A Tale Of Two Penalties   (Sky Sports)

West Ham United 1  Chelsea 1

Frank LampardA tale of two penalties ensued in the capital as Frank Lampard's controversial second half effort rescued Chelsea a point against a West Ham side who had earlier taken the lead through a spot-kick of their own.

Roared on by a partisan Upton Park faithful the home side took a deserved lead into the half-time interval as Alessandro Diamanti won his 12-yard duel with Petr Cech, before Lampard's thrice-taken penalty was eventually allowed to stand after the break.

Chelsea's form has been patchy at best of late and there was precious little to suggest they are any closer to finding their customary fluid rhythm in what was a lacklustre first 45 minutes.

There was precious little wrong with Lampard's arching drive from the edge of the box that stung Robert Green's palms in the opening sparring but thereafter their exertions were insipid against a West Ham outfit snarling into every tackle.

Restricted to a Branislav Ivanovic header that was cleared off the line by the impressive Scott Parker, Chelsea's efforts had their coach Carlo Ancelotti looking increasingly exasperated on the touchline.

Lampard had a half chance after breaking from deep but his drive from the edge of the box drifted wide, much to the amusement of the Hammers faithful.

Correct call

Chelsea's frustrations were exacerbated on the stroke of half-time when Jack Collison, who earlier in the half had drawn an excellent save from Cech's feet, was brought down from behind by Ashley Cole's unnecessary lunge in his own box.

Chelsea's protestations were rightly given short shrift by referee Mike Dean before Diamanti proved the coolest man in East London as he sent Cech the wrong way from 12 yards.

Ancelotti had seen enough and after summoning John Obi Mikel and Daniel Sturridge from the substitutes' bench, it was the latter that changed the course of the game when he went down under Matthew Upson's challenge inside West Ham's box within ten minutes of the restart.

The sight of an assistant referee with his flag across his chest had West Ham's players livid as Upson looked to have played the ball cleanly but Dean concurred and pointed to the penalty spot.

Lampard dispatched but was ordered to retake for infringement from both sides. His second attempt, which Green got close to but could not keep out, was again adjudged to have been illegal.

Unperturbed by the most unusual of interruptions Lampard showed remarkable composure in netting his third spot-kick of the afternoon. This one was allowed to stand, although such controversy could have been avoided had the correct call been made in the first place.

Didier Drogba was quiet all afternoon but reminded everyone of why he is one of the world's best strikers with an outlandish hooked effort from the tightest of angles that flashed just wide.

West Ham could have let their heads drop as they have done in recent months when faced with adversity. But they did not and it took a diving save from Cech in the 72nd minute to beat away a powerful left-foot shot from the lively Diamanti.

Battling spirit

Chelsea escaped the strongest of penalty appeals when Ricardo Carvalho, a master in the dark arts of defending, shoved over Guillermo Franco in the box before Yuri Zhirkov, on for the fading Joe Cole, drew an excellent stop at Green's near post.

Zhirkov was a plus-point for Chelsea as he showed glimpses of his undoubted talent having finally been handed a belated Blues bow in the Premier League. It was a much improved display from Ancelotti's side after the interval but it seems neither they or Manchester United are ready to run away with the title.

A point keeps West Ham off bottom spot but should they continue to show similar commitment to the cause over the next few weeks there should be plenty of festive cheer in East London.

West Ham United

Team Statistics






1st Half Goals



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Shots off Target



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Yellow Cards



Red Cards



Passing Success






Tackles Success






Territorial Advantage



West Ham United Green, Faubert, Gabbidon (Tomkins 19), Upson, Ilunga, Noble, Kovac, Parker, Collison, Franco, Diamanti
Subs Not Used  Stech, Jimenez, Spector, Da Costa, Nouble, Stanislas
Booked  Franco, Parker, Noble, Upson
Goals  Diamanti 45 (pen)

Chelsea Cech, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry, A. Cole, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda (Mikel 46), J. Cole (Zhirkov 75), Drogba, Kalou (Sturridge 46)
Subs Not Used  Hilario, Paulo Ferreira, Alex, Belletti
Booked  Carvalho, Ashley Cole, Terry
Goals  Lampard 61 (pen)

Attendance  33,388

Referee  M. Dean.

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