1. Yarmolenko The Hero
What’s better than a last-minute equaliser against your local rivals, a last-minute winner against your local rivals. This is a feat that Andriy Yarmolenko managed against cross-city rivals, Chelsea. The match was during project restart, and the hammers had lost their previous two games against Spurs and Wolves.
The season was looking bleak as the threat of relegation looming over the London stadium. West Ham needed to beat a tough Chelsea side in order to kick start their fight against the drop. It looked like it would be another defeat for the Hammers after Soucek had a goal ruled out by VAR and Willian had then put Chelsea in the lead.
Soucek then managed to equal the scores before Michail Antonio gave the Hammers the lead at the start of the second half. Then Willian struck again, this time firing in a brilliant free-kick. A point would have done little to boost the Hammers survival hopes. Step up Yarmolenko.
The Blues were pushing for a winner and from a corner were caught on the counter. Antonio played a terrific ball for Ukrainian who had timed his run to perfection. Yarmolenko charged towards goal and only had Antonio Rudiger in his way. With a quick switch of feet, cut past the defender and fired a powerful into the goal.
The goal turned out to be the winner in the match. It was also the catalyst for West Ham’s run for the rest of the season that saved them from relegation. The goal was also a saving grace for Yarmolenko who has struggled with injuries during his time with the club. Now the Ukrainian will be in West Ham folklore forever.
It has been a crazy year for football and especially West Ham but ultimately one that fans can call successful. Hopefully, 2021 can deliver some equally special moments.