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Saturday, 28 September, 2002, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Hammers break duck
Paolo di Canio
Di Canio prompted moset of West Ham's better moves
Chelsea 2-3 West Ham

The mercurial talent of Paolo di Canio inspired West Ham to a precious win over Chelsea, the Hammers' first victory of the season.

The Italian produced a stunning volley to put his side ahead at the beginning of the second half and after Chelsea equalised, his neat finish six minutes from time sealed three points for the Premiership's basement club.


Today was a very important day for the football club - a win's been a long time coming and it has reminded the players what a nice feeling it is
Glenn Roeder

The victory, nailbiting though it was, came as a welcome relief for Hammers manager Glenn Roeder, who has witnessed his team perform well this season for little reward.

Despite that, the away side began the match brightly, despite being rocked by an early injury to striker Frederic Kanoute.

The Frenchman, who hurt his groin in a challenge with Robert Huth, was replaced by Jermain Defoe, but the early change did not stop the Hammers dominating the opening exchanges.

However, the visitors were unable to engineer clearcut chances and, given their miserable start to the season, it was with some inevitability that Chelsea pounced to open the scoring despite rarely threatening.

  Key moments
21 mins: Scott Minto pulls back Chelsea's Robert Huth and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink dispatches the resulting penalty
41 mins: Jermain Defoe equalises for West Ham as Chelsea fail to clear a corner
48 mins: A wonderful goal from Paolo di Canio puts West Ham ahead
74 mins: Gianfranco Zola's free-kick puts Chelsea level
84 mins: Di Canio clinches victory for West Ham

Tomas Repka needlessly fouled Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the striker seemed to have run out of options and Huth was dragged back by former Chelsea player Scott Minto from the resulting free kick.

Hasselbaink coolly stepped up to convert the resulting penalty, his first Premiership goal of the season.

West Ham refused to be bowed and, urged on by Di Canio, continued to surge forward.

Sebastien Schemmel smashed a volley high and wide from a good position before the home side were made to pay for some poor defending at a corner.

Trevor Sinclair and Steve Lomas were both left free to clip Di Canio's corner goalwards - and when Cudicini parried, Defoe poked home from a yard.

Roeder's nerves were tested to the full

As the second half began, West Ham continued to threaten, with Defoe's incisive runs causing Chelsea trouble.

But it was Di Canio who seized the initiative.

The Italian appeared to pose little danger as he received the ball outside the area, but Chelsea's defenders were left stunned as the Italian deftly flicked the ball up with his left foot before volleying home from 30 yards with his right.

With a first victory in sight, West Ham lost their grip on the game and Chelsea began to build some momentum of their own.


We only played for 20 minutes, so West Ham deserved to win today - they played better than us, so there's nothing more to say
Claudio Ranieri

Minto was again involved, this time carelessly fouling Zola just outside the area - and the Italian's pinpoint free-kick looked to have resuced his side a point.

But Di Canio, who had frantically urged his fellow players on all afternoon, would not be robbed of his hero's role.

The quality of his second goal was in stark contrast to his first, a simple finish from inside the box, but the significance of it meant so much more West Ham's delirious fans.


Chelsea: Cudicini, Melchiot, Gallas, Huth, Stanic, Gronkjaer, Lampard, Morris, Zenden (Zola 63), Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink.
subs not used: de Goey, De Lucas, Terry, Nicolas.

Booked: Huth.

West Ham: James, Repka, Breen, Schemmel, Minto, Sinclair, Carrick, Lomas, Cole, Di Canio (Cisse 87), Kanoute (Defoe 4).
subs not used: Van Der Gouw, Winterburn, Pearce.

Booked: Repka, Minto, Lomas, Schemmel.

Attendance: 38,929.

Referee: M Dean (Wirral).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Eleanor Oldroyd
"West Ham may have turned the corner"
West Ham's David James
"We bossed the game"
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