Chelsea 1 West Ham 0: Christian Pulisic scores a last-gasp winner to save Jorginho’s blushes following a poor penalty miss.
With a winning goal against ten-man West Ham, CHRISTIAN PULISIC saved Chelsea.
With the final kick of normal time, the American converted a cross from Marcos Alonso to stop a three-game losing streak at home.
But it wasn’t a convincing display, as Chelsea required Craig Dawson to be sent off before they could take advantage of their dominance, as Thomas Tuchel’s side continues to be plagued by jitters at Stamford Bridge.
In a disappointing performance by this year’s FA Cup finalists, midfielder Jorginho also missed a penalty.
The visitors failed to score for the first time in four games, but the three points are a huge lift for Tuchel, who has been watching Arsenal close the gap on his side in the race for third place.
Chelsea’s five-point lead over Arsenal has been restored, and they still have a game in hand on their London rivals.
However, with both teams sporting a new appearance, the game was disjointed, with little action save for a crucial shot from substitute Pulisic in the dying stages.
On-pitch captain Declan Rice, as well as strikers Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio, were rested by West Ham manager David Moyes.
He’s clearly focused on the second leg of the Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
Tuchel was forced to make adjustments after Reece James was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
Andreas Christensen was taken unwell with stomach cramps during the warm-up, while Antonio Rudiger, who has opted to leave the club in the summer, had no place in the squad at all.
West Ham were pleased to hold on for a point, but Chelsea became increasingly irritated as the game progressed.
Tuchel was stuck in his dugout chair for the first hour, but as time passed and his players failed to comprehend the game, he became increasingly frustrated.
While his team dominated for the bulk of the game, West Ham remained resolute, with Dawson, the club’s sole fit centre-back, tackling everyone.
In the 56th minute, he launched his body full length to deny Timo Werner, and he got lucky when an N’Golo Kante shot ricocheted off his body and into the thankful hands of Hammers goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Only the last ten minutes of the game brought the game to life. Substitute Romelu Lukaku was brought down in the box by Dawson as Chelsea sought for a winner.
After reviewing VAR, referee Michael Oliver granted the penalty and dismissed the defender, who had recently been a hero for his side.
Jorginho had the perfect chance to score a penalty and give Chelsea a much-needed home win, but he missed the target with a weak shot straight at Fabianski.
The home team scored a last-gasp goal when Alonso threaded a by-line cross from the left into the box, where Pulisic took advantage of the space created by Dawson’s red card to deflect a low effort into the bottom corner from 15 yards.