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Hammers hang on to take Chelsea point
8:05am Monday 15th December 2008 in West Ham - Match Reports
GIANFRANCO Zola returned to Stamford Bridge and watched his West Ham side keep Chelsea off the top of the Barclays Premier League by holding them to a 1-1 draw.
The struggling Hammers stunned Chelsea when Craig Bellamy put them ahead in the 33rd minute with a well-taken shot from 12 yards.
Chelsea levelled in the 50th minute when Nicolas Anelka pounced for his 16th goal of the season and his 100th Premier League goal overall but the home side failed to win at Stamford Bridge in the league for the third game in succession.
Chelsea fans had given Hammers coach Zola and assistant Steve Clarke a rapturous welcome as they emerged from the tunnel to take their places in the visiting dugout.
But the Blues poor home record took a turn for the worse when the visitors went ahead against the run of play. Mark Noble reached the byline and crossed the ball for Bellamy to fire the visitors in front from 12 yards.
Michael Ballack was incensed by Mike Riley's decision to allow the goal, protesting that Noble used his arm to control the ball, and was shown a yellow card.
Didier Drogba came on as sub but hardly had time to get into the game before Anelka supplied the equaliser. For once Chelsea's neat approach play paid off with John Obi Mikel and Drogba combining before Frank Lampard chipped the ball neatly into the path of Anelka, who slotted the ball underneath the advancing Robert Green.
West Ham escaped in the 78th minute when Green punched a Lampard corner towards his own goal but it was headed off the line by Scott Parker.
However, Green was the hero seconds later when he flung himself across goal to keep out a header from Alex.
Referee Riley then failed to award Chelsea a penalty when Lampard was tripped by Lucas Neill, but it needed a superb save from Petr Cech at the other end to deny Carlton Cole an injury-time winner.
© Press Association 2008