A late Diego Costa goal handed Chelsea a 2-1 victory over West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in their opening Premier League encounter on Monday.
French midfielder N’Golo Kante was handed his Premier League debut for the Blues, while Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew made his first competitive start for the Hammers.
The opening stages of the match proved to be a cagey affair, with the Blues going close to breaking the deadlock in the opening 20 minutes when right back Branislav Ivanovic forced West Ham goalkeeper Adrian into making a low save.
The Hammers were dealt a major blow in the 30th minutes when Ayew sustained a thigh injury and was forced off the field. Gokhan Tore was giving his debut, replacing the Ghanian forward.
The Blues started to gain momentum and dominated possession as half-time approached and Antonio Conte’s side nearly to lead lead on the stroke of half-time when Willian’s free kick forced Adrian into producing a fine save to keep the score goalless heading into the break.
Chelsea were awarded a penalty moments after the restart when Cesar Azpilicueta was brought down in the penalty area by Michail Antonio. Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to hand Chelsea the lead, 1-0.
The Blues continued to press in search of a second goal and nearly went close in the 60th minute as Willian once again forced Adrian into making a low save before captain John Terry saw his headed effort guided just wide a few moments later.
However, West Ham leveled matters in the 77th minute as the ball fell to James Collins on the edge of the box and the defender made no mistake blazing his volley into the far corner, 1-1.
In the final minutes of the match, Conte introduced new signing Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses but it was Costa who secured the Blues their first victory of the new season when he fired a low strike in the back of the net from 20 yards out in the 89th minute.
Chelsea will now travel to Vicarage Road when they take on Watford on Saturday, while West Ham United will welcome Bournemouth to the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.
Kick-off has been set for 16:00 and 17:00 respectively.
Image: Premier League website