West Ham 1-0 Hull City: Wasteful Tigers punished by Hammers

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  • Hull hit woodwork three times
  • Noble’s PK wins it
  • Hammers now on 19 points

West Ham United beat Hull City 1-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday as Mark Noble‘s second half penalty kick punished a Tigers side who spurned several glorious chances.

Noble’s PK winner arrived late in the second half to seal a second 1-0 home win against relegation rivals in four days.

With the win the Hammers move on to 19 points, while Hull slip to bottom spot for 12 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Early on Hull had an injury scare with goalkeeper David Marshall getting treatment but he stayed on. West Ham did all the pressing early with Dimitri Payet cutting in from the right and his shot was blocked by Andrew Robertson.

Hull then cleared the danger after intense pressure with Dieumerci Mbokani and Jake Livermore combining to set up Robert Snodgrass who had an effort blocked after a fast counter-attack.

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Mbokani then dragged an effort just wide as Hull grew into the game and then the striker latched on to a loose back pass, smashed the ball past Darren Randolph in West Ham’s goal but it bounced off the post.

Randolph then made a great save from Harry Maguire‘s header to keep Hull at bay. The chances kept coming for Hull as Maguire missed another chance and Slaven Bilic couldn’t wait to get into the dressing room at half time with his team way off the pace.

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West Ham played better at the start of the second half (it couldn’t get much worse) with Andy Carroll going close. However, Hull hit the woodwork twice in quick succession.

Noble headed against his own post as he tried to clear and then Andrew Robertson hit a great shot on goal which hit the inside of the post and came back out. Agonizingly close for the Tigers.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Andre Ayew then had a header cleared off the line and at the other end Sam Clucas ran clear but Cheikhou Kouyate made a great challenge at the last moment.

Maguire then headed towards goal and the ball bounced into the ground and looped towards the net but Edimilson Fernandes cleared off the line. Snodgrass then had an effort deflected by Angelo Ogbonna which looped onto the top of the net.

Almost inevitably West Ham made the most of Hull’s misses with referee Lee Mason awarding the Hammers a penalty kick with Michail Antonio after he went down following a challenge from Tom Huddlestone.

Noble stepped up and scored the penalty kick for his second goal in a week to put the Hammers 1-0 up and late on they could’ve extended the lead with Antonio and Payet spurning chances, with Hull pouring forward but failing to create any more clear cut chances.

Landon Donovan unveiled by Club Leon

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Landon Donovan was unveiled to Club Leon fans at Estadio Leon on Monday night.

The former USMNT star and longtime LA Galaxy forward came out of retirement for the second time to sign with the Liga MX side this past weekend. Leon finished 7th in the Apertura table, losing to Tigres in the first round of the playoffs. They currently have a perfect six points through the first two Clausura matches, sitting second in the table with a +3 goal differential.

Fans were allowed into the stadium for free, and they packed the lower stand on one end, waving USA flags and holding large “L” and “D” cutouts, and the fans faced a massive board on the field that read “I DON’T BELIEVE IN WALLS.” Chants of “U-S-A” rang out through the stadium before the unveiling.

ESPN reporter Tom Marshall pointed out that the last time the club had such a large event to welcome a player, it was in January of 2013 when the club brought Mexico captain Rafa Marquez in from the New York Red Bulls.

Donovan will don the number 20 for Club Leon.

Report: Rimando to return to RSL

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USMNT veteran and current MLS free agent Nick Rimando will reportedly return to Real Salt Lake for a 12th season with the club, according to a report by Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.

The report states he received interest on the free agent market from both Los Angeles clubs, but the 38-year-old will return to the club he has made 350 appearances for.

Rimando came to Real Salt Lake from D.C. United in 2006, and has made at least 24 league appearances in every single season since. He has also made 22 playoff appearances for the club across eight playoff campaigns.

He last received a USMNT cap in January of 2017 in a friendly against Serbia, but was part of the 2018 World Cup qualification squad throughout 2017 backing up Tim Howard. Overall, Rimando has played 22 times for the US national team, with 14 goals conceded and nine clean sheets.

The report also states that Kyle Beckerman will return to Rio Tinto Stadium, with the veteran also testing the free agent waters but deciding to re-sign. The pair will be two of just four players left on the roster from the 2009 MLS Cup winning team.

Report: Aubameyang hands in transfer request at Dortmund

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According to German publication Bild, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has handed a transfer request to the Borussia Dortmund hierarchy.

Arsenal is the latest club linked with the Gabonese striker, with reports earlier this month of a deal to send Aubameyang to China. He has reportedly asked to leave Dortmund multiple times this January, and has been turned down thus far, and it’s causing problems. Aubameyang was suspended by the club for one match for missing a meeting last week, a match that ended in a goalless draw with Wolfsburg.

[ MORE: Man United, Chelsea battle for Alexis Sanchez ]

“We had a very heated discussion,” said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc after the suspension was announced. “He hasn’t behaved like this for years, he’s always been very professional. What has happened is very tolerable, there will be some fines, too. It’s not necessary to talk about a transfer, but it’s clear that things can’t continue like this because some important things are in jeopardy, and that there is tension inside the squad.”

The price tag, according to recent reports, would be around $76 million, and he would be purchased with money from the likely outgoing transfer of Alexis Sanchez.

Arsenal transfer guru Sven Mislintat is reportedly driving the deal, having signed Aubameyang at Dortmund during his days as a scout from Westfalinstadion. However, there is buzz among the British media that Arsene Wenger is unimpressed by Aubameyang’s recent insubordination and has expressed his concerns.

Emre Can says new Liverpool contract still a possibility

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Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is out of contract this summer, but says he could still sign back on at Anfield despite heavy rumors of his departure.

Still just 24 years old, the German came over from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2014 and has improved in each of his four years at Liverpool, flourishing under Jurgen Klopp as a strong passer and versatile player who can be used in midfield or defense. With that, he has reportedly turned down a number of new contract offers, and Juventus is reportedly in the lead to sign him to a free transfer.

[ MORE: Arsenal should follow Liverpool’s rebuilding example ]

Can is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with anyone from now until the end of the season, but he says that doesn’t mean he will leave.

“My agent is looking after everything but I am here until the summer,” Can said. “I haven’t signed anything with anyone. I am talking with everyone. Of course I am talking with Liverpool. Why not? I still have a contract here. It is an amazing club. What can I say? My agent does the rest. I just concentrate on the scene, on my performance and the football. I will give everything for this team.”

The loss of Philippe Coutinho this winter is an obvious blow to the Reds, but an argument could be made that the loss of Can would hurt just as much if not more, as stout defensive midfielders are hard to come by. However, the arrival of Naby Kieta this summer could ease the blow of the German’s potential departure. Should Can stay, partnering with Keita in midfield could prove masterful as Liverpool looks to continue building towards a title challenge. Currently, Can has paired with Giorgino Wijnaldum in Liverpool’s midfield in recent weeks, and the club is on a five-match win streak that has seen them shoot into third place in the Premier League table.