https://www.sportinglife.com-Kai Havertz goes down in the box
Chelsea and West Ham kept up their respective Champions League pushes with 2-0 victories on Monday night.
Premier League results
More Monday night profits as Hammers win
Goals from Jesse Lingard and Craig Dawson kept West Ham in the hunt for a top-four Premier League finish with a 2-0 win over Leeds at the London Stadium – and secured Sporting Life followers a winning night.
The Hammers are back up to fifth after Lingard converted the rebound from his own missed penalty and fellow January signing Dawson crashed in a fine header.
A year ago on Sunday West Ham played their final match before lockdown, a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal which left them out of the relegation zone only on goal difference.
Since then, West Ham have collected 60 points from 34 games and transformed themselves from a side battling the drop to one mounting a genuine challenge for European qualification.
They had to survive a frantic opening period as Leeds began at their usual breakneck pace, almost opening the scoring when Helder Costa’s angled drive whistled over the crossbar.
More VAR drama
The visitors then had the ball in the net twice in the space of two minutes, only for both goals to be chalked off.
First, Costa crossed for Tyler Roberts to tap home but a flag was raised and VAR’s lines confirmed that the Portuguese winger’s knee had strayed offside when Patrick Bamford flicked the ball on.
Moments later Bamford was presented with a tap-in but the ball had just gone out of play when Raphinha cut it back from the byline.
But Leeds’ boom or bust policy was exposed again as West Ham took the lead in the 20th minute with virtually their first attack.
Lingard played a neat one-two with Said Benrahma and skipped into the area, where Luke Ayling clumsily brought him down.
Lingard had wanted to take the spot-kick he won against Sheffield United last month, only for skipper Declan Rice to pull rank.
This time Lingard was allowed to take it, but Rice might well be back on penalties next time as Leeds keeper Ilan Meslier saved the Manchester United loanee’s weak effort.
Fortunately for a relieved Lingard, the ball bounced straight back to his feet and he gratefully tucked in the rebound.
Dawson continues impressive rise
Eight minutes later West Ham doubled their lead, Dawson arriving at the far post to head in Aaron Cresswell’s corner.
The transformation of Dawson has almost been as impressive as that of West Ham – the centre-half who could not get a game in the Championship at Watford earlier this season could soon be a Champions League player.
He almost added a third before half-time but this time his header, from another Cresswell corner, came back off a post.
Bamford should have halved the deficit at the start of the second half when he was put through by Diego Llorente.
The striker had time to let the ball run into his stride and open his body to curl the ball around Lukasz Fabianski, only to send it the wrong side of the post.
At the other end Pablo Fornals took aim from 25 yards and his volley looped over Meslier bounced off the crossbar.
Leeds continued to create chances but Fabianski saved a fierce drive from Raphinha, Bamford lifted a sitter over the crossbar and Dawson capped a man-of-the-match display by clearing a late deflection off Vladimir Coufal off the line.
Havertz stars in Chelsea win
Jorginho’s penalty and a Ben Godfrey own goal secured Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Everton that could prove pivotal to the Champions League qualification race.
Kai Havertz starred in a false nine role at Stamford Bridge, with the Germany playmaker twice denied a goal before winning Chelsea’s penalty.
New boss Thomas Tuchel’s stunning start to life in west London extended to an 11th match without defeat and a ninth clean sheet.
Where Chelsea were leaky and hesitant under Frank Lampard, Tuchel has quickly recalibrated the Blues into a mean defensive machine.
Chelsea have conceded just two goals on Tuchel’s watch, and their second win over a Merseyside opponent in five days tightened the Blues’ grip on fourth place in the league table.
Carlo Ancelotti pitched up at his old club Chelsea with Everton buoyant from three straight victories, but the visitors were outmatched on the night.
Havertz denied breakthrough goal
Havertz was desperately unlucky to have the opening goal taken away from him.
The Germany playmaker impressed throughout the first half in his false nine role, and certainly deserved a goal for his troubles.
But instead of his first Premier League strike in 15 top-flight appearances, Godfrey was credit with an own goal.
Havertz’s cute diversion of Marcos Alonso’s cross had certainly outfoxed Jordan Pickford and looked to be heading for the corner of the goal, before Godfrey’s intervention sent the ball crashing into the other side of the net.
Callum Hudson-Odoi deserved just as much credit as anyone else for the goal however, with the England winger thriving in his natural left-wing environment.
The 20-year-old jinked one way then the other, dropped off his marker Mason Holgate and collected a pass from Kurt Zouma – and that was just for starters.
Spinning on his heel to face the goal, Hudson-Odoi then threaded the perfect through-ball for the onrushing Alonso.
The Spain left-back’s cross set the goal in motion, but Hudson-Odoi’s stunning movement and precision passing had unlocked an otherwise tight Everton defence.
Alonso should have doubled Chelsea’s lead before half-time, having raced clear in latching onto Mateo Kovacic’s fine ball over the top of the Everton defence.
The 30-year-old’s shot took a slight deflection which reduced the power, and allowed Pickford to palm the ball just around his far post.
James under orders
Chelsea boss Tuchel spent much of the half screaming at Reece James to tuck in off the right flank when the play was on the left wing. Tuchel was determined to see James attack with more aggression on the ball, and eventually called James and Havertz over to detail his instructions on a notepad.
Despite the manager’s frustrations however, Chelsea were good value for their half-time lead.
Havertz had the ball in the net again, shortly after the interval. The lively forward was also denied a goal here however, as a neat finish was chalked off for handball.
Chelsea did not have to wait long for their second goal though, and Havertz was involved once more.
The former Bayer Leverkusen star latched onto Kovacic’s raking through-ball in the Everton penalty area, and was felled by Toffees stopper Pickford.
Jorginho stepped up to the penalty spot and delivered his trademark skip-step finish, sending the frustrated Pickford the wrong way.