West Ham showed passion and character during their display against Chelsea on Sunday, despite heavy rotation in the squad and a lack of investment in January.
The Hammers dramatically lost 1-0 to Chelsea in the final minutes of their encounter in the Premier League on Sunday, which dealt a big blow to the club’s top four chances this season.
However, after an exhausting second leg tie against French side Lyon in the quarter finals of the Europa League the week before, and a semi-final to think about the week later – so manager David Moyes had rotated the squad heavily.
Key players including Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were rested for the fixture, with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Mark Noble and Arthur Masuaku coming into the fold.
On top of that, the Hammers were without three central defenders due to injury, leaving Craig Dawson as the only fit, senior centre back.
However, despite all these squad issues, the team performed excellently. They showed grit and determination to keep out a strong Chelsea side who are in the top three of the Premier League.
It wasn’t until Craig Dawson was shown a red card that the Hammers became outnumbered at the back, eventually conceding a 90th-minute winner at the hands of Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic.
A spirited display prevented the Blues from scoring for the majority of the game, while also providing a positive attacking threat going forward.
This performance, however, will give the manager and supporters confidence going into a tough semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, and a tough end to the Premier League season.
A lack of investment in the squad has hindered some of the team’s performances in recent weeks, due to tiredness, and it is imperative that the owners support Moyes in this summer’s transfer window.
However, now that the players are rested, the squad should be refreshed and motivated going into one of the club’s most important fixtures in recent history – with the aim to reach their first European final since 1976.