West Ham 3-0 Fulham: Hammers heap more misery on Jol after emphatic win (video)

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You could hear the huge sigh of relief around Upton Park on Saturday, as West Ham United clinched their first home win since the opening day of the season with a resounding 3-0 victory against Fulham.

An even first half saw both teams battling for their lives but just after the break West Ham went ahead as Mohamed Diame’s deflected effort sent Marteen Stekelenburg the wrong way. Fulham tried to get back into the game but two goals in the final 10 minutes from substitutes Carlton Cole and Joe Cole sealed the win for the Hammers and condemned Fulham to their sixth straight loss in all competitions.

This latest defeat could spark the end of Martin Jol’s time in charge of the Cottagers, as Fulham remain in the drop zone on 10 points and are now three points adrift of safety. West Ham move up to 15th with the win and have 13 points from their 13 game so far.

The Hammers started the game well and put Fulham on the back foot as a raucous home crowd saw their side dominate possession.

Adel Taarabt went on a jinxing run from inside his own half after five minutes and Darren Bent almost got in on goal for the Cottagers who looked content to attack on the break.

West Ham came extremely close to taking the lead after 10 minutes as Mark Noble’s cross found Modibo Maiga who saw his header deflected onto the post and out to safety. Then in the 18th minute another good cross from the right found James Collins unmarked in the six-yard box but the West Ham defender headed wide.

Wave after wave of West Ham attack then piled forward as left-footed winger Stewart Downing cut in from the right and drilled a low shot on target that Stekelenburg saved well. For the rest of the first half a battle ensued as both struggling sides looked to gain an advantage by winning the midfield battle. That resulted in five yellow cards being brandished as passion, commitment and late challenges ruled the rose.

Just before the break came another golden chance for the Hammers as Matt Jarvis found Kevin Nolan with a delightfully chipped pass to the back post and the West Ham skipper swiveled and acrobatically smashed a volley in on goal that Stekelenburg saved.

source: Getty Images
Joe Cole jumped off the bench to seal the win as West Ham impressed in the second half.

After the break it took just over a minute for West Ham to take a 1-0 lead as Diame scored his first goal since April as his effort on goal was horribly deflected by Fernando Amorebieta and into the back of Fulham’s net. Those are the type of things that happen to you when you’re down the bottom as Jol’s side will bemoan their bad luck.

But that goal sparked Fulham into life and Patjim Kasami almost got in around the back after Bent’s knock down found the Macedonian who spurned the chance to put the Cottagers level.

West Ham had a good chance to make it 2-0 but Downing smashed his effort instead of going for placement and a barrage of corners midway through the second half saw the home side push for an all-important second goal. But Fulham almost caught the home side napping as a sloppy giveaway allowed Kasami to send a snapshot towards goal which flew inches past Jussi Jasskelainen’s left post.

Two late goals sealed the win as Sam Allardyce’s substitutes worked their magic as the two Cole’s both grabbed a goal.

In the 82nd minute Carlton Cole stabbed in at the back post after Downing’s great cross after the big striker had only been on the pitch for 55 seconds. Cole’s fellow sub, Joe Cole, then finished off the scoring as he tucked away the Hammers third goal following great work from another second half sub Ravel Morrison.

West Ham had only scored nine goals all season before this match but banged in three when it mattered to condemn the Cottagers to yet another demoralizing defeat.

LINEUPS

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, McCartney, Nolan (Morrison, 77), Tomkins, Jarvis (Jarvis, 68), Maiga (Cole, 81), Noble, Collins, Demel, Diame, Downing

Goals: Diame (46), C. Cole (82), J. Cole (86)

Fulham: Stekelenburg; Zverotic, Hughes, Amorebieta, Richardson (Dembele, 83); Duff (Ruiz, 65), Sidwell (Karagounis, 78), Parker, Kasami; Taarabt; Bent

CCL wrap: FC Dallas disappoints; Club America struts (video)

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The CONCACAF Champions League returned Tuesday with Toronto FC’s 2-0 quarterfinal first leg win in Colorado, and a trio of ties began Wednesday across Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Tauro 1-0 FC Dallas

Veteran striker Edwin Aguilar scored a big goal, and goalkeeper Oscar McFarlane did plenty of good things as the Panamanian side struck a wild first blow against its MLS visitors.

Here’s a random fact underscoring how remarkable of a failure this would be for FC Dallas: Only six of Tauro’s roster members have their own Wikipedia page.

Deportivo Saprissa 1-5 Club America

Cecilio Dominguez and Mateus Uribe each bagged a brace, and Renato Ibarra also scored as the tournament’s top team sauntered into and out of Costa Rica on Wednesday. Club America has been to seven CCL finals, and one every single one.

Motagua vs. Club Tijuana — 10 a.m. ET

Honduran hosts hope to have a leg to stand on — pun intended — once the tie heads to Mexico.

West Ham to friendly neighbors Dag & Red: “Will help save our club”

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English Conference Premier side Dagenham and Redbridge has seen better days, and is getting a hand from a Premier League pal.

[ WATCH: Fred’s vicious free kick ]

West Ham United will pay a visit to Dag & Red as part of the latter’s #SaveTheDaggers campaign, and the March 21 date will cost fans between $7 and $21 to see a top flight side at 6,000-seat Victoria Road.

Dagenham and Redbridge chairman Paul Gwinn said, “It really will help save our club.”

“So please come on down to the Chigwell Construction Stadium for an additional night of football. Bring a friend, or two, or more and we can use the gate takings to help get us back on track,” reads a press release.

Dag & Red was founded in 1992 and climbed as high as League One in 2011, and plays just 2.5 miles from West Ham United’s training ground. Newcastle’s Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle are among Dag & Red alums in the Premier League.

It’s a terrific gesture from West Ham, and is even more impressive in the United States where the growing club game is increasingly cutthroat (especially between non-synced leagues).

Angry Di Francesco extremely quotable after Roma loss

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AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco absolutely roasted his charges after i Lupi tossed aside a Cenzig Under-inspired lead to fall 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Wednesday.

Di Francesco had praise for Edin Dzeko, who assisted Under’s goal, as well as goalkeeper Alisson, but was mostly enraged by his side.

[ MORE: Recap + Fred’s vicious free kick ]

Rather than construct a narrative, we’re going to point out our five favorite selections from Di Francesco’s post-match talk.

4) “The difference was that in the first half we tried to hurt them while in the second we were looking to hold on – to what? I don’t know.”

— “To what? I don’t know” is hilarious. Di Francesco’s side has posted some serious wins this season, including killing off Chelsea 3-0 at home and coming back from 2-0 to draw the Blues at Stamford Bridge. He doesn’t preach sitting back.

3) “There were far too many schoolboy errors – even by players with a wealth of international experience.”

— Schoolboy errors!

2) “I saw two completely different teams out there today. There were lots of players I should have taken off after we conceded the first goal.”

— Again, one mistake by a number of players on Facundo Ferreyra is enough for Di Francesco. He’s not just happy to be here.

1) “I can’t imagine we’d get arrogant just because we’re winning an important game. It’s not as if Roma are used to reaching the final every year.”

— When you’re willing to essentially rip an entire club’s history — Roma’s been to just two UCL quarterfinals since losing the final to Liverpool in 1984 — you’re putting your footprints in new cement.

Europa League preview: Rating every second leg

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Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund are one of many teams with their UEFA Europa League fates realistically in the balance come Thursday’s second legs of the Round of 32.

[ MORE: Sevilla 0-1 Man Utd | Mourinho reacts ]

Aside from a sextet of big teams posting blowouts, there’s still hope for the Round of 16 and a step closer to an automatic berth in the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League.

Basically done

Atletico Madrid 4-1 Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Sporting Lisbon 3-1 Astana — 1 p.m. ET
Arsenal 3-0 Ostersund — 3:05 p.m. ET
Milan 3-0 Ludogorets Razgrad — 3:05 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao 3-1 Spartak Moscow — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga 0-3 Marseille — 3:05 p.m. ET

In four of these cases, the heavy favorites emerged with multiple goal leads and at least three away goals.

Actually done

CSKA Moscow beat Red Star Belgrade 1-0 on Wednesday to win 1-0 on aggregate.

Unlikely, but big club lurks

RB Leipzig 3-1 Napoli — 1 p.m. ET
Villarreal 1-3 Lyon — 1 p.m. ET

In the case of Napoli, their 3-1 home loss to Leipzig was stunning but it’s impossible to rule out a club with such firepower. Villarreal trails by two to Lyon, but is home and dangerous.

Advantage one side, but anyone’s guess

Lokomotiv Moscow 3-2 Nice — 11 a.m. ET
Lazio 0-1 FCSB — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit Saint-Petersburg 0-1 Celtic — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg 2-2 Real Sociedad — 3:05 p.m. ET
Atalanta 2-3 Borussia Dortmund — 3:05 p.m. ET

Salzburg’s two away goals in a draw feels like a one-goal lead, and the one-goal matches are especially interesting. In the case of Atalanta, 1-0 to the Serie A side could undo Michy Batshuayi‘s first leg heroics for BVB.

Wide open

Plzen 1-1 Partizan Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Dynamo Kyiv 1-1 AEK Athens — 1 p.m. ET

Yes, nil-nil will get it done for the hosts, but there wasn’t a 0-0 in the entire group of first legs.