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West Ham: Said Benrahma fails David Moyes’ striker experiment

West Ham United were subject to a cruel 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in the Premier League this afternoon as Christian Pulisic’s 90th-minute winner proved the difference after Craig Dawson was sent off and Jorginho saw a penalty saved.

It was a much-changed starting lineup from manager David Moyes, who clearly had Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on his mind.

However, with certain players having to play in new positions, it was a resilient display from the Hammers at Stamford Bridge.

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Attacking midfielder Said Benrahma was one of those players, with the Algerian deployed up front. Moyes’ experiment, however, didn’t work in the end.

The 26-year-old ended up having fewer touches than Irons goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with 36, although service was somewhat limited with the Hammers only managing just six shots, two of which were on target.

However, the former Brentford man was only able to produce one of those shots on his return to west London.

Moreover, the forward only managed to win half of his duels whilst providing zero clearances or blocks with two tackles.

The quiet display wasn’t necessarily Benrahma’s fault with the Algerian required to play in a completely new role that would’ve undoubtedly been uncomfortable.

Although, with Moyes making a handful of changes, it was certainly an experiment worth making given the lack of senior strikers at the Scotsman’s disposal.

Was Moyes right to play Benrahma up front?

Yes

Yes

No

No

In fact, the fact that the Hammers currently have just one senior striker in Michail Antonio has been a predicament for the east London outfit all season, despite their success in the league and Europe.

Had the 26-year-old produced a stellar showing at Stamford Bridge, the Irons could’ve discovered a new trick to keep up their sleeve with the remaining list of fixtures still congested despite being in late April, given West Ham’s Europa League commitments.

It appears as though now, especially if Moyes’ side reach the Europa League final, Europe will be the priority and we’ll now see plenty of changes for every league game.

The Hammers missed the opportunity to climb back into the top six after Manchester United’s defeat to Arsenal yesterday, although Wolves’ defeat at Burnley meant that the east London outfit remain seventh in the Premier League.

It’s important that Benrahma isn’t criticised badly for his quiet afternoon at Chelsea given his new position. However, it was an experiment from Moyes that ultimately failed and shouldn’t be repeated.

AND in other news: Moyes can axe “superb” £50m ace with WHU swoop for “one of the most exciting talents”

Article title: West Ham: Said Benrahma fails David Moyes’ striker experiment

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