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)

CONCACAF Champions League gets reboot; MLS benefits

Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey, right, clears the ball away from Club America midfielder Rubens Sambueza (14) during the first half of a CONCACAF Champions League soccer quarterfinal, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
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Changes to the CONCACAF Champions League will benefit Major League Soccer in a big way.

Long requested by MLS, the North American league will only have to send its clubs to the CCL for the final four rounds, which will be home-and-away affairs.

Previously, clubs competed in a group stage from August to October, then joined the knockout rounds in February.

[ MORE: Transfer window names to watch ]

While MLS sides may still be just starting their seasons and have to contend with clubs who have been playing meaningful games, they will also be less likely to draw successful Liga MX sides in the Round of 16.

All of the details are here, but here’s a simplified takeaway:

— The 16 teams that qualify for the CCL, which will begin in February, will include four U.S. teams, one Canadian team, and four Mexican teams.

— The next six sides will be the Caribbean Club Championship winner and the champions of Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Panama.

— The remaining side will win its spot via a new tournament which includes 13 Central American teams and three from the Caribbean.

For those of us hoping to see an MLS side in the Club World Cup, the odds will become better come the 2018 CCL. As for this year, MLS will again have to deal with the split season.

Ten names to watch in Premier League transfer window

BERGAMO, ITALY - DECEMBER 11:  Franck Kessie of Atalanta BC in action during the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on December 11, 2016 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
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National team veterans from France, England, and Spain are in a 10-man mix of players we think could have big impacts on the fortunes of teams in the Premier League this January transfer window.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

10) Lassana Diarra, Marseille — Twice in London, the French-born midfielder is said to be interesting Manchester United and Valencia amongst others.

9) Leonardo Ulloa, Leicester City — The pressure doesn’t get to the Foxes’ 30-year-old striker, who has scored plenty of big goals for Leicester City. Might he be the perfect bench piece to push a team into the second half of the season? Spanish side Alaves have reportedly had a $2 million bid rejected by Leicester.

8) Phil Jagielka, Everton — Older, yes, but the English national team veteran could be just what the doctor-ordered for relegation candidates and lower-half sides looking for a PL-experienced CB.

7) Victor Lindelof, Benfica — His arrival at Old Trafford went from Tomorrowland to Lost in recent weeks, but Jose Mourinho could still act to bring in the center back before the summer.

6) Scott Hogan, Brentford — The Championship striker isn’t quite as prominent in the rumor mill as Jordan Rhodes was last season, but the 24-year-old could be a promising buy for a PL side. West Ham is said to have the inside track.

5) Goncalo Guedes, Benfica — As for Lindelof’s teammate, Guedes was tipped to join Manchester United with his center back. Will another side jump into the fray before Guedes joins Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford? Paris Saint-Germain is said to be interested.

4) Franck Kessie, Atalanta — The defensive midfielder has chipped in six goals for his Serie A side, and has been the major reason for Atalanta’s run into the top half.

3) Robert Snodgrass, Hull City — The Scottish wizard has been a big part of what little success has come the Tigers way this season, but West Ham and several other Premier League sides are tempting Hull.

2) Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid — He starred for Juventus last season and triggered a Real Madrid return. Slowed by an Achilles injury for much of this season, he’s been tipped for a summer move to Chelsea. If it can happen then… why not now? The Blues could order the title confetti if they landed the Spanish striker.

1) Dimitri Payet, West Ham United — Yes, we’re tired of his act — and reading about it — but Payet is a game-changer who could inject excitement into any offense in the world. If Marseille wants him, it had better pay up.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man City after two backs; Zelalem to Holland?

NAPLES, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 17: Napolis player Faouzi Ghoulam vies with Bologna FC player Simone Verdi during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Bologna FC at Stadio San Paolo on September 17, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
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Here are your transfer rumor headlines on a day when Gerard Deulofeu moves to AC Milan and Lazar Markovic heads to Hull City on loan.

[ MORE: Three players leave USMNT camp ]

Two Premier Leaguers could be heading down to help the Championship leaders. Newcastle United is said to be close to bringing Andros Townsend back from Crystal Palace after just a half-season, while Swansea City’s Mo Barrow is also on Rafa Benitez‘s radar.

An Arsenal blog says USMNT prospect Gedion Zelalem may have found his loan destination. The 19-year-old could be leaving the Emirates Stadium for a loan stint at VVV Venlo, with the Dutch side sitting first in the second tier and in a promotion push.

The Manchester Evening News brings reports of two backs on the radar of Manchester City. Rai Sport is the source for Man City’s interest in Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam, who has six assists in 21 appearances for Partenopei between Serie A and the UEFA Champions League. Pep Guardiola may also want to be reunited with Juan Bernat, though that story comes from the wild swings of The Daily Mirror.

Sunderland is going to lose one of its two brightest lights in a dark, dismal season. The Black Cats have taken a lot of calls on Jermain Defoe, but it’s Patrick Van Aanholt who is on the move to rejoin Sam Allardyce at Crystal Palace. The Dutch standout is said to be purchased for $15 million, and would be the equivalent of a transfer six-pointer in the Premier League’s relegation race.

Report: West Ham turns down another Payet bid

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14:  The Dimitri Payet of West Ham United sign is seen outside the stadium prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Crystal Palace at London Stadium on January 14, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
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West Ham United has rejected a third bid for wantaway midfielder Dimitri Payet, according to Sky Sports.

Marseille upped the ante to $28 million when it comes to the French midfielder, who has said he wants to go back to the club for “family reasons“.

[ MORE: Three players leave USMNT camp ]

Payet was given a $1.2 million loyalty bonus from West Ham earlier this season, but has continually tempted the rumor mill. He’s also winked at Arsenal.

He has 15 goals in parts of two seasons with the Irons, the same figure he boasted in two full years with Marseille. Payet has also played Lille, Saint-Etienne, Nantes, and AS Excelsior.

It’s been a rocky month for Payet, who could be doomed to purgatory at West Ham. Will any Premier League suitors come calling at the Irons’ $38 million asking price.