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)

Wenger, Kroenke meet; Arsenal board will be told decision Tues.

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Wenger watch is entering its final hours.

The BBC is reporting that Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke met with longtime manager Arsene Wenger on Monday to discuss the Frenchman’s future, and that the decision was going to be made together.

[ MORE: Wenger would pay Sanchez, Ozil ]

It seems almost certain that Wenger is going to come back to the Emirates Stadium. From the BBC:

The outcome is unclear but the decision rests solely with Wenger and Kroenke and will be relayed to directors at a Tuesday board meeting.

Fresh terms were agreed in principle some months ago, but nothing is signed.

There have been questions about whether Wenger would accept a sporting director being placed above him, and if Kroenke believes the repercussions of keeping the boss would negatively impact the business.

Barcelona to keep goalkeeper Ter Stegen until 2022

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Barcelona says it has reached a deal to extend the contract of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen until June 2022.

The club said the new agreement, which has a buyout clause of 180 million euros ($201 million), will be signed on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

Ter Stegen has been with the club since 2014, helping it win nine titles in three seasons.

The German goalkeeper has played 93 matches with Barcelona, conceding 90 goals in 71 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses.

Barcelona has already renewed the contracts of Javier Mascherano, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. It is still working on new deals for Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Report: Wenger ready to pay Ozil, Sanchez club record deals

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Arsenal knows its departure from the UEFA Champions League has to be a short one, and that keeping its two best attackers around is imperative.

That’s why Arsene Wenger is preparing to make Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the top paid players in Arsenal history, according to a report from The Telegraph’s Jeremy Wilson.

The contract status of both players has been a touchy one this season, and Sanchez especially has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe (including London neighbors Chelsea).

[ MORE: Yaya to stay at Man City ]

But perhaps the Gunners’ FA Cup triumph over Chelsea has Ozil and Sanchez feeling good vibes about the Emirates Stadium set, and Arsenal is ready to pounce. According to the report:

Wenger has told the board that he thinks he can win the Premier League if this group stays together and is supplemented by no more than two or three key additions. Ozil is understood already to have been offered more than £250,000 a week and the club are ready to go to around £280,000 for both him and Sanchez.

The Gunners need both players healthy and happy heading into next season, and appropriate additions as well (A top striker is a must. Again). Wage structure is important, but Arsenal will have a blessing in disguise if another player can make a legit case he deserves to be paid like Ozil and Sanchez any time soon.

West Ham, Everton, and the superstar striker’s need for the Champions League

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Come up with a list of active elite level strikers, and it’s likely to be a short one filled with names from UEFA Champions League clubs.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Costa, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Edinson Cavani, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Harry Kane, even Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Rarely do names like these move to a non-UCL club while in their prime, and it’s just as uncommon to see them stay at clubs which have failed to qualify for the UCL.

The money, the prestige, the endorsements; All are amplified by the world stage. Given the massive import of their domestic stage and spotlight, Premier League sides have bucked this trend on occasion — see Romelu Lukaku — but it’s the exception to the rule.

That’s what puts an ambitious club like West Ham United between a rock and a hard place. The Irons have been vocal about their desires to bring in a top-end striker, and it’s likely they’d be happy to spend what it takes to attract Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang, or Cavani to town.

Lyon reportedly rejected a $45 million bid for Lacazette last season, admitting that ultimately the player’s desires would determine his future. Higuain, too, was linked to chairman David Gold’s wallet before moving to Juventus. Carlos Bacca also saw his future connected to the Irons.

Instead, Gold landed Andre Ayew from Swansea, and had to hope Andy Carroll could stay healthy or Enner Valencia would deliver. Not a striker, Dimitri Payet apparently decided to skip town soon after West Ham’s Europa League exit at the hands of Astra Giurgiu.

Now it’s Kelechi Iheanacho being linked to the London Stadium, another hopeful swing from the Irons that points a strong finger at the problem: West Ham can be as ambitious as it likes, but it’s going to need a miracle to pull an elite striker to London without European football.

And it shouldn’t happen, but what if Everton is bumped from the UEL in the third qualifying round or playoff next year? Will Lukaku follow Payet’s lead and sink another team from joining the discussion? Though an argument can be made it’s better for Everton to lose those summer games, the Toffees very much need to succeed in the UEL qualifying and also show signs of strength in the early PL docket. That’s the unforgiving life of sitting on the outskirts of the powerful tier.

Every team at every level is searching for the next elite striker. Some, like West Ham, will need to luck into a young buck on the rise or a flawed striker finding his potential. And how do they hold onto that player, one who will have alerted the big boys to his arrival, without qualifying for Europe? It’s improbable.

The ability of teams like Chelsea and Liverpool to compete for a European slot in the PL standings thanks to missing out on the UCL the year before signals hope for clubs like Everton and West Ham. And five Premier League sides competing in the UCL this year could extend an invitation to stay longer in the Top Seven discussion for sides like Southampton and Leicester City, too.

So this summer’s striker captures are huge for Slaven Bilic and David Gold. This is a window the league’s “next group” won’t have open annually, and West Ham’s hopes of barging into the discussion again hinge on who shows up by August.