Thursday, September 7, 2023

Moises Caicedo suffers nightmare and Raheem Sterling is back to his best – things we learned from West Ham vs Chelsea

West Ham and Chelsea played out a thriller at the London Stadium as the Hammers claimed a 3-1 victory.

With four goals, two penalties, one penalty miss and a sending off for Nayef Aguerd, it really was a game that had everything but it was David Moyes’ side who stole the glory and left Mauricio Pochettino and co with plenty of thinking to do.

West Ham had the last laugh as they came away victoriousGetty

Meanwhile Pochettino was left with much to ponder after a second game without a winGetty

With both sides in the process of easing into the season, here are four things that talkSPORT learned from the London Derby.

James Ward-Prowse is pure class on dream debut

As far as debut appearances go, things couldn’t have gone much better for James Ward-Prowse.

The England midfielder was making his first ever appearance for West Ham since completing his £30million move from Southampton earlier this week.

Thrust straight into the starting line up, the 28-year-old faced a big test against Chelsea but managed to get supporters immediately onside by offering an assist after just seven minutes.

With the reputation of a true set-piece specialist, Ward-Prowse whipped in a corner to find the head of Nayef Aguerd who gave West Ham a 1-0 lead.

He then provided another key assist as he sent Michail Antonio on his way to put the Hammers 2-1 up in the second half.

If the midfielder was looking to get the West Ham fans onside, there’s no doubting that he’s managed that, with many impatiently waiting until they can see their new star in action again.

Ward-Prowse was hugely influential on his first West Ham appearanceGetty

Ward-Prowse was a real influence for West Ham on his debut

Moises Caicedo endures disaster

While one disaster went perfectly, another couldn’t have gone much worse as Moises Caicedo endured a day to forget.

The midfielder, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £115million, was named on the bench due to a lack of match fitness and was brought on after 61 minutes of the game.

Unfortunately, things didn’t exactly go to plan for the British transfer record signing, as he gave away a crucial penalty just 33 minutes after coming onto the pitch.

As a result, Lucas Paqueta extended West Ham’s lead and ensured that they walked away with a 3-1 win in their pockets.

While Caicedo was clearly gutted by what happened – with Liverpool fans taking the chance to revel in how his Chelsea debut played out – Pochettino was keen to keep things in perspective.

He told talkSPORT: “We need to move on. He only arrived a few days ago. He was telling us he was ready.

“But it is not easy to arrive at a new club and have to go in a game that you should score with bigger space.

Caicedo’s nightmare debut was compounded by giving a penalty awayRichard Pelham / The Sun

“But you know there is no doubt that he is going to perform the way we expect from him.”

Raheem Sterling is back to his best

While it was a bad day at the office for Chelsea, one man who rewound the clock was Raheem Sterling.

Since moving to Stamford Bridge last term, Sterling has failed to show the sorts of performances that he put in so regularly during his time at Manchester City, however at the London Stadium things were very different.

The 28-year-old was the most dangerous player on the pitch as he used his pace and power to put the West Ham defence under pressure and drive forward to get himself into goalscoring position.

He was also responsible for winning Chelsea’s penalty, which Enzo Fernandez was unable to convert.

But despite being unable to get on the scoresheet, Pochettino believes that if Sterling keeps performing the way that he has so far then the Blues will do well.

Pochettino told talkSPORT: “He was unwell during the week and of course we feel disappointed because such a performance that he put in without a victory is difficult to accept.

Sterling put in the hard yards for Chelsea and put in one of his best displays in a Blue shirt

“He needs to keep working in the way that he is working and for sure, we’re going to win games.”

Chelsea need more attackers

Chelsea’s new-look attack has brought mixed reviews from some of the club’s legendary figures.

While Sterling impressed, fans are yet to see the best from Nicolas Jackson, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, while Christopher Nkunku and Armando Broja remain injured.

Jackson has started both of Chelsea’s games and showed glimpses of real promise, with former club captain John Terry taking to Twitter to say: “I love the look of Nicolas Jackson, seems like a right handful to play against and a constant threat behind.”

However according to Mauricio Pochettino, the lack of options up front means that they’re looking for new additions.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Pochettino said: “It is a difficult situation because we had two strikers in Nkunku and Broja but they are injured.

“It is not easy in this moment to find the right profile. We are in the process, working to see if we can add some players in this area.

Jackson was lively up top, but didn’t solve the Pochettino’s attacking woesGetty

“But it is a job that is not easy for the club. For sure, they are working really hard to add some players.

“If it is not possible, we need to wait until Nkunku and Broja will be ready and we have the help of Mason [Burstow].

“I don’t think the problem is that we need another striker. The chances that we created, we need to be more clinical.

“It is not only the strikers that need to be clinical in front of goal.”

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