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Saturday, 18 March, 2000, 18:21 GMT
Stimac off in stalemate

West Ham 0-0 Chelsea

West Ham's Igor Stimac was sent off as this bad-tempered but otherwise dull London derby ended goalless.

The Croatian had already been booked for a petulant clash with Tore Andre Flo when he fouled Dennis Wise 19 minutes from time.

The pair had to be separated after exchanging heated words as the West Ham defender left the field.

West Ham regrouped although Flo, who was also booked for a clash with Rio Ferdinand, Stimac and John Moncur, wasted two good chances to seal the win.

Dan Petrescu's pass opened up a wonderful first-half opportunity for the Norwegian but, after bursting between Stimac and Rio Ferdinand, he shot wide with only Forrest to beat.

Then, in the second half with West Ham down to ten men, Albert Ferrer sent over a tailor-made cross but Flo put his header straight at the keeper.

The Hammers should have had the ball in the net themselves during one astonishing first-half scramble.

Paolo di Canio offered West Ham's greatest hope and it was his beautifully-judged through-pass that put in Moncur.

His shot bounced off Ed de Goey for Marcel Desailly to clear - but only as far as di Canio, whose piledriver cannoned off the big Dutch goalkeeper again, struck the bar and came back down into his arms.

Earlier, di Canio had carved out a brilliant individual opening when his swerving run took him past Leboeuf and into the box, but his shot was too tame to trouble de Goey.

The unpredictable Paulo Wanchope and the persistent Trevor Sinclair both wasted half-chances before Wise was robbed by a last-ditch tackle from Minto when looking certain to score at the other end from Morris's knock-down.

In the end West Ham looked the more likely winners, although the luckless Chris Sutton toe-ended a presentable chance wide in the closing minutes after substituting for Flo.

Chelsea's unbeaten run - now up the 14 games - continues, but so does their lacklustre domestic form.

Teams:

West Ham:
Forrest, Stimac, Ferdinand, Minto, Lomas, Foe, Lampard, Moncur, Sinclair, Wanchope, di Canio. Subs: Feuer, Kitson, Cole, Keller, Ruddock.

Chelsea: De Goey, Ferrer, Leboeuf, Desailly, Babayaro, Petrescu, Deschamps, Wise, Morris, Zola, Flo. Subs: Cudicini, Poyet, Sutton, Di Matteo, Thome.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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