Chelsea win and get closer to the title
Coach José Mourinho sent-out a radically changed team. With none of his normal four wide players chosen, Drogba and Crespo were paired in attack for the first time. There was a midfield four that saw Lampard, Essien and Maniche play in front of Makelele and Gallas was returned to central defence.
James Collins had given West Ham an early lead before Maniche was sent off for a foul on Lionel Scaloni - the sixth Chelsea player to be dismissed since January. "Only a squad with great character and one very focused on going back to winning, could have done what the players did," Mourinho noticed. "It was a really fantastic performance."
He singled out striker Drogba, who equalised and set up Chelsea's second for Hernan Crespo, for special praise. "Didier shut a few mouths," Mourinho said. "I think he was amazing. I think Drogba should go home, switch on TV and buy every paper to see if the same people who wanted to kill him now have the commonsense to give him the credit he deserves."
Chelsea (4-1-3-2) Cech; Gérémi, Gallas, Terry (c), Del Horno; Makelele; Essien (Carvalho 89), Maniche, Lampard; Crespo (Robben 66), Drogba (J Cole 90+1).
West Ham (4-2-3-1) Hislop; Scaloni, Collins, Gabbidon, Konchesky; Benayoun (Sheringham 71), Mullins; Harewood, Reo-Coker (c), Etherington; Ashton (Zamora 83).