Goodbye Europe: West Ham halt Chelsea hopes of continental football with draw at Stamford Bridge


Ruben Loftus-Cheek won a late and controversial penalty to earn Chelsea a point in a 2-2 draw with West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll scored on a forgettable day for Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, but a pair of goals for Cesc Fabregas left things even.

The result means Chelsea on 44 points, will most definitely miss out on any of European competitions next season.

With about 10 points separating the Blues and the top five teams, the Europa League was a more realistic destination for Guus Hiddink’s side, but this seems very much of an uphill task after their recent draw.

Manchester United, Stoke City, Southampton and Liverpool look likely to beat the Blues to Europe’s second-tier club competition.

Loftus-Cheek fell after questionable if any contact from Michail Antonio that also appeared to be just outside the 18, and a penalty was given that Fabregas converted in the 90th minute.

Fabregas scored Chelsea’s other goal with a beautiful free kick to maintain the Blues’ unbeaten Premier League run under Dutchman Hiddink. A win would have taken West Ham into the Top Four, but the draw pulls them to within a point of Manchester City.

Riyad Mahrez scored his 18th of the season to help Leicester City extend their lead at the summit of the league to eight points.

The Algerian provided the sole strike of the game at Selhurst Park as Claudio Ranieri’s team edged Crystal Palace 1-0 to place one foot at the league title.