Declan Rice revealed West Ham targeted two Chelsea stars in their efforts to rescue a point in the London derby against West Ham.
The Blues took lead in the 16th minute when Joao Felix, back from a three-game ban, scored his first goal for his new team after a January loan move from Atletico Madrid.
All of Chelsea’s good work was undone 12 minutes later, however, when Vladimir Coufal was allowed time and space to cross the ball that was flicked on by Bowen and converted by Emerson Palmieri.
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Speaking after the match, Rice explained how the Hammers had noted the lack of defensive cover provided by Chelsea’s wingers, Mykhailo Mudryk and Noni Madueke, and forced their equaliser as a result of that weakness.
He told Stadium Astro: ‘With the team they put out they started really sharply, really quickly. They had some really, really good players on show.
‘It took us a little while to get going and adapt to their system. But once we found out their weakness, getting the ball down the sides of them and realised their wingers weren’t really tracking back.
‘We managed to get the goal from that and exploit that. The last 20 minutes was there for us and we could have nicked it.’
Despite the dropped points, Felix’s display represented a real source of encouragement for Chelsea and their manager, while Rice conceded they struggled to get to grips with the movement of the Portuguese star.
‘I’ve played against a lot of midfielders and No.10s and the first 10 or 15 minutes today as a player you know a top player,’ he said.
‘The way he worked from side to side to get on the ball and find space he’s an unbelievable player.
‘I noticed that straight away. You have to be really on your game with players like him.’