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RESERVE REPORT: CHELSEA 4 WEST HAM UNITED 1

It took Alex a matter of seconds to announce his return to competitive action, the Brazilian beginning the scoring in a well-deserved big win.
In contract to Saturday at Villa Park, this time a set-piece goal was to Chelsea's advantage, Alex scoring directly from a free-kick. Daniel Sturridge made it 2-0 in the second-half, by which time Alex had made a planned departure and then Fabio Borini added two more in the final 13 minutes as Chelsea counter-attacked well.
West Ham's consolation was in stoppage time. Paulo Ferreira was still on the pitch at that stage, the right-back looking energetic as he works his way back up to full match fitness. He had a hand in the second goal.
Chelsea reserves
The senior players grab the headlines but there were also promising contributions in midfield from Conor Clifford and Josh McEachran, 17 and 16 years of age respectively.
The hard-working Clifford was involved in the first attack for Chelsea. When Sturridge fed Borini, the Italian was tackled but Sturridge picked up the pieces before being fouled.
That meant the first free-kick of the game and there was only ever going to be one taker.
From the edge of the area, Alex stepped up and bang - the wall made the fatal mistake of jumping and the ball was in the bottom corner. It hadn't been the Brazilian's cleanest strike but it as enough. 1-0 to Chelsea with less than three minutes on the clock.
The other returning first team defender nearly added his name to the scorers on five minutes, Ferreira advancing and launching a cleanly hit shot towards the top corner. Kurucz reacted just in time to tip over.
The Hammers keeper was in action again two minutes later, saving from Jacopo Sala after Borini had foraged the ball his way.
Sturridge, whose first half contained sporadic moments of quality play, was gifted the ball by Ferrari on 20 minutes. The striker took a first time swing at it and it speared just over.
Chelsea were enjoying the lion's share of possession and Ross Turnbull in the Blues goal was only called upon to make a couple of routine saves in the first 30 minutes.
Poor Borini had the medical staff on twice in two minutes following collisions and then Sala, playing on the right of the diamond, worked himself space on his left foot but shot over on 34 minutes.
Clifford, operating as the anchor midfielder, had a shot spilled by Kurucz but when it was picked up by Borini and eventually worked back to McEachran, the 16-year-old shot over (pictured below).
Chelsea reserves
Stanislas shot powerfully wide for the visitors before the break and Sturridge should have done better when found by a McEachran pass but was well off-target.
On 43 minutes, there was a moment of hope for Frank Nouble, a partner of Borini in last season's Chelsea Youth Cup attack before moving to the Hammers in the summer. Quiet until then, he was put through one-on-one with Turnbull but his touch let him down and the danger was cleared.
Carl Magnay was a half-time sub for Alex, a planned change. The young Geordie was himself just back from injury.
A minute in, Borini raced away down the right and squared low but Sturridge couldn't make contact just a few yards out. Then Borini had a goalbound volley blocked
Clifford saw a shot deflected but into the keeper's grasp and the other man between the posts dived full length to repel a free-kick 10 minutes into the half. That was Turnbull's best save of a game in which he spent long spells watching on. The Blues defence with Bruma at its heart was standing strong.
At the other end, the previously peripheral Nemanja Matic and Sturridge combined to play McEachran in but the ball was cleared off his toes as the England Under 17 international pulled the trigger.
On 64 minutes, Chelsea produced the best move of the game so far, culminating in Sturridge backheeling out to Sala who hit the bar from an angle. That was unlucky but the Hammers were tiring and stretched.
Finally, on 70 minutes, Sturridge got the goal he had threatened. Receiving the ball inside the area from Sala, he was initially challenged but when Ferreira, who had won the ball originally, managed to play it back, the England Under 21 international swivelled and found the poorly guarded net.
On 76 minutes a famous name entered the action. Andrea Zola, 18-year-old son of the watching West Ham manager, came on to play left-back for the visitors.
It was two other Italians on the Griffin Park pitch that made the impact however. Sala advanced with pace and crossed well from the right to pick out Borini for an excellent far-post volleyed finish to make it 3-0 on 77 minutes.
That was a good goal but the fourth was an even better example of simple but deadly attacking. Clifford provided the midfield surge and perfectly-weighted pass down the middle; Borini the no-nonsense 84th minute execution inside the near post.
In stoppage time, Turnbull was denied a deserved clean sheet by a piece of individual quality by Nouble who turned and lashed a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Chelsea (4-diamond-2) Ross Turnbull; Paulo Ferreira, Jeffrey Bruma (c), Alex (Carl Magnay h-t), Ben Gordon; Conor Clifford, Jacopo Sala, Nemanja Matic, Josh McEachran (Daniel Philliskirk 84); Fabio Borini (Gokhan Tore 86), Daniel Sturridge.
West Ham Kurucz, Brookes, N'Gala, Da Costa (Kearns 73), Ferrari (Zola 76), Quashie, Payne, Stanislas, Jimenez, Montano (Dixon 68), Nouble



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RESERVE REPORT: CHELSEA 4 WEST HAM UNITED 1

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