Belfast Telegraph

Hammers are starting to hit hard says Declan Rice

United’s form has improved as demonstrated by draw with Chelsea.

Declan Rice revealed West Ham are now “buzzing” after putting their dismal start to the season behind them.

The Hammers, who lost their opening four matches, got their first points on the board by beating Everton last weekend and followed that up with Sunday’s goalless draw at home to high-flying Chelsea.

The Blues had won their previous five games but were fortunate to escape with a point from the London Stadium after Andriy Yarmolenko missed a golden chance with a late header.

Teenager Rice, who excelled in his deep-lying midfield role, said:  “Without a doubt we could have had three points, with the chances we missed in the first half and obviously Yarmolenko’s header at the end was a crucial turning point in the game.

“But other than that I thought we were excellent. We all knew our jobs and we all gave 100 per cent.

“We took so much confidence from last week. Once you get three points everyone is happy and we were so close to getting that again. Everyone was still buzzing.

“It feels a bit like two points dropped, but a draw is better than a loss. We’ve got Manchester United at home next week and that’s a crucial game, so hopefully we can take the three points there.”

Chelsea dominated possession in east London, so much so that midfielder Jorginho broke a Premier League record with 180 attempted passes.

It was a statistic that summed up a dreary display in which they created very little of note until subs Alvaro Morata and Ross Barkley forced late saves from Lukasz Fabianski.

“Of course we were disappointed,” defender David Luiz told Chelsea TV. “We didn’t play a fantastic game, we didn’t create a lot.

“It was too slow, moving the ball to create the gaps or our movements without the ball, and that is why we couldn’t score.

“I think our plan is fantastic but on Sunday we didn’t play at our high level so that is why we didn’t win.

“We know that many teams now are going to play against us this way, with a low block and trying to play on the counter-attack, so there was not a lot of space – but it’s up to us to try to find a solution.”

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