FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT:
An impressive Chelsea display at Upton Park saw us run out comfortable 3-0 winners and preserve our record of being unbeaten against opposition from London this season.
More importantly, however, it was a result which saw us move above Southampton into third in the Barclays Premier League table, level on points with Liverpool.
Frank Lampard broke the deadlock against his former club, converting a penalty following a foul on Oscar by Hammers’ goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, and the Brazilian doubled our advantage shortly after with a low strike having been released by a wonderful Eden Hazard flick.
Lampard put the gloss on the victory late in the game, scoring with a trademark strike in front of the travelling Chelsea supporters, his seventh goal against West Ham.
Jose Mourinho was understandably delighted with his side’s performance, and the Blues boss paid tribute to the attitude of his players.
On the performance
‘The game was very good for us, it was very comfortable,’ he said. ‘I can’t say everything was under control because 2-1 with 15 minutes to go, which could have happened, would have made it difficult, but we were very solid. It could have been 3-0 before it was and I think we deserved the victory. Everybody in the stadium must have thought the same.
‘We had a few matches where we played very well, away in the Premier League it was the most solid and consistent. We had a very good second half against Spurs but we didn’t play well in the first half. We had some good moments against Norwich but not the complete game. Today was from the first to the last minute, very solid, very comfortable and everybody was committed to the clean sheet against an opponent that is always difficult, where every set-piece is a threat and they are very physical. We coped well with that style and at the same time, when we had the ball, we played according to our qualities.
‘We played in a way where everyone felt very comfortable. We organised the team in a way where Hazard didn’t need to defend, he was protected behind him so he just had to get the ball, turn and go. Again, there was a bit of frustration we didn’t score the third goal before because when you are away against a team like West Ham 2-0 is not enough. If they score in the 89th minute you are in danger. This was an important victory.’
On a possible red card for Jussi Jaaskelainen
‘I spoke with Chris Foy and he told me it was not a red card so if he says that and he was 10 metres away, I was 15 metres away, I don’t want to discuss it. The referee was very good, the linesman was very good, it was a possible red card but if Chris Foy says no, that’s fine.’
On two-goal Frank Lampard
‘He played very well, he was another one very comfortable on the pitch. He played a bit different to before with Mikel in there for protection so he could go forward more. We knew they played a lot of long balls and of course Mikel is better than him in the air for the first long ball in front of the defenders.
‘After that Lamps felt more freedom to go and support in shooting areas. To be fair, when the team plays so well it’s easier for the players to produce better individual performances.
‘He’s in a moment where he has nothing to prove, he just has to enjoy the last years of his career, try to play to the maximum level he can and try to score goals, because scoring goals is part of his DNA as a player, and enjoy life.
‘I think I came at the right moment, I was his manager during the best moment of his career and now I’ve come back to enjoy the last period of his career. When he has that relationship with his manager he feels even more comfortable and able to enjoy himself.’
On Oscar’s display
‘He played fantastic, it doesn’t matter where, in the middle on the sides, he works hard, recovers balls, he presses high and gives the opponents a difficult time when they have possession. When he has the ball he’s able to assist and score. He’s a very young kid, it’s not easy to succeed in this country when you have the talent he has but not the physical ability, he’s a fragile boy as you can see. The talent is amazing and the kid can only improve.’
On the performance of Samuel Eto’o.
‘He doesn’t lose the ball, every ball which is played to his feet he holds and waits for support. He’s not the type of striker who is obsessed by scoring goals, he is more for the team.
For Eden, Oscar and Lampard it’s good to have him because if they play the ball he can hold, touch or go behind. The quality is there and he’s having a big contribution in the way we want to play.’