Chelsea 0-0 West Ham United

Chelsea and West Ham played out a tedious 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge, although Harry Redknapp's joy at stopping a run of five consecutive league defeats will have been tempered by the dismissal of Javier Margas five minutes from the end of an ill-tempered contest.

The pre-match portents were ominous, with neither side having recorded a Premiership win for over a month, and after both clubs' European distractions, the whole affair was strangely subdued with the home side only managing one shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

Chelsea did have the ball in the net within the first minute as Dan Petrescu fired past Craig Forrest - standing in for the suspended Shaka Hislop - but the linesman's offside flag muffled the home fans cheers.

Trevor Sinclair deputised for the injured Paolo Di Canio, but the goal-shy Hammers' got little change out of Marcel Desailly and Frank Leboeuf, back after suspension.

Joe Cole, 18 on Monday, showed real maturity as he played a delightful one-two with Sinclair, who then turned Albert Ferrer on the edge of the area before curling his shot wide of the far post.

It took the home side until the 44th minute to wake Forrest from his slumbers, Jody Morris bringing a good save from the West Ham 'keeper with a 25 yard strike.

The second period at least produced some more meaningful action to wake the puffa-clad hordes from their slumber. Paulo Wanchope hacked Tore Andre Flo's header off the line, before Morris drive was blocked by a posse of defenders, and then Dan Petrescu glanced his header wide from Celestine Babayaro's cross.

The visitors were struggling to get off their own half at times and Forrest could only punch out Petrescu's fierce drive just after the hour.

There was precious little flow to the play, as 'Mr Niggle' continued to hold the upperhand, and it was no surprse to see Javier Margas receive his marching orders five minutes from time after collecting his second yellow for impeding Didier Deschamps.

Ed de Goey was relieved to see a free-kick deflected over the bar, as he sat on his backside in the goalmouth, but there is no doubt that Harry Redknapp would be the happier of the two mangers at the whistle.

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Desailly, Leboeuf, Babayaro, Petrescu, Deschamps, Morris, Poyet, Flo, Zola (Ambrosetti 68).
Subs Not Used: Di Matteo, Lambourde, Cudicini, Forssell.
Booked: Poyet, Ferrer, Leboeuf.

West Ham: Forrest, Stimac, Ferdinand, Margas, Sinclair, Lomas, Foe, Lampard, Keller, Cole (Ruddock 87), Wanchope.
Subs Not Used: Bywater, Charles, Kitson, Moncur.
Sent Off: Margas (85).
Booked: Margas, Lomas, Stimac, Cole.

Att: 34,935
Ref: M Riley (Leeds).