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)

Mexico captain Guardado suffers hamstring injury

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With the World Cup still half a year away, there’s plenty of time to heal from injuries and get the body right after tweaking things during the club season.

And yet, there will still be some concern among Mexico fans.

Team captain Andres Guardado suffered a hamstring tear, his club Real Betis confirmed on Monday, and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. That’s nothing to write home about when it comes to preparing for the big tournament, but with Guardado 31 years old and struggling with injuries in recent years, Mexico fans will be keenly aware that hamstring injuries can return with a vengeance if not given the right time to heal.

Guardado has shown his age in recent times, not necessarily with his play on the field, which has been critical to his country, but with his fitness. Guardado has just four full 90 minute performances for Mexico dating back to October of 2016, missing time with ankle, leg, and now hamstring injuries in that span.

The 31-year-old has had a fine season so far for Real Betis, scoring one goal and assisting six while appearing in all 15 La Liga matches for the club thus far. The club sits 12th in the La Liga table with 18 points.

Guardado will be fine with plenty of time to spare, but if not fully healed properly, there’s always the risk that muscle injuries can flare back up, and Mexico fans will hope that their captain’s club gives him plenty of rest to recover.

Mark Hughes wants Stoke City to “suck it up”

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Mark Hughes is under fire at Stoke City with the Potters firmly entrenched in the relegation battle, and with that he’s charging his players, staff, and himself to gut the rest of the season out.

With Stoke heading to Turf Moor to take on Burnley, they sit just three points above the drop. The players were faced with jeers from angry fans at the train station following this past weekend’s 5-1 disaster against Tottenham. The fiery Hughes is hoping to use this jarring moment to jolt his squad.

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“That is still resonating. It’s good we have a game because it is still fresh in their ears probably, and they can use it as a motivating factor,” said Hughes during his pre-match press conference.

“You either suck it up and do ­something about it or you go under, and we can’t accept players like that. I don’t feel we have players like that.”

With managers nowadays often reaching into the excuses barrel as they hope to save their own skins, Hughes refuses to do just that, instead placing the decision firmly on the players shoulders, telling them they are the only ones who can save the club.

“Maybe some hadn’t ­confronted that before – but sometimes you need a reality check, and understand how our results and ­performances affect people,” Hughes said. “When people criticize you, you have to grow a thick skin in this industry. If you don’t, you’re in the wrong place.”

Louis van Gaal calls Mourinho’s United “far more boring”

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Louis Van Gaal has picked just the right time to pipe up.

The former Manchester United manager, who took flak while in charge for his side being hideous to watch, has now taken shots of his own at his successor Jose Mourinho, kicking Manchester United while they’re down after a 2-1 derby defeat at home.

The Dutchman told Fox Sports Netherlands, “If you ask me how did I do at United, I will say it was my best year ever, given the circumstances I was working under. We played football that was quite alright. But it’s not football that is appreciated in England. And yet, right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticized while it’s far more boring football.”

[ PREVIEW: Premier League Tuesday matches, including Chelsea vs. Huddersfield ]

Van Gaal was blasted consistently for playing a boring style, especially in front of the home crowd, and now Mourinho is being criticized for the same concept. Mourinho was denounced for similar reasons while in charge of Chelsea, but with the club winning multiple titles under his leadership, the noise was always less while the team was winning. With Manchester United still unable to crack the top 4, Mourinho is feeling the heat.

“What United produce now is defensive football,” van Gaal said. “I always played attacking football. The proof is that the opposition were always parking the bus. They don’t do that now because Jose Mourinho plays so defensive.”

To van Gaal’s point, Manchester United is seventh in the Premier League in possession, holding 51% possession this season. They were out-possessed by Manchester City 65-35 at Old Trafford over the weekend. Meanwhile, van Gaal’s last full season with Manchester United, the 2015/16 season, saw the Red Devils hold 54%, which ranked third in the Premier League, just a percentage point behind leaders Arsenal. However, van Gaal’s United ranked 15th in the Premier League in total shots, while Mourinho’s United this season ranks sixth at this point.

Van Gaal made sure to point out he prefers their cross-town rivals.

“I would rather watch City play than United. You need quality in a squad and it’s clear City have a better squad.”

Conte blames fatigue for dip in Chelsea form

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Antonio Conte has figured out what is plaguing his Chelsea side as they sit 14 points back of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

“I think when you play every three days, it is impossible to have a training session and to work on the physical aspects,” Conte said in his pre-match press conference as the Blues get set to play Huddersfield Town on Tuesday. “It’s impossible. It’s impossible because you have to prepare with the players for a game every three days.”

Chelsea has yet to find itself eliminated from a single competition, drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League while navigating fixtures across all four competitions.

And yet, this is nothing new for Conte. The Blues boss is more than familiar with fixture congestion, having taken charge of Juventus and regularly competing at a high level on multiple fronts. In 2012/13, he won the Serie A title, won the Supercoppa Italia, and reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

However, this is new for Conte at Chelsea. Last season, the Blues did not take part in a European competition thanks to their disastrous season the previous year. While they reached the FA Cup final, they were knocked out of the EFL Cup in the 4th round.

“We have to try to do our best,” Conte said. “For sure, some players can be tired, that’s normal because some players are playing from this summer and our tours in China and Singapore. It’s normal. But I repeat we have to find the best solution. We have to find more rotations. I’m doing this, we will try and do our best with hunger and desire. We will fight.”

As an example, Conte said Alvaro Morata will miss the match on Tuesday against Huddersfield Town due to fatigue, with the Spaniard battling a slight back injury. “Morata is out. He is a bit tired and he has a problem in his back.