West Ham made it two games unbeaten with a 0-0 draw against Maurizio Sarri’s unbeaten Chelsea side.

The Blues went into the match having won every one of their encounters this term and with Eden Hazard in sparkling form.

However, they were unable to break down Pellegrini’s men. We’ve picked out four talking points from the game; two good and two areas for improvement.

First clean sheet

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

This match saw the Hammers pick up their first clean sheet of the season and there were plenty of defensive performances to savour.

Lukasz Fabianski continued his strong form since his summer arrival from Swansea; a brave save with his face from Alvaro Morata kept the scoreline goalless.

Pablo Zabaleta dealt admirably with an in-form Hazard, using his years of experience to defy his aging legs.

Perhaps the pick of the bunch was Fabian Balbuena. The centre-half has taken his time to find his feet but put in his best Hammers display yet. There are signs of a burgeoning partnership between him and Issa Diop.

Pellegrini’s 4-3-3 continues to work

(Photo by James Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

Manuel Pellegrini has a penchant for a 4-2-2-2 formation and signed players in the summer that indicated he might go for a 4-2-3-1 at the London Stadium.

Last weekend at Goodison, he came out with a more sturdy 4-3-3; shorn of a central playmaker, with much of the craft outsourced to the wings.


He kept with it here, with Declan Rice, Pedro Obiang and Mark Noble in the engine room. It was a tough test against Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic; the trio set the pressing tempo and have quality in abundance.

Pellegrini’s midfield stood firm to further reinforce the idea he’s found a solid formula in the centre.

Hammers must be more clinical

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

It goes without saying that Andriy Yarmolenko should have won the game with his point-blank header.

If West Ham’s front three can add clinical finishing to a team that is beginning to battle manfully and defend as a unit, Pellegrini will have the makings of a real team on his hands.

But, if chances continue to go begging, it dampens the confidence of the whole team. The good news is that Saturday’s opponents Manchester United are likely to cough up an opportunity or two; West Ham must take them.

Firepower lacking without Arnie

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

In the absence of talisman Marko Arnautovic opted to field Michail Antonio as a makeshift striker. The inclusion of the man valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt was a slap in the face for Lucas Perez; what does he need to do to get a game?

Maybe there’s more to last weekend’s substitution farce than meets the eye. That’s pure conjecture but the fact remains that the Hammers lack an alternative to Arnie.

Javier Hernandez is still sidelined and could be that man; but there’s been precious little evidence since his arrival last summer.

Perez was supposed to be a striking Plan B, but it isn’t working out like that. Perhaps it’s time for Xande Silva…

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