Javier Hernandez’s second-half equaliser boosted West Ham’s Premier League survival prospects and damaged Chelsea’s slim hopes of finishing in the top four on an emotional day at Stamford Bridge.
Cesar Azpilicueta had prodded the hosts ahead following Alvaro Morata’s knock down, and the Spaniard dedicated his goal to the club’s former England midfielder Ray Wilkins, who died on Wednesday aged 61.
There was also a minute’s applause prior to kick-off, with the Chelsea players wearing black armbands in memory of Wilkins.
However, Hernandez, on as a substitute, struck his ninth career goal against the Blues to earn a point for the Hammers.
The Mexican’s effort, driven into the corner after Marko Arnautovic’s fine cut-back, moves David Moyes’ team six points clear of the relegation places.
It was only West Ham’s third touch inside the Chelsea’s penalty area.
In contrast, Antonio Conte’s men – who are in fifth but 10 points behind Tottenham and Liverpool above them – had 23 shots on goal and were good value for their lead for long periods.
And but for a combination of profligate finishing and excellent goalkeeping from West Ham keeper Joe Hart – on loan from league leaders Manchester City – the Blues would have realised that aim.
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Hernandez saves the day for Hammers
Moyes’ horrendous record at Stamford Bridge looked well on course to stretch to a ninth defeat in a 15-game winless run.
The Scot has still not managed a victory from 30 outings against a ‘big six’ side since a 2-1 win for Everton over Manchester City in December 2010 – but Hernandez’s strike altered the complexion of the game while delivering a precious point.
The 29-year-old, whose future and relationship with his manager has been questioned, once again showed his predatory instincts to turn the ball beyond Thibaut Courtois three minutes after coming on.
Hernandez has now appeared four times as a substitute at Stamford Bridge in the league – and scored on all four occasions.
This was the former Manchester United forward’s ninth in 14 appearances against Chelsea, more than he has managed against any other Premier League opponent.
Stamford Bridge pays tribute to Wilkins
After an earlier a pre-match tribute, the stadium rose in the eighth minute to acclaim their former number eight Wilkins.
A midfielder of grace and vision, Wilkins, who also worked as assistant manager at Chelsea, was revered at Stamford Bridge and would have enjoyed the performance of Eden Hazard, a player exemplifies those qualities in Conte’s modern-day team.
With West Ham in stifling mode, the Belgium forward cut loose after 20 minutes.
Exploiting the space behind Cheikhou Kouyate, Hazard fashioned a series of chances for the Blues to wrap things up before the break.
As his influence grew, Morata also came alive. The Spaniard had two goals disallowed for offside and Hazard was unfortunate to be denied a late winner by Hart’s excellent positioning.
Man of the match – Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
‘We can see our season in this game’ – what they said
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte: “I think with this game we can see our season. We can create a lot of chances but we cannot take them.
“We are not clinical and then we concede two shots and concede a goal.
“When you don’t score but create the chances it’s very difficult to win. This game explains our season.”
On forwards potentially lacking confidence: “Morata scored two offside goals. He does not lack confidence and we created enough chances for Hazard, Willian and Morata to score. But I repeat, this game explains our season.”
West Ham manager David Moyes: “It certainly is a prized point for us. We were playing against a team who are quality and have some terrific attacking players who played well.
“The key was that we were never out of it, because the way they got the first goal was diabolical. Chelsea can get a goal in other ways but from a corner was really bad from our point of view.”
On substitute Javier Hernandez scoring the equaliser: “Chicharito won’t thank me for bringing him on as a substitute, but he’s a great penalty box striker and he always gets goals.
“Every time you open up against Chelsea it’s a bit dangerous, but we defended well on the whole.”
First-time failure for Conte’s Blues – the stats
- Chelsea failed to win a league game at home under Conte in which they led at half-time for the first time – ending an 18-match run.
- West Ham avoided defeat in an away Premier League game against the reigning champions for only the third time. They beat Manchester United in 2001-02 and drew 2-2 at Chelsea in 2015-16.
- All five of Azpilicueta’s league goals in 191 Chelsea appearances have come against teams beginning with W (two against Watford, two against West Brom and now one against West Ham).
- Morata’s assist for Azpilicueta was the seventh time the two have combined in the Premier League this season – no two players have combined for more goals this campaign.
- Moyes has not won any of his 20 away matches at Stamford Bridge as a manager with five clubs (Preston, Everton, Manchester United, Sunderland and West Ham), losing 13.
Chelsea travel to the south coast to face struggling Southampton on Saturday (12:30 BST kick-off). West Ham welcome relegation-threatened Stoke to London Stadium on Monday, 16 April (20:00).
Substituted forPedroat 78′minutes
- 10E Hazard
Substituted forGiroudat 78′minutes
Substituted forEvraat 64′minutes
- 16NobleBooked at 46mins
Substituted forHernándezat 70′minutes
- 18João Mário
Substituted forCullenat 85′minutes
- Kevin Friend
- Shots on Target
Match ends, Chelsea 1, West Ham United 1.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, West Ham United 1.
Attempt missed. Pedro (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high. Assisted by César Azpilicueta with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Josh Cullen.
Attempt blocked. Pedro (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Eden Hazard.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Attempt blocked. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Declan Rice.
Attempt saved. Gary Cahill (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a cross.
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Marko Arnautovic.
Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Willian.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Arthur Masuaku (West Ham United).
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Joe Hart.
Attempt saved. Olivier Giroud (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Willian with a cross.
Attempt saved. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.
Substitution, West Ham United. Josh Cullen replaces João Mário.
Foul by César Azpilicueta (Chelsea).
Chicharito (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United).
Corner, Chelsea. Conceded by Joe Hart.
Attempt saved. Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Willian.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gary Cahill.
Substitution, Chelsea. Olivier Giroud replaces Álvaro Morata.
Substitution, Chelsea. Pedro replaces Victor Moses.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Antonio Rüdiger.
Attempt blocked. Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chicharito.
Attempt missed. Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas with a cross following a set piece situation.
Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Goal! Chelsea 1, West Ham United 1. Chicharito (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic.
Substitution, West Ham United. Chicharito replaces Edimilson Fernandes.
Gary Cahill (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Marko Arnautovic (West Ham United).
Attempt missed. Victor Moses (Chelsea) left footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Willian.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, West Ham United. Patrice Evra replaces Aaron Cresswell because of an injury.
Delay in match (Chelsea).
Attempt blocked. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by César Azpilicueta.