By Mike Collett
Chelsea’s terrible start to the season plumbed new depths on Saturday when the Premier League champions lost 2-1 at West Ham United, manager Jose Mourinho was banished from the dugout and midfielder Nemanja Matic was sent off.
The Hammers soared to second in the table, at least until Arsenal play Everton in the late kickoff, and Manchester United play league leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
Mourinho, who was fined 50,000 pounds ($76,560.00) last week for his comments about referees following Chelsea’s defeat by Southampton, has been involved in other controversies this season and found himself back in trouble at halftime.
He asked referee Jon Moss for a meeting after Matic was sent off for two yellow cards and Cesc Fabregas had a goal disallowed for offside but instead Moss sent him to the stands.
The Portuguese went to sit in the directors box, but left eight minutes before the match ended.
With 10 matches played, Chelsea have lost five times, two more than in the whole of last season when they won the title. They are 15th in the standings with 11 points.
Mauro Zarate put the Hammers ahead after 17 minutes and Gary Cahill equalised for Chelsea after 56 minutes before substitute Andy Carroll won it for the hosts with a 79th-minute header.
“We’ve had some great wins but that’s got to be one of the best. It was a great strike by Mauro Zarate for the opener. We went for the win and kept on pushing and got it,” Carroll told the BBC.
Cahill told Sky: “We were frustrated when Cesc’s goal was disallowed and when Matic got sent off.
“That’s the way the season is going at the moment and we had one that nearly went over the line.
“It’s those fine margins. That’s the way our luck is going but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves and have to work hard to turn it around.”
Leicester City, another unfamiliar name at the top of the table, stayed fifth with a 1-0 over Crystal Palace as Jamie Vardy scored for the seventh successive league match, one of a select few to score in that many consecutive games which includes Ruud van Nistelrooy and Thierry Henry.
He struck after 59 minutes for his 10th goal of the season to top the league’s scoring list.
Manchester City are top on 21 points, followed by West Ham on 20 and Arsenal, Manchester United and Leicester on 19.
Swansea City won 2-1 at Aston Villa where Andre Ayew grabbed the winner after his brother Jordan earlier scored for the hosts.
That result added to the pressure on Villa manager Tim Sherwood whose team will sink to bottom place if Sunderland beat Newcastle United on Sunday.
“I believe we will get out of it,” Sherwood said, “I believe we will be in the Premier League next season.”
West Bromwich Albion won 1-0 at Norwich City and Watford were 2-0 victors at Stoke City.