Chelsea clinched third place in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over 10-man West Ham United on Sunday, with Christian Pulisic’s 90th-minute winner at Stamford Bridge compensating for Jorginho’s missed penalty.
Jorginho had wasted his chance from the penalty spot, firing straight at West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Substitute Pulisic arrived in the box at the right time to guide home a superb pass by Marcos Alonso shortly after Jorginho had wasted his chance from the spot, firing straight at West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
Following a check by the Video Assistant Referee following a clumsy challenge on replacement Romelu Lukaku that resulted in the penalty, West Ham defender Craig Dawson, one of their better players in a much-changed lineup, was issued a red card.
Thomas Tuchel’s team broke a run of two consecutive home defeats against Brentford and Arsenal, but it is their front line, not their defence, that will worry the manager in the coming weeks.
“Make a difference, [Tuchel] just said; combine and create opportunities. It feels nice to be in the top four again “Pulisic, who came on in the 76th minute to replace Timo Werner, spoke to Sky Sports after the game.
“We needed a home win, and it feels amazing to triumph in front of our home crowd. We need to end well this season… a few good league games and then the FA Cup final [against Liverpool]. I needed to make an impact and demonstrate that I wanted to play.”
Seventh-placed West Ham made six changes to their starting lineup in preparation for the first leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday, a game that gives them the best opportunity of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
They appeared to be on course for a point as Fabianski saved N’Golo Kante’s deflected effort and Trevoh Chalobah’s long-range rocket, before Werner shot wide from a tight angle in the second half of a game with few clear chances.
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Chelsea now have a five-point lead over fourth-placed Arsenal, with a game in hand over Mikel Arteta’s side. With a win over struggling Manchester United on Thursday, they can solidify their place.