Hammers Hold Chelsea  (Sky Sports)

Chelsea 1 West Ham United 1

Craig Bellamy celebrates

Gianfranco Zola enjoyed a successful return to Stamford Bridge as his West Ham side held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw.

The ex-Chelsea striker, voted the club's best-ever player after a memorable seven-year spell with the Blues, inspired the Hammers to a resolute performance which prevented his former club climbing back to the top of the table.

Chelsea dominated possession throughout but the visitors were solid at the back and snatched a surprise lead through a 33rd-minute strike by Craig Bellamy.

Didier Drogba replaced Michael Ballack at the break and top scorer Nicolas Anelka equalised within six minutes of the restart with his 100th Premier League goal.

The Blues were unable to maintain that momentum, though, and it was another ex-Chelsea striker, Carlton Cole, that went closest to claiming a winner at the death.

Luiz Felipe Scolari's men have now failed to win in their last four domestic games at home and have already dropped 14 points at the Bridge.

Warm welcome

Chelsea fans had given Zola and assistant Steve Clarke a rapturous welcome as they emerged from the tunnel to take their places in the visiting dugout.

But West Ham soon found themselves under pressure from a home side determined to build on its midweek Champions League victory over CFR Cluj.

Chelsea started the game at a frantic tempo and Lampard's 16th minute free-kick was headed wide by Alex.

West Ham did exceptionally well to weather the early storm and in the 20th minute John Mikel Obi was booked for bringing down Carlton Cole in full flight.

It gave Zola's side the chance to test Petr Cech with a free-kick some 30 yards out, but Mark Noble elected to chip the ball into the area and Michael Ballack headed clear.

Chelsea's woeful home record took a turn for the worse in the 33rd minute when Zola's struggling side went ahead against the run of play and in controversial circumstances.

Noble looked to have used his arm before crossing for Bellamy to fire past Cech at his near post from 12 yards.

Ballack was incensed by Mike Riley's decision to let the goal stand and was shown a yellow card for his protests.

In the 45th minute, Anelka finally tested Robert Green with an 18-yard shot that was dealt with comfortably by the West Ham goalkeeper.

Booed off

Chelsea were booed off at half-time and clearly frustrated with Chelsea's lack of a cutting edge, Scolari brought on Drogba, who soon had an impact.

For once Chelsea's neat approach play paid off with Mikel and Drogba combining before Lampard chipped the ball neatly into the path of Anelka, who coolly slotted the ball underneath the advancing Green for his 16th goal of the season.

Chelsea were now on top and when Matthew Upson failed to clear a cross, Lampard sent the rebound into Green's midriff from the edge of the penalty area.

The visitors were happy to soak up the pressure on the edge of their own penalty area, which invited Chelsea to try their luck from distance.

In the 64th minute Lampard let fly from 25 yards and his dipping shot had to be held at the second attempt by Green.

Three minutes later Green pulled off a magnificent save to deny Drogba after he had volleyed Lampard's corner towards the near post.

Salomon Kalou replaced the lacklustre Joe Cole in the 73rd minute and his first contribution was to fire a 20-yard shot straight at Green.

West Ham escaped in the 78th minute when Green punched a Lampard corner towards his own goal but it was headed off the line by Parker.

However, Green was the hero seconds later when he flung himself across goal to keep out a header from Alex.

Chelsea appealed for a penalty after Lucas Neill appeared to trip Lampard but it needed a superb save from Cech at the other end to deny Carlton Cole an injury-time winner. 


Chelsea  Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A. Cole, Mikel (Belletti 80), J. Cole (Kalou 75), Ballack (Drogba 45), Lampard, Deco, Anelka
Subs Not Used  Hilario, Ivanovic, Ferreira, Bridge
Booked  Mikel, Ballack, A. Cole
Goals  Anelka 51

West Ham United Green, Neill, Upson, Devenport, Ilunga, Noble (Mullins 72), Parker, Collison (Boa Morte 87), Behrami, Bellamy (Di Michele 90), Cole
Subs Not Used Lastuvka, Faubert, Sears, Tristan
Cole, Bellamy
Bellamy 33

Attendance 41,675

Referee M. Riley  

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