Joao Felix scored his first Chelsea goal as Graham Potter’s side were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Atletico Madrid loanee opened the scoring early on at the London Stadium before former Chelsea defender Emerson leveled for the hosts midway through the first half.
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West Ham thought they had grabbed a late win when Tomas Sucek scored a header with just minutes remaining but it was disallowed for offside. The result means Chelsea remain without an away win since October 16.
Felix was immediately reinstated into Graham Potter’s squad after serving a three-match ban for the straight red card he picked up in his side’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham in January and was instrumental in Chelsea’s torrid start against West Ham. defense in many cases.
“I think we played a great game and controlled the game. They scored when we were good but that’s football. We had chances to score but we’re going strong for the game,” Chelsea goalscorer Felix told BT Sport after the match .
“We fought for the three points but I think we are strong for the next match. I feel comfortable playing in this team. There is so much quality it is incredible and now we have to fight together and we have everything to have a great rest of the season ».
The Portugal international looked set to open the scoring on 10 minutes as he pounced on a mistake by Nayef Aguerd to pass and eventually tap into an empty net after his initial chip was deflected off the face of the right post. However, the effort was disallowed after a late offside flag.
Felix, however, didn’t hold back for long and put his team ahead six minutes later. A flurry of Chelsea attacks culminated in record signing Enzo Fernandez floating a sumptuous through ball which the 23-year-old met to tap home after being freed by Agerd in the box.
David Moyes’ side tried their luck further when Kai Havertz got behind Mykhailo Mudryk and slotted past Lukasz Fabianski, but an offside flag and subsequent VAR review put paid to the striker’s miss.
Despite dominating most of the game, the visitors’ lead was lost with West Ham’s second effort on goal as Emerson, who signed for Moyes’ side from Chelsea last summer, restored parity on 28 minutes .
Vladimir Coufal found space on the right to swing in a headed cross from Jarrod Bowen, finding Emerson to tap down at the back post to tip over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s effort.
“There were a lot of emotions before the game and I scored my first Premier League goal against Chelsea, so I’m very happy. Of course I have a lot of respect for them, but today I think is my day,” Emerson said. on BT Sport.
“It was a difficult game. They played really well and we suffered a lot, but it’s an important point against a big team.
“When you play against the big team with a lot of quality, you have to stay highly focused for 90 minutes. We think it’s an important point for us.”
The second half saw a tighter contest with fewer attempts on goal. Havertz powerfully went off target after Potter tried to shake things up with a triple change.
The London Stadium erupted eight minutes from time as Sucek struck home after Kepa spilled the ball, but Declan Rice’s initial effort was ruled offside after a lengthy VAR review.
Chelsea had shouts for a penalty late in the match, claiming a hand from Sucek from Conor Gallagher’s tackle, but it was not given.
The result sees Chelsea remain ninth in the league table as West Ham move up two places to 15th.