing the form that earned him a move to East London, but Sam Allardyce will be aware that he needs Winston Reid to produce an authoritative display to frustrate Diego Costa, probably in more ways than one. The former Atletico Madrid man has shown in the past that it doesn't take much to annoy him, and if Reid can gain the upper hand over the striker, that could help inspire his team to a positive result.

Positive results for West Ham over Chelsea have proven hard to come by, though. The Hammers have won just one of the previous 17 league meetings between the two sides, while Chelsea have also kept four successive clean sheets in a row. Good luck, West Ham...

As the caption says, Upton Park is starting to fill up... (albeit slowly!).



As always, Sports Mole are offering you an extensive range of commentaries this evening, all of which can be found by clicking here. As well as all seven premier League fixtures, we have games from Spain and Italy too!

If Chelsea win this evening, they could potentially go eight points clear at the top of the table, but with Manchester City away at Leicester City, you'd have to assume that they are playing to retain their five-point advantage. With seventh-place Spurs playing eighth-place Swansea, West Ham will know that tonight represents a chance for them to make up some ground, with a point being enough to move into eighth should Spurs win too.

PREDICTION! In the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge, West Ham failed to record a single shot on target, but with the Hammers playing in front of their home fans, you would think that it will be a much tighter affair this evening. That said, it's hard to back against Chelsea, and if they can produce a professional performance, they could edge to a 2-1 win.

The two teams are beginning to congregate in the tunnel at the Boleyn Ground. We should be underway in five minutes time.

There are plenty of bubbles on show at Upton Park. However, the main question of tonight is can West Ham burst Chelsea's bubble and cause a further twist in the Premier League title race? We will find out over the course of the next couple of hours...

It's Chelsea who get us underway in East London.

Both sides have started on the front foot, with Chelsea almost creating a chance within the opening 30 seconds before a long free kick from West Ham found the head of Winston Reid before being cleared by the visitors.

West Ham retain the momentum created from that free kick and force Chelsea into two important clearances on the edge of their own penalty area. Back in defence though, Winston Reid appears to have picked up an injury.

SUBSTITUTION! That's Reid done for the evening, who is hobbling off clutching his calf. That's an almighty blow for the Hammers. The New Zealand centre-back is going to be replaced by James Collins.

While Collins was in the process of entering the action, Chelsea worked a situation for Diego Costa, but the Spanish international fired over after Oscar had provided the assist.

Sam Allardyce would have been encouraged by his team's start, but now it's a case of settling down and trying to fend off Chelsea, who are gathering a head of steam. Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard combine to try to set up Costa again, but he forward can't do anything with his cross.

BOOKING! Cheikhou Kouyate is the first man into the book after a clash with Kurt Zouma. There didn't seem a whole lot of intent but the midfielder did catch him with his elbow.

BOOKING! Now it's John Terry's turn to be cautioned by the referee. The Blues skipper was faced with the task of an advancing Enner Valencia, but the veteran could only foul the winger 30 yards from goal.

Valencia took the resulting free kick but as soon as he struck the ball, it was always rising into the stand behind the goal. A wasted opportunity for the Hammers but at least they have started to show a bit more intent.

CHANCE! I mentioned that West Ham were beginning to show more intent, but now they are forcing Chelsea onto the back foot and have almost taken the lead. After a corner was only half cleared, Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan combined to set up Kouyate, who saw his shot from inside the penalty area saved by Thibaut Courtois.

GOAL! West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea (Hazard)

Just as West Ham were starting to dominate, Chelsea have taken the lead! The ball was worked out to the flank to Ramires, who wasted little time before crossing the ball into the penalty area for Hazard to head home from six yards. He doesn't score many of those!

You feel as though that goal has come at an important time for Chelsea. They were beginning to allow West Ham plenty of possession, and the start of the move for the goal came from an interception inside their own box from Branislav Ivanoivc.

Chelsea put together a fine move that ends with Oscar and Eden Hazard linking up around the box, but the Belgian's shot is superbly blocked by James Collins.

We are half-hour through this contest now and it's starting to turn into the match that many would have expected. After a promising period, West Ham are losing their way a touch and Chelsea look more likely to net a second rather than the home side finding a first.

CHANCE! Ramires is proving effective on the right flank, and another cross from the Brazilian is deflected wide for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Cesc Fabregas found John Terry but the skipper could only volley wide of the post.

SAVE! Against the run of play, West Ham almost find an equaliser at Upton Park. Diafra Sakho freed himself from his marker to head towards the bottom corner but Thibaut Courtois pulled off a stunning one-hand save to tip the ball behind for a corner. Marvellous stuff from the Belgian.

Despite that chance being squandered, the West Ham faithful are encouraged and are continuing to get behind their side. The Hammers need to be careful though. Chelsea look sharp on the break and would be firm favourites should they go two in front before the break.

BOOKING! James Collins goes into the referee's notebook after sent Kurt Zouma falling to the deck after making significant ground in midfield. Jose Mourinho has found the ideal deputy to Nemanja Matic.

It looks as though that tackle has done a bit of damage to Zouma. He is limping quite badly at the side of the pitch.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

GOAL FLASH! Manchester City have taken the lead against Leicester City in first-half injury time thanks to David Silva. It's as you were as far as the top two in the Premier League are concerned at the moment.

HALF TIME: West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea

The half-time whistle goes at the Boleyn Ground and Chelsea have taken a 1-0 advantage into the break thanks to a header from Eden Hazard. It's been an evenly-contested first half though, and despite the deficit, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has plenty to work with during his team talk.

Chelsea are currently bossing the possession stats but despite being in the lead, they haven't made full use of their time on the ball. West Ham have accepted that they won't beat the Blues in a possession game, but their style of play is still relatively effective and the Chelsea backline are being forced to work hard this evening.

The remainder of tonight's scores can be found by accessing our 'live scores' section. That will bring you a clean sweep of all the games that are currently active tonight, including matches from the Premier League, Championship and across Europe.

The teams are making their way back out onto the pitch for the second half. There doesn't appear to be any changes.

We are back underway at Upton Park.

Not too much has happened in the opening stages of the second half apart from one rampaging run from Kouyate that ended with him fouling Cesar Azpilicueta.

SHOT! Kouyate is looking an increasing threat at the start of the second half and his cross-cum-shot leads to the ball finding Sakho, but the striker can only shoot into the side-netting after a neat turn inside the area.

Chelsea just haven't got going again here and West Ham sense that they are there for the taking. Downing does superbly on the wing before curling in an excellent cross towards Valencia and Sakho but neither can convert, before Courtois reacts quickly to clear the danger ahead of the awaiting Nolan.

The Blues ease the pressure by winning a free kick in West Ham's half, but it only finds the grateful hands of Adrian in the Hammers goal. Jose Mourinho will be concerned with his side's start here.

WOODWORK! Well, maybe not that concerned. After a West Ham move breaks down, Chelsea surge forward but after Diego Costa plays Ramires in, the Brazilian's angled shot rebounds off the far post and goes clear.

SAVE! All of a sudden, Chelsea are looking a force again, but Adrian denies them finding a second goal. A cross from a wide area from Eden Hazard finds Ramires, but his header is saved by the legs of the Spanish stopper. That has kept West Ham in this game.

There is barely time to breathe in this match! West Ham hit straight back through Stewart Downing who provides the assist for Diafra Sakho, but his first-time shot is saved by the impressive Thibaut Courtois.

There are plenty of goals being scored around the grounds this evening, but it remains 1-0 to Manchester City in their game with Leicester City. Chelsea will retain their five-point lead should things remain the same.

BOOKING! The game is being played at a frenetic pace and that is always going to bring bookings. Kevin Nolan is the latest man to be cautioned after going in late on Cesc Fabregas.

While we are on the subject of Kevin Nolan, he has been excellent for West Ham tonight. Some may have questioned his inclusion over Alex Song but he has really tried, and succeeded, to grab the match by the scruff of the neck.

BOOKING! I've lost count of the yellow cards now. I think that's seven. Cesc Fabregas, who was fouled moments ago, is now booked for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate after he had powered forward in the centre of the pitch.

SUBSTITUTION! Jose Mourinho finally makes his first change, bringing on Willian for Brazilian compatriot Oscar. Willian's energy could give the Blues an extra edge as we enter the final 15 minutes.

It looks as though Willian is going to be required in defensive areas more than the final third as West Ham continue to press for an equaliser. Stewart Downing is the latest man to have a goal-bound strike well blocked by a Chelsea defender.

John Terry and Cheikhou Kouyate have just clashed heads after an accidental collision. Terry is up and about, but it appears that Kouyate took the full brunt of the incident. He's being tended to by the medical staff who are treating a cut.

Like in the first half, this break in play is going to result in plenty of added-on time, which can only benefit West Ham as they remain in search of an equaliser.

All is fine with Kouyate, who is going to battle on, but Chelsea almost caught the West Ham defence cold through Diego Costa, but he was unable to find a teammate from out wide. He's had a relatively quiet second period.

Back come West Ham, who are refusing to let this match slip away. The Hammers win a couple of corners but the Premier League leaders remain resolute, with Gary Cahill in particular doing well to get the ball out of the penalty area.

But Chelsea aren't content with sitting on their 1-0 advantage and Branislav Ivanovic, who has scored four in his last seven games, finds himself in an attacking position. He can't add a fifth though, and his shot is blocked by the body of James Collins.

SUBSTITUTION! Sam Allardyce has thrown on Nene in an attempt to add an extra threat in the Chelsea penalty area. There will be six minutes of added-on time. That's still plenty of time for West Ham to equalise.

RESULT! Manchester City have won 2-0 at Leicester City. Chelsea need to hold on...

SUBSTITUTION! Didier Drogba is on for Diego Costa. Perhaps to waste a bit of time, as well as use Drogba's strengths in the opposite penalty area.

CHANCE! Chelsea almost seal the three points but after receiving Eden Hazard's pass, Willian's shot is cleared off the line!

FULL TIME: West Ham United 0-1 Chelsea

The final whistle goes at Upton Park and Chelsea have held on to secure a 1-0 win. It wasn't pretty at times, and West Ham probably deserved a share of the spoils, but Jose Mourinho's men have clung on to maintain their five-point cushion at the top of the standings.

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match but we hope that you stick around to check out all of the reports and reaction that will be coming over the next hour. Goodbye for now.

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John Terry of Chelsea lifts the Capital One Cup trophy during the Capital One Cup Final match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on March 1, 2015
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Result: Chelsea see off Spurs to win League Cup
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