Frank Lampard

West Ham 0-3 Chelsea: Lampard leads Blues to dominant win (video)

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Chelsea waltzed to a convincing 3-0 victory over West Ham at Upton Park in an extremely one-sided London derby on Saturday.

Former Hammer Frank Lampard come back to haunt his old side with two goals and the hugely impressive Oscar grabbed the other in a rampant Chelsea display. West Ham just couldn’t deal with the Blues’ movement and Oscar won a penalty kick after Jussi Jaaskelainen brought him down that Lampard dispatched in the first half.

Before half time Brazilian playmaker Oscar added a superb second goal, then Lampard finished the rout off with a typically clinical strike in the 81st minute.

With the win Chelsea move back up to third in the Premier League standings and are four points off leaders Arsenal. As for West Ham, their struggles at home continue and they’ve now only won once in 11 games. They sit one place out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

Chelsea started the game well as Eden Hazard cut in early on from the left to win a corner, and from that resulting set-piece John Terry just mistimed his jump to get on the end of an inviting delivery.

The Blues early dominance continued as the ball broke to Oscar on the edge of the box but he blazed a shot over the bar amid jeers from the home fans at Upton Park.

West Ham’s first real chance of the game came in the 18th minute as Stewart Downing ‘s left-wing cross was headed goalwards by  Jack Collison and the ball deflected towards Joe Cole who saw his effort blocked.

Soon after Chelsea went ahead as Gary Cahill’s chipped past was knocked back toward Jaaskelainen in goal by Guy Demel, but the defenders back pass was to short and forced Jaaskelainen to rush out and upend Chelsea attacker Oscar to give away a penalty kick.

Former West Ham academy product Lampard smashed home the PK as he scored his third goal in four games against the Hammers to silence the boo boys scattered amongst the home crowd.

And before they knew it, the Hammers were 2-0 down as Oscar dribbled towards West Ham’s beleaguered defense and drilled a low shot into the far corner.

That second strike was too much for West Ham manager Sam Allardyce to handle and he made a swift double substitution by replacing wingers Cole and Collison with Mohamed Diame and Modibo Maiga. That switch was greeted with boos from the home fans who vented their frustration at a poor first half display.

source: Reuters
Mourinho’s team put in an impressive display to blow away their London rivals.

Chelsea’ relentless pressure didn’t stop, as Sameul Eto’o almost curled in a third in the 42nd minute but Jaaskelianen palmed the superb effort away. The Blues were beginning to put on a show in East London as the first half came to a close.

The last time West Ham came from behind to win in the Premier League was against Chelsea in December 2012, 357 days ago… But they never really looked like overturning a Chelsea side full of swagger.

After the break Chelsea continued to swarm forward and dominated possession as they enjoyed 73 percent of the ball in the first 10 minutes of the second half. In the 54th minute Oscar should have scored his second and Chelsea’s third of the game as Cesar Azpilicueta teed him up at the back post with a great run and cross down the left however the Brazilian attacker blazed wide.

In the 65th minute Guy Demel ran past three Chelsea players from a corner kick and picked out Maiga at the back post but the French striker was caught off guard and slotted the ball wide from six-yards out when it looked easier to score.

West Ham made the second half a much more even affair as they tried to close down Chelsea and make it difficult for the visitors to add to their lead. But Chelsea did just that late on and it was that man Lampard again who came back to haunt his old side with a calm low finish in the 81st minute to make it 3-0 and seal the win.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Nolan (Jarvis, 76), Tomkins, Collison (Diame, 39), Morrison, Noble, O’Brien, Collins, Demel, Downing, J.Cole (Maiga, 39)

Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Lampard; Ramires, Oscar (Schurrle, 83), Hazard (Essien, 84); Eto’o (Ba, 78)

Goals: Lampard (21 & 81), Oscar (34)

Dempsey returns to training after second heart procedure

SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 28:  Clint Dempsey #2 of MLS All-Stars chases after the ball up field against the Arsenal FC during the second half of the AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Avaya Stadium on July 28, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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Many were concerned about USMNT and Seattle Sounders attacker Clint Dempsey‘s future when he underwent a pair of heart procedures in 2016.

The 33-year-old Dempsey took another step to allay those fears when he hit the pitch for Seattle’s first day of preseason camp.

[ MORE: How will U.S. line up vs. Serbia? ]

The Sounders won the 2016 MLS Cup despite the absence of Dempsey, and his return would further strengthen the side. General manager Garth Lagerwey said Dempsey won’t be rushed, but could be nearing a return.

EFL Cup second legs preview: Liverpool, Hull City aim for comebacks

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 11:  Divock Origi of Liverpool battles with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (L) and Ryan Bertrand of Southampton during the EFL Cup semi-final first leg match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium on January 11, 2017 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
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Manchester United and Southampton are 90 minutes from Wembley Stadium.

Hull City and Liverpool would prefer to change that.

After first legs a fortnight ago, the EFL Cup semifinals play out on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of Feb. 26’s final at Wembley.

[ MORE: How will U.S. line up vs. Serbia? ]

First up is Southampton‘s trip to Liverpool, with the Saints nursing a 1-0 lead from the first leg at St. Mary’s. The Wednesday kickoff sees Saints hoping the Reds’ poor run of form will continue at Anfield. Liverpool has one win 2017, and that was an FA Cup replay victory over Plymouth Argyle.

Southampton boss Claude Puel knows the Reds will be ornery:

“We know Liverpool. They lost against Swansea at home, and I am sure they will want to react against us, but it’s important to keep all of our focus about our play.

“We know they are fantastic, a great team, with great players, but you saw in the first leg we have the ability to produce a strong game against them. It will be important to make a strong game – a perfect game – I think.”

Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United got a terrific result in the first leg at Old Trafford, scoring twice and holding Hull City from scooping up a valuable road goal. Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini scored the goals in the 2-0 win, but the KC Stadium will be rocking on Thursday as the Tigers look to reverse the result.

United midfielder Michael Carrick says the Red Devils will play as if they are starting from scratch:

“It’s definitely not over, we all know that. We are telling ourselves that. I think we’ll be pretty much full strength and will approach the game like it’s a 0-0 and starting from scratch.

“It’s dangerous when you go in there defending a lead to tell yourself this result will do or that result will do, or we can afford to do this or that.”

Report: China tempting TFC’s Giovinco with big offer

Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Union during the first half of an MLS soccer playoff match in Toronto, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP
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Could Sebastian Giovinco’s chances of another MVP award be diminishing?

It wouldn’t be on account of a lack of production, rather massive money coming his way from the Chinese Soccer League.

[ MORE: How will U.S. line up vs. Serbia? ]

Great, and right when we were daydreaming about how Toronto FC’s Italian attacker could run a revenge tour on the folks who somehow left him out of the MVP finalists last year.

Giovinco turns 30 on Thursday.

From The Toronto Sun’s Kurtis Larsson:

“The Chinese club seems to be very interested, but I don’t think it’ll be easy to take him away from Toronto,” Giovinco’s agent, Andrea D’Amico, told the broadcaster.

“We received an important offer from China and we’ll talk to Toronto to decide, along with Sebastian, what to do.”

Giovinco is with Toronto FC for preseason training camp, and both the club and player have shown no interest in moving on from the diminutive winger and 2015 MVP.

But if China comes calling with crazy money, say a $25-30 million transfer fee, shouldn’t TFC think twice? Any figure above $25 million would be more than the sum of the three biggest incoming transfer fees in MLS history (Miguel Almiron, Michael Bradley, Jermain Defoe).

AFCON wrap: Ivory Coast bounced, DR Congo wins Group C

Congo's soccer players celebrate after scoring a goal against Togo during the African Cup of Nations Group C soccer match between Congo and Togo at the Stade de Port-Gentil, Gabon, Tuesday Jan. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
AP Photo/Sunday Alamba
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Down went another knockout round mainstay from the Africa Cup of Nations, as the Ivory Coast failed to capture one of the top two spots in Group C.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Morocco 1-0 Ivory Coast

Needing a win to move on, the Ivory Coast fell in its final group match. Rachid Alioui scored a 64th minute goal that meant the Ivory Coast needed two to advance to the quarterfinals. The goals didn’t come, and Morocco will face the Group D winner next.

Togo 1-3 DR Congo

Junior Kabananga, Paul-Jose M’Poku, and Ndombe Mubele scored as the Leopards finished the group stage with an unbeaten record of 2-1. DR Congo will face the runner-up of Group D in the quarterfinals.

Wednesday’s matches

Ghana is through with six points, while Uganda is out. Egypt will go through with a result against Ghana, while Mali needs a win and an Egypt loss to get to tiebreakers.

Egypt vs. Ghana — 2 p.m. ET
Uganda vs. Mali — 2 p.m. ET