New Boys Give Chelsea A Flying Start  (Sky Sports)

Mario Stanic
Chelsea 4-2 West Ham
Hasselbaink pen 30, Zola 58, Stanic 77, 88 - di Canio 47, Kanoute 83
FA Carling Premiership

Patrick Goss reporting

Chelsea sent a powerful message to those that think Manchester United will stroll to the Premiership, in this London derby.

A brace from new signing Mario Stanic, including an early candidate for goal of the season, along with a penalty from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and a beautifully taken free-kick from Gianfranco Zola were enough to overcome a brave West Ham side and goals from Frederic Kanoute and Paolo Di Canio.

But Chelsea's opener was controversial. Hasselbaink cantered through and collided with Irons goalkeeper Shaka Hislop on 30 minutes. Although it appeared that Hislop had touched the ball, and possibly the collision was outside of the box, referee Graham Barber gave the penalty which the 15 million man himself smashed home.

West Ham made all of the early running as the Blues tried to gel, and the impressive Davor Suker should have scored when he was released by a mix-up in Chelsea's back line.

Kanoute, also received an early chance but fired high and wide when he should have tested Ed De Goey in the Chelsea goal.

The second half started in dramatic circumstances. A minute has gone when Paolo Di Canio found himself played into space on the edge of the six yard box and slotted home past De Goey to level matters.

Although the equaliser brought the game back to life Chelsea continued to threaten and took the lead through a superlative free-kick from the diminutive figure of Zola, who smashed the ball into the top right corner after Hasselbaink had been callously brought down by Igor Stimac.

With both sides trading chances, Chelsea finally asserted their authority with a breathtaking strike from Stanic, making his Premiership debut.

Stanic received possession some 30 yards out and, after juggling the ball twice, lashed home an awesome volley past the despairing dive of Hislop.

But West Ham refused to give up the fight and after Michael Carrick, surely one of the brightest prospects in the English game, had a long shot tipped over, the resulting corner presented Kanoute with a simple but well taken headed goal to set up a frantic last five minutes.

However, it was Stanic who had the final word when he met a Dennis Wise corner with a firm header that flew past Hislop and put a shine on both his man of the match performance and Chelsea's ideal start to a lengthy Premiership campaign.

West Ham will play worse and win this season, but Gianluca Vialli has a potent attacking force at his disposal and if they have the requisite staying power then Chelsea will be there or thereabouts.

Chelsea: de Goey, Panucci, Babayaro (Le Saux 70), Desailly, Poyet (Morris 82), Hasselbaink, Wise, Stanic, Melchiot, Di Matteo, Zola (Flo 70).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Thome.
Booked: Panucci.
Goals: Hasselbaink 31 pen, Zola 59, Stanic 78, 90.

West Ham: Hislop, S. Pearce, Stimac, Suker, Di Canio, Lomas, Kanoute, Winterburn, Lampard, Carrick (Cole 85), Margas.
Subs Not Used: Charles, Potts, Keller, Bywater.
Booked: Lampard, Hislop, Margas.
Goals: Di Canio 48, Kanoute 85.

Att: 34,914
Ref: G Barber (Tring).

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