West Ham moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup as they battled past National League side Stockport County.
Said Benrahma nearly grabbed his first Hammers goal in the sixth minute but his shot hit the foot of the post.
With the match played in heavy rain, chances were at a premium before Craig Dawson headed in from Jarrod Bowen’s cross late on for the winning goal.
The Hammers will play at home to League One side Doncaster Rovers in round four over the weekend of 23-24 January.
The winners of that tie will then be away at Manchester United or Liverpool – currently second and first respectively in the Premier League – in the fifth round.
Stockport’s defeat means Chorley of the National League North, who beat a Derby County side that had to use members of their Under-23s because of Covid-19 cases involving the first team, are the only non-league outfit left in the competition.
David Moyes named a strong side and his team dominated possession in the first half but could not break down a resolute home defence.
As a result of the coronavirus restrictions, there were no fans in attendance at Edgeley Park, although there was a brief stoppage early on when a large number of fireworks were let off close to the ground.
However, there was little sparkle on the pitch as the Hammers were largely restricted to long-range efforts, with Andriy Yarmolenko, Benrahma, Michail Antonio and Declan Rice all shooting wide, while Stockport failed to have a shot on target in the opening 45 minutes.
Indeed, Manuel Lanzini’s strike straight at home goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe in the 33rd minute was the only first-half effort on target – the lowest number in all of this season’s FA Cup third-round matches.
The game was played in torrential rain with the ball repeatedly holding up in the puddles on the pitch after the break.
England midfielder Rice tried to stamp a bit of quality on proceedings with a fine run from the halfway line before he was crowded out by Stockport defenders in the penalty area.
Stockport, fourth in the National League and 86 places below their opponents, were reliant on set-pieces, although the deliveries repeatedly frustrated boss Jim Gannon, who was taking charge of his 501st game over three spells with the Hatters.
As the rain continued to lash down, John Rooney, brother of former England captain Wayne, got into a good position but could only send the ball into West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph’s hands.
The breakthrough moment came in the 82nd minute when West Ham played a short corner and Dawson met Bowen’s cross to head the Hammers into round four.
Dawson ends long wait for another FA Cup goal – the stats
- West Ham have progressed from all eight of their FA Cup ties against non-league sides when they were a league side at the time.
- Stockport County have been eliminated from each of their last four third-round ties in the FA Cup, last progressing in January 2001 against Preston North End.
- West Ham manager David Moyes has progressed from each of his four FA Cup ties against non-league sides.
- Stockport have lost their last six FA Cup ties against top-flight opponents, last knocking out a top-flight team back in January 1994 when they beat QPR.
- West Ham’s Craig Dawson scored his first FA Cup goal since netting for Rochdale versus FC United of Manchester in November 2010, 10 years and 67 days ago.
‘The lads did really well’ – what they said
Stockport manager Jim Gannon, speaking to BT Sport: “The players are disappointed but I think is that not a testimony to how they played?
“West Ham had lots of possession but the lads did really well. They gave a chance of getting a goal and possibly winning the game with the opportunities we had. But it was always a stretch for us but the performance showed we are a cut above this level [National League].
“We were disappointed with a couple of aspects of our game – set-pieces for example – because we thought we had the opportunities to score. We expected them to up the game but I think we contained and managed them quite well. We tried to play them and tried to play our game, so we showed what we were about.
“We are still a team that are growing together, trying to mix my coaching principles and their qualities and I think you saw that tonight.
“The club is going the right way. There is a lot to take out of this tonight. It’s been tough year for everyone this year but we want go one better than last year and go for the play-offs and hopefully promotion.”
West Ham return to Premier League action when they entertain Burnley on Saturday, 16 January (15:00 GMT), while Stockport play at home to Notts County in the second round of the FA Trophy at the same time.
- 2MinihanSubstituted forPalmerat 86′minutes
- 10JenningsSubstituted forSoutham-Halesat 82′minutes
- 8RooneySubstituted forHinchyat 86′minutes
- 11WilliamsSubstituted forThomasat 86′minutes
- 19ReidSubstituted forBennettat 62′minutes
- 31JohnsonSubstituted forCresswellat 73′minutes
- 7YarmolenkoSubstituted forBowenat 68′minutes
- 10LanziniSubstituted forSoucekat 68′minutes
- 9BenrahmaSubstituted forFornalsat 90′minutes
- 30AntonioSubstituted forOdubekoat 90′minutes
Match ends, Stockport County 0, West Ham United 1.
Second Half ends, Stockport County 0, West Ham United 1.
Foul by Declan Rice (West Ham United).
Lois Maynard (Stockport County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, West Ham United. Pablo Fornals replaces Saïd Benrahma.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ademipo Odubeko replaces Michail Antonio.
Corner, Stockport County. Conceded by Vladimir Coufal.
Substitution, Stockport County. Ashley Palmer replaces Sam Minihan.
Substitution, Stockport County. Jack Hinchy replaces John Rooney.
Substitution, Stockport County. Adam Thomas replaces Jordan Williams.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Liam Hogan.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Jordan Keane.
Goal! Stockport County 0, West Ham United 1. Craig Dawson (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jarrod Bowen with a cross following a corner.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Liam Hogan.
Substitution, Stockport County. Macauley Southam-Hales replaces Connor Jennings.
Attempt missed. Tomas Soucek (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Vladimir Coufal with a cross.
Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Richie Bennett (Stockport County).
Attempt missed. Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United) left footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left misses to the right.
Attempt saved. John Rooney (Stockport County) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the top left corner.
Arsenal defender William Saliba has signed for Nice on loan for the rest of the season.
The 19-year-old joined the Gunners from Saint-Etienne for £27m in 2019 before being loaned back to the French top-flight club.
He has yet to play for Arsenal’s first team and there is a desire for the teenager to get more game time.
The French youth international signed a five-year deal with Arsenal and his long-term future remains at the club.
Nice, who are 12th in France’s Ligue 1, will pay all of Saliba’s wages while he is on loan and the deal does not include a fee.
Arsenal technical director Edu said the club are “confident” Saliba will have a “great career” with the Gunners.
“William experienced a very challenging time last year, with his playing time limited by injury and the early ending of the Ligue 1 season due to the pandemic,” he said.
“We will be keeping in close contact with William during his time with Nice and look forward to seeing him make good progress until the end of the season.”
Find all the latest football transfers on our dedicated page.
Tammy Abraham scored twice as Chelsea ended their recent mini-slump by beating West Ham United at Stamford Bridge to move up to fifth in the Premier League.
Back-to-back defeats had seen the Blues slip down the table but they made the ideal start on Monday as Thiago Silva powered home a header in the first half.
Timo Werner spurned a couple of good chances to add to the hosts’ lead but he played his part in his side’s second in the closing stages as his scuffed shot was turned in by Abraham.
The Chelsea striker, back in the side in place of Olivier Giroud, then netted another barely two minutes later when he was in the right place to pick up the loose ball and curl home after Christian Pulisic had missed a simple header from a cross.
The scoreline somewhat flattered Chelsea with West Ham having been the better side for large periods, but the visitors paid the price for a lack of a cutting edge as they finished the game without a shot on target.
More to follow.
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Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.
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West Ham United
- 6Thiago Silva
- 21ChilwellSubstituted forEmersonat 10′minutes
- 5JorginhoSubstituted forKovacicat 66′minutes
- 10PulisicSubstituted forHavertzat 84′minutes
- 20BowenSubstituted forFredericksat 90′minutes
- 18FornalsSubstituted forBenrahmaat 67′minutes
Match ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Second Half ends, Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0.
Substitution, West Ham United. Ryan Fredericks replaces Jarrod Bowen.
Timo Werner (Chelsea) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by N’Golo Kanté.
Substitution, Chelsea. Kai Havertz replaces Christian Pulisic.
N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sébastien Haller (West Ham United).
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Mark Noble (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Chelsea 3, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner.
Attempt saved. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) header from very close range is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mason Mount with a cross.
Goal! Chelsea 2, West Ham United 0. Tammy Abraham (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Timo Werner.
Attempt blocked. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mason Mount.
Foul by Mason Mount (Chelsea).
Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United).
Foul by Emerson (Chelsea).
Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Timo Werner (Chelsea) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Pulisic.
Coronavirus is continuing its spread across the world, with more than three million confirmed cases in 185 countries and more than 200,000 deaths.
The United States alone has more than one million confirmed cases – four times as many as any other country.
This series of maps and charts tracks the global outbreak of the virus since it emerged in China in December last year.
How many cases and deaths have there been?
The virus, which causes the respiratory infection Covid-19, was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
It is spreading rapidly in many countries and the number of deaths is still climbing.
Note: The map and table in this page uses a different source for figures for France from that used by Johns Hopkins University which results in a slightly lower overall total.
The US has by far the largest number of cases, with more than one million confirmed infections, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. With more than 60,000 fatalities, it also has the world’s highest death toll.
Italy, the UK, Spain and France – the worst-hit European countries – have all recorded more than 20,000 deaths.
In China, the official death toll is approaching 5,000 from about 84,000 confirmed cases. Numbers for deaths jumped on 17 April after what officials called “a statistical review” and critics have questioned whether the country’s official numbers can be trusted.
Note: The past data for new cases is a three day rolling average
The outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. This is when an infectious disease is passing easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.
More than three million people are known to have been infected worldwide, but the true figure is thought to be much higher as many of those with milder symptoms have not been tested and counted.
While the US and much of Europe has been hit hard by the virus, some countries have managed to avoid similar death tolls.
New Zealand, for instance, says it has effectively eliminated the threat for now after fewer than 1,500 cases and just 19 deaths.
The country brought in some of the toughest restrictions in the world on travel and activity early on in the pandemic but is now relaxing some of these. This week some non-essential businesses will be reopening but most people will still have to stay at home and avoid all social interactions.
While some countries are beginning to ease restrictions, others are only now starting to impose them as cases and deaths begin to rise.
Across Latin America, where many economies are already struggling and millions live on what they can earn day-to-day, there are concerns about the strain the growing number of virus cases could put on health care systems. Of particular concern are Ecuador and Brazil.
Ecuador has already seen its health system collapse – thousands have died from the virus and other conditions that could not be treated because of the crisis. While Brazil has also seen a steep rise in both cases and deaths, with every state in South America’s largest country affected.
Across the world, more than 4.5 billion people – half the world’s population – are estimated to be living under social distancing measures, according to the AFP news agency.
Those restrictions have had a big impact on the global economy, with the International Monetary Fund saying the world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The UN World Food Programme has also warned that the pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger.
Europe beginning to ease lockdown measures
The four worst-hit countries in Europe are Italy, the UK, Spain and France – all of which have recorded at least 20,000 deaths.
However, all four countries appear to have passed through the peak of the virus now and the number of reported cases and deaths is falling in each.
Germany and Belgium also recorded a relatively high number of deaths and are now seeing those numbers decrease, though as Belgium has a far smaller population than Germany the number of deaths per capita there has been higher.
How countries across Europe are deciding to move out of lockdown varies, with the EU saying there is “no one-size-fits-all approach” to lifting containment measures.
Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift its lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June. Children there under the age of 14 are now allowed to leave their homes for an hour a day, after six weeks in lockdown.
In Italy, certain shops and factories have been allowed to reopen and the prime minister says further measures will be eased from 4 May.
In France, the prime minister said this week that non-essential shops and markets will open their doors again from 11 May, but not bars and restaurants. Schools will also be reopened gradually.
Other European countries easing restrictions include Austria, Denmark, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Germany, where children’s play areas and museums have been told they can reopen and church services can resume, under strict social distancing and hygiene rules.
In the UK, where there have been more than 170,000 confirmed cases and at least 26,000 deaths, lockdown measures are still in full effect. The prime minister has promised a “comprehensive plan” in the next week on how the government will get the country moving again.
New York remains epicentre of US outbreak
With more than one million cases, the US has the highest number of confirmed infections in the world. The country has also recorded more than 60,000 deaths.
The state of New York has been particularly badly affected, with 18,000 deaths in New York City alone, but Governor Andrew Cuomo says the toll “seems to be on a gentle decline”.
Mr Cuomo has suggested some parts of his state could begin to reopen after the current stay-at-home order expires on 15 May.
At one point, more than 90% of the US population was under mandatory lockdown orders, but President Trump has stated that he will not be renewing his government’s social distancing guidelines once they expire on Thursday and some states have already begun to lift restrictions.
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alaska and South Carolina have all allowed some businesses to reopen in recent days following official unemployment figures that showed more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March.
But public health authorities have warned that increasing human interactions and economic activity could spark a fresh surge of infections just as the number of new cases is beginning to ease off.
White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr Deborah Birx has said social distancing should remain the norm “through the summer to really ensure that we protect one another as we move through these phases”.
Cenk Tosun has joined Crystal Palace on loan from Everton for the remainder of the season.
Tosun, 28, had not been expected to feature in new Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and was keen to secure regular first-team football.
The Turkey forward has made minimal impact at Goodison Park since he was signed by Sam Allardyce in a £27m deal from Besiktas in January 2018.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson had previously registered his interest in Tosun.
“We’re delighted to have secured Cenk’s services,” Palace chairman Steve Parish said.
“We’ve enjoyed a great first half of the campaign and Cenk’s arrival will bolster our squad as we push for a top-half Premier League finish. Cenk has a proven record as a goalscorer and we’ve admired him for some time.”
Tosun has scored once in eight appearances in all competitions for Everton this season, taking his tally to 10 in 51 games.
He is available to play for Palace as they host tenth-placed Arsenal – the team directly below them – in the Premier League on Saturday.
Ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and so is protected in law, a tribunal has ruled for the first time.
The case was brought by vegan Jordi Casamitjana, who claims he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.
His former employer says he was dismissed for gross misconduct.
The judge ruled ethical veganism should fall under the Equality Act 2010 but is yet to rule on Mr Casamitjana’s dismissal.
Mr Casamitjana, 55, who lives in London, said he was “extremely happy” with the ruling – which is ongoing – adding that he hopes it “will inspire other vegans”.
The tribunal centres on his claim that he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sports after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involved in animal testing.
Mr Casamitjana says when he drew his bosses’ attention to the pension fund investments, they did nothing so he informed colleagues and was sacked as a result.
Animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports did not contest that ethical veganism should be protected.
All vegans eat a plant-based diet, but ethical vegans try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation.
For instance they avoid wearing or buying clothing made from wool or leather, or toiletries from companies that carry out animal testing.
The tribunal’s ruling means ethical vegans are entitled to protection from discrimination.
“Religion or belief” is one of nine “protected characteristics” covered by the Equality Act 2010.
The judge Robin Postle ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief, after satisfying several tests – including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.
At the tribunal in Norwich on Friday, the judge said in his ruling that ethical veganism was “important” and “worthy” of respect in a democratic society.
He said: “I am satisfied overwhelmingly that ethical veganism does constitute a philosophical belief.”
Ruling ‘will inspire vegans’
Speaking to the BBC outside the tribunal, Mr Casamitjana said he was “extremely happy”.
“I’m really, really satisfied and I hope all the vegans out there that have been supporting me – there have been many helping me in my crowdfunding – I hope they now feel their little donation has been properly used and all the vegans will benefit.”
He added: “Veganism is a philosophical belief and when you look at my life and anybody else’s life who is an ethical vegan, you will see it.
“This is a positive belief, it’s not a negative belief. And therefore a positive belief is bound to be protected.”
He added that he is “passionate” about veganism, which “gives you hope”. Mr Casamitjana also said he was feeling “optimistic” for the ruling on his dismissal – which is due later.
Mr Casamitjana describes himself as an ethical vegan and campaigns to get his message to others.
His beliefs affect much of his everyday life. He will, for instance, walk rather than take a bus to avoid accidental crashes with insects or birds.
Exeter boss Rob Baxter does not want the salary cap row to detract from his side’s preparation for their Premiership meeting with Saracens.
Chiefs lost the last two Premiership finals to Saracens, who have since been docked 35 points for breaching the salary cap over the past three seasons.
Sunday’s game is the first time the two have met since June’s final.
“What I don’t want is guys stewing or overthinking the game and burning up their nervous energy now,” Baxter said.
“But I think come the end of the week it’s probably the right thing. If there’s anything that particularly needles you or aggravates you or motivates you – Saracens will use them all in their personal motivation – there’s nothing wrong with our lads using it in their personal motivation as well.”
Exeter were one of the clubs most aggrieved as a result of Saracens’ transgressions – chief executive Tony Rowe called for the champions to be relegated, while in the aftermath Baxter said Saracens had beaten Exeter in two finals “unfairly”.
“It was interesting before and it’s even more interesting now,” Baxter added to BBC Sport about Sunday’s game.
“We’re in that period in the run up to this game where we’ve got to lock down and really focus on ourselves.
“We do that really well in most other games and we’ve got to make sure that’s what we do this week, we’ve got to lock down and focus on ourselves.”
But the Exeter boss hopes the Sandy Park crowd are respectful of their opponents as they look to beat Saracens for a fourth successive time at home.
“For the sake of what’s good in rugby I would like to think our supporters are civil and welcoming to the Saracens supporters, but I kind of know they will be,” Baxter added.
“Over the years the amount of emails and letters I’ve received from visiting supporters who’ve dropped something into the club to say what a fantastic day they’ve had – and most of them have lost, so they’re not saying it because they’ve come here and won – they’ve said they’ve enjoyed coming to a proper rugby club and mingling with proper rugby fans.
“Those part of things should never change. That should be what rugby’s about. That’s probably why we as a club are a little aggravated by what the salary cap investigation has pointed out because that’s not what rugby’s about.”