With David Moyes’ side heading into Saturday afternoon’s 12:30 kick off in something of a poor run of form, having picked up just one point from their last three Premier League fixtures, the 58-year-old must have quietly been dreading table-topping Chelsea’s visit to the London Stadium.
This feeling would certainly not have improved when Thiago Silva headed home Mason Mount’s corner in the 28th minute of the match, with Thomas Tuchel’s side very much dominating the opening half-hour.
However, the Hammers grew into the game as the first half wore on and were gifted a chance to equalise from the spot when Jarrod Bowen latched onto a sloppy Jorginho backpass before Edouard Mendy brought down the 24-year-old. Manuel Lanzini did not waste the opportunity, sending the Blues ‘keeper the wrong way with a near-perfect penalty.
Alas, parity in the fixture did not last long, as Mason Mount turned from provider to scorer in spectacular fashion, volleying a side-footed finish past Lukasz Fabianski from Hakim Ziyech’s whipped cross, seeing the visitors take a 2-1 lead into the interval.
Moyes was forced into a change at half-time, with Ben Johnson coming off due to injury and Arthur Masuaku taking his place at left wing-back – something which The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas dubbed as a “big chance for Masuaku to impress.”
And impress he did.
While Chelsea inevitably enjoyed more possession of the ball upon the restart, West Ham nevertheless proved resolute in defence, with Masuaku’s performance at the back particularly standing out.
Indeed, the £6.3m-rated defender made one clearance and five tackles, blocked one shot and won seven of his eight attempted duels – all while up against arguably the best right-back in the league at present in the form of Reece James.
These efforts played a key role in keeping the Irons in the game, something which ultimately led to Bowen drawing the home side level midway through the second half, the winger netting with a low drive from the edge of the area in the 58th minute.
Against the odds, the afternoon would get even better for Masuaku and his side, when the left-back who Aaron Cresswell dubbed a “fantastic” talent fired a dangerous ball into the Chelsea penalty area with just three minutes remaining, catching Mendy out at his near post and sending the London Stadium wild.
As such, with match-winner earning a SofaScore match rating of 7.9 for his efforts against the Blues – the highest of any West Ham player on the day – it is clear for all to see that Masuaku did indeed seize his chance on Saturday, and he is undoubtedly deserving of a starting spot against Burnley next weekend.