Oh Carlton Cole! You could have been a hero, yet as so often you scuffed your shot. But let’s not be too pernickety. This was a battling performance of the highest order. To play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and emerge with anything is a credit to the team. To nearly emerge with three points was perhaps asking too much.
When Bellamy put us one up so early on, I don’t think many of thought Chelsea wouldn’t score at least one goal, and so it proved. Under this amount of pressure far better teams than West Ham have cracked. We didn’t and it is a tribute to the central midfielders and central defenders that we managed to maintain out discipline.
Up front Bellamy battled and harried as if his life depended on it. He took his goal brilliantly. Cole was useless in the first half and lost possession almost every time he got the ball. In the second half he somehow discovered some controlled aggression and managed to hold the ball up well and had a couple of chances he should have done better with.
In midfield Scott Parker was magnificent. Noble too showed some of his old form and battled away. Behrami was everywhere as usual and Collison improved after a largely anonymous first 20 minutes. His close control became excellent.
At the back I thought Davenport and Upson looked very comfortable together and rarely looked troubled in the first half. Ilunga had a much better game than against Spurs. Lucas Neill didn’t do anything spectacular, but then he never does. He was lucky not to give away a penalty late on for a trip on Kalou, I think it was. Luckily the tosser of a referee didn’t see it. I cannot abide Mike Riley. He always seems to ruin a game.
Anyway, I think we can all be well impressed by that performance. Now let’s beat the Villa on Saturday!
UPDATE: Just so we realise what this means, it’s the second away draw against a Top 4 side this season.