Morale-boosting win for Hammers bring relief

London: This was a bit of a fairy-tale for West Ham goalkeeper David Martin, son of a legend of the club, making his debut in the Premier League at the age of 33. West Ham’s 1-0 win brought huge relief to the coach Manuel Pellegrini who had seen his club go through eight matches, seven in the Premier League, without a win.
The surprising victory over Chelsea brings enormous relief after speculation over Pellegrini’s job. But this win, the first at Chelsea in 17 years, will give some breathing space to the coach who had said when questioned: “You must be clear, it is game by game. Football changes every game. I always think about the present, never the future.”
He had made four changes in the team from the last defeat, a notable one was the replacement of the goalkeeper. It gave Martin an opportunity and an emotional debutant said: “I am pleased I got through it and didn’t let anyone down.” After the match he hugged his father Alvin, who had made over 600 appearances over 21 years at the club.
Martin Jr said: “My dad didn’t say much, we were both in tears. To see me make my debut, keep a clean sheet and get a win for the boys, it is so pleasing.” He added: “I hope I’ve given myself a chance (to remain in the side) but I have to work hard and keep grounded.” Pellegrini said: “It was not easy for him to make his first start in the moment the team was living. I felt he was prepared, I felt trust in him.”
Chelsea wasted several chances to score, they dominated the play and had 65 per cent of the possession. But while the home side squandered chances, the Hammers grabbed theirs. The sucker punch came three minutes into the second half after Felipe Anderson and Pablo Fornals played Aaron Cresswell into the box. His cut back left Reece James facing the wrong direction and with his weaker right foot he curled across goal and inside the far post. Chelsea brought on their substitutes but it made little difference as the West Ham defence stood firm.
Chelsea coach Frank Lampard, said: “We made some changes and didn’t perform as well as we wanted to. There will be questions that are asked of us from the outside. It’s questions I will want asked from the inside.”
He added: “I don’t think its anytime for harsh reactions and judgements. It’s time for a look at a bit of character to see how our reaction is. The team we had out there has the quality to win this game. The fact we performed below par is the reason we didn’t.”