Premier League - Essien at the double in Chelsea win
Eurosport - Sat, 11 Sep 16:56:00 2010
Chelsea's 100 per cent start to the Premier League season continued with a comfortable 3-1 win over struggling West Ham at Upton Park, helped by a fresh blunder from England's World Cup goalkeeper Robert Green.
Midfielder Michael Essien grabbed a brace either side of Salomon Kalou's Green-assisted 17th minute effort as Carlo Ancelotti's side registered their fourth victory from four games so far this season.
Almost from the outset, Chelsea never looked like losing points against a Hammers side desperately short on form, confidence and fortune. One blot on an otherwise impeccable Chelsea copybook was the first breach of their defence this campaign, a late Scott Parker lob proving nothing more than a consolation for the hosts.
In the 17th minute, Didier Drogba's apparently harmless free-kick was inexplicably fumbled by the increasingly hapless Green. The keeper, who made a high-profile error against the USA in South Africa, spilled the ball into the path of Matthew Upson, whose attempted clearance only succeeded in striking the unwitting Kalou, looping back over his - and the prone Green's - head and into the back of the net.
It was a goal of the highest comedy, one which is sure to feature on blooper compilations for years to come, but few in the Upton Park crowd were amused. Certainly Grant was not, although he could have been encouraged by the way in which his side responded to conceding each goal.
In particular Victor Obinna, who was making his debut following his loan move from Internazionale, proved to be a livewire and caused the Chelsea defence a few problems over the course of the afternoon.
Three times the Nigerian international threatened to get on the scoresheet in the first half, his best effort - a side-footed volley on 27 minutes - drifting just wide of the post. Indeed, all that was lacking from the 23-year-old's enthusiastic display was an end product.
West Ham actually ended the half on top, and they even got the ball in the back of the net, Luis Boa Morte's lung-busting burst from midfield releasing Carlton Cole who finished coolly past Petr Cech. Celebrations were cut short though by the assistant referee's raised flag for offside.
After the break Chelsea were happy to sit back and soak up whatever West Ham could throw at them, safe in the knowledge that they remained a real threat on the counter.
John Obi Mikel had already hit the angle of post and bar on a quick break in the first half before Kalou and then Drogba both went close in similar circumstances after half-time.
Essien sealed all three points with another header on 83 minutes, the Ghanaian rising to meet Paulo Ferreira's deep cross and head past Green.
Parker's excellent first-time volleyed lob over Cech, whose attempted punch clear from a corner had only gone as far as the Hammers midfielder, injected some life into the closing moments.
But despite a contender for miss of the season from Frederique Piquionne - the substitute conspired to hit the bar with a header from two yards out with a minute to go - there was to be no repeat of Everton's late heroics against Manchester United earlier in the day, and Chelsea emerged from East London unscathed and looking in fine shape to make a successful defence of their title.Mike Hytner / Eurosport