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By Martin Graham | 20th Aug 2023
West Ham United secured an exhilarating victory in a London derby against well-financed Chelsea, even though they played with a man down for nearly 30 minutes. The Hammers led 2-1 when Nayef Aguerd, who initially scored with a header, received his second yellow card and sent off in the 67th minute.
Despite Chelsea’s numerical advantage, they couldn’t find an equalizer and ultimately conceded a late third goal through Lucas Paqueta’s penalty during added time. Young Carney Chukwuemeka netted his first goal for Chelsea to level the score at 1-1, but Enzo Fernandez squandered an opportunity to take the lead by missing a penalty saved by Alphonse Areola.
Michail Antonio reclaimed the lead for West Ham with a powerful angled shot in the 53rd minute, before the home team was reduced to 10 players. Despite this setback, Mauricio Pochettino’s squad failed to capitalize on Aguerd’s ejection and couldn’t secure a second equalizer, despite Moises Caicedo’s second-half debut following his transfer from Brighton.
Caicedo, who joined for a substantial initial fee of £100 million with potential to rise to £115 million, had a chance to make it 2-2 but shot over from the penalty area’s edge. However, he then conceded a penalty for a foul on West Ham’s Emerson, and Paqueta converted the spot-kick to seal West Ham’s victory.
This marked a disappointing start for Chelsea’s new manager, Mauricio Pochettino. Despite spending over £900 million during the Summer Transfer Window, when Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital took over the club, Chelsea managed only one point from their first two competitive matches under Pochettino.
Notable investments during this period included Fernandez’s £107 million transfer from Benfica, potentially breaking the British transfer record set by Caicedo. Raheem Sterling posed a consistent threat for Chelsea, earning a penalty from a foul by Tomas Soucek. Fernandez’s penalty, however, was saved by Areola.
Caicedo, who opted for Chelsea over Liverpool, had a shaky start in his new colors. He needed a save from Blues’ goalkeeper Robert Sanchez after conceding the ball to Pablo Fornals. Soon after, Caicedo committed a penalty that Paqueta converted, maintaining West Ham’s unbeaten start to the season with four points from two matches.
In West Ham’s first home match since winning the 2022-23 Europa Conference League in June, James Ward-Prowse, who recently joined from Southampton for £30 million, impressed with two assists – the corner for Aguerd’s header and the pass leading to Antonio’s goal. Ward-Prowse expressed his delight with his debut and the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the club.
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer
Premier League Transfer Record Summer 2023