Chelsea did not commit a single foul against West Ham on Saturday afternoon – a stat that Gary Lineker has described as “incredible”.
The Hammers finally put an end to their dreadful run of seven Premier League games without a win with a 1-0 victory over their London rivals at Stamford Bridge, but one bizarre detail caught Lineker’s eye.
Speaking on Match of the Day (BBC One, November 30th, 10.20pm), he said: “Did you know that Chelsea didn’t commit one foul in the whole game?
“Incredible statistic, I’ve never heard of that before.
“Not sure if it’s a bad thing or a good thing. I think it’s a good thing.”
This is an odd one, but on a day in which the Hammers had to come out swinging, it shows just how much more up for the fight they were than their opponents. Manuel Pellegrini looked to be on the brink after a simply dreadful run of form, but now, after just one win, the complexion of things in east London has changed immensely. Of course, they need to follow it up with more decent results, and upcoming games against Arsenal and Wolves won’t be easy, but this win will have gone a long way to restoring some confidence around the club, and that could be a huge difference-maker for a side who should really be challenging for a European spot as opposed to fighting a relegation battle. Hopefully, it’s all uphill from here. As for the stat, nobody likes to see unnecessary foul play, but it really is a damning indictment of how passive Chelsea were in a game they will feel they should have won.