Chelsea smash five past woeful West Ham to maintain push for European spot

Blues move up to seventh in Premier League after victory stroll at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea produced a five-star performance to smash a woeful West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as the Blues continued their push for a European spot.

Mauricio Pochettino's side were three up at half-time thanks to goals from Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher and Noni Madueke, while a double from Nicolas Jackson after the break completed a 5-0 London derby battering.

The victory came just three days after Chelsea had dispatched Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in another capital clash at home and their latest win moved them above Manchester United on goal difference and up to seventh in the Premier League.

They are also now just two points behind sixth-placed Newcastle United with three games left to play to this season – against Nottingham Forest and Brighton away, followed by Bournemouth at home on the final day of the campaign.

“I'm so happy for the players and staff,” said Pochettino, who has admitted the decision on whether he remains in charge next season is out of his hands. “After the victory against Tottenham and to come back again after a few days is very good.

“It was a brilliant game, it was amazing. They reacted in the right way. I was so happy how we competed on Thursday and we have talented players to create chances and score goals.

“I wasn't relaxed in the dugout, I wanted to keep a clean sheet. West Ham are a powerful team on set-pieces and we needed some luck. It was important not just to win the game but also get the clean sheet.”

Madueke, who scored one and provided the assist for Jackson's first goal, added: “When you play for one of the biggest clubs in the world you have to be in Europe. It has been disappointing this season but we have to go and get it next season.”

It took only 15 minutes for Chelsea to make the breakthrough and it would surprise to no one that it was Palmer who grabbed it.

The summer signing from Manchester City reacted quickest in the box to finish confidently for his 21st league goal of the season, leaving him four behind Erling Haaland in the race for the Golden Boot.

There was almost an instant response from West Ham, when Jarrod Bowen headed against the crossbar – one of three times the England attacker would hit the woodwork over the course of 90 minutes.

But the second arrived after half an hour and it was captain Gallagher who scored it, volleying home into the corner of the net past a motionless Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal.

Six minutes later it was three with West Ham's defence again going missing after a corner was curled over to the back post where Thiago Silva headed back across goal for Noni Madueke to finish.

Gallagher should have made it four but somehow contrived to hit the bar from close range with the goal at his mercy while Bowen then hooked a volley against the woodwork to cap a truly miserable half for West Ham.

And whatever Hammers manager David Moyes said at the break failed to have the desired effect as Chelsea made it 4-0 in the 48th minute.

A superb counter-attack saw a lovely Trevoh Chalobah ball forward to Madueke who beat the offside trap before unselfishly squaring it to give Jackson the simplest of tap-ins.

The unfortunate Bowen would hit the bar for a third and final time with a deflected strike as West Ham failed to find the goal their performance scarcely deserved.

Chelsea's fifth came after a pass from Moises Caicedo picked out Jackson who timed his run to perfection before coolly finishing for his second of the game and 13th league goal of the season, although only after a VAR check reversed an offside call.

“We need to keep this momentum and belief going,” added Pochettino. “We are going to rest tomorrow and Tuesday we will prepare for Nottingham Forest [next Saturday]. It's step by step but most important is the mentality.”

For West Ham and Moyes, it was a disastrous afternoon which came hot on the heels of losing their previous away game 5-2 at Crystal Palace.

His position remains up in the air as his contract runs out at the end of the season and reports this week suggested that West Ham had held talks with Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui about taking over this summer.

They are ninth in the table with two games to play having taken just one point from a possible 12.

Moyes said: "I don't normally have teams who get beaten like this but we are lacking some ingredients – mental toughness and leadership to get better results, or at least not get hammered ... I can only say I'm really sorry for how it played out."

Updated: May 05, 2024, 6:41 PM