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2021-22 English Premier League
  • Christian Pulisic (90')
  • Craig Dawson (86')

Christian Pulisic's late winner earns Chelsea vital victory against West Ham

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Can Pulisic nail down a starting spot in Chelsea's XI? (1:21)

Janusz Michallik speaks after Christian Pulisic's late winner for Chelsea against West Ham. (1:21)

Chelsea tightened their grip on third place in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over 10-man West Ham United on Sunday, with Christian Pulisic's 90th-minute winner at Stamford Bridge making up for teammate Jorginho's missed penalty.

Substitute Pulisic arrived in the box at the right time to guide home a superb pass by Marcos Alonso shortly after Jorginho had wasted his chance from the spot, firing straight at West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

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West Ham defender Craig Dawson, one of their best players in a much-changed side, was shown a red card after a check by the Video Assistant Referee following a clumsy foul on substitute Romelu Lukaku that resulted in the penalty.

Thomas Tuchel's side ended a run of two straight defeats at home -- against Brentford and Arsenal -- but it is their forward line rather than defence that will concern the manager ahead of their final few matches.

"[Tuchel] just said to make a difference; to combine and make opportunities. It feels good to be more secure in the top four," Pulisic, who replaced Timo Werner in the 76th minute, told Sky Sports postmatch.

"We needed a win at home, and it feels great in front of our fans. We need to finish the season strong ... some good league games and then a final [in the FA Cup against Liverpool]. I needed to come in and make a difference and show I want to be playing."

Seventh-placed West Ham made six changes to their starting line-up with an eye on Thursday's Europa League semi-final first leg against Eintracht Frankfurt, a competition that offers them their best chance of reaching next season's Champions League.

They looked on course to secure a point after N'Golo Kante's deflected effort and Trevoh Chalobah's rocket from distance drew saves from Fabianski, before Werner fired wide from a tight angle in the second half of a game that had few clear chances.

With the victory, Chelsea move five points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal, with a match in hand against Mikel Arteta's side. They can consolidate their position with a victory over struggling Manchester United on Thursday.