INCONSISTENT WEST HAM beat Chelsea 1-0 to prove once again that on any given day anybody can beat anybody in the Premier League (November 30).
The Irons went into the match on the back of three league loses conceding three goals against each opponent. They had not won at Stamford Bridge since September 2002, so the pre-match odds on registering a win for under fire manager Manuel Pellegrini were huge.
Despite the hosts knocking on West Ham’s door in the early stages of the game, it was the Hammers who produced the only goal through a brilliant finish from left-back Aaron Cresswell. The defender’s right-footed strike, which went beyond goalkeeper Kepa, eased the pressure on Pellergrini who prior to kick-off looked to be nearing the exit door.
The visitors made four changes to their line-up which saw 33-year-old goalkeeper David Martin in the starting eleven for his league debut. Having kept an impressive clean sheet Martin was reduced to tears at full-time as he embraced his father and West Ham legend Alvin Martin with a warm hug in the press box.
Pellegrini said: “When you don’t win you are a beast, when you do it you are genius.
“Fortunately for the team and for me I think they did very well, but not only because I changed the goalkeeper because I think everyone was doing his duty with the intensity that you need in this league to win a game.
“We know that his family (David Martin) is linked with this club, it was not easy for him to make his first start in the Premier League in the moment that the team was was having.
“I felt that he was prepared. There was trust in him especially before the game; he was a very quiet and he demonstrated that in the 95 minutes.”
Free-scoring Chelsea have made a habit of finding the back of the net under Frank Lampard but they were shut out by their visitors.
Pellergrni said: “What I told the players before the game is try not to change, try to play as a team they need to enjoy to play to have a little bit more the ball to create the chances.
“I think that the Chelsea goalkeeper had two or three very important saves also during the game. And as I said at the beginning I was more worried to convince the players that we know that we are not having the results that we need. But we cannot change all of our style and study on believing that all what you’re doing is wrong.”