Carlton Cole hails 'special' Craig Dawson after 'Ballon d'Orson' gave West Ham the lead against Lyon

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Carlton Cole gleefully hails West Ham’s goal-scoring hero Craig Dawson and labels him ‘Ballon D’awson’ after he gave the Premier League side the lead against Lyon in their Europa League quarter-final

  • Carlton Cole has hailed Craig Dawson for his goal and performance against Lyon
  • The West Ham star scored a fine opener in his side’s Europa League last-eight tie
  • And former Hammers striker Cole praised ‘Ballon d’Orson’ and his determination 

Carlton Cole praised the impact of West Ham defender Craig Dawson after the ‘special person’ gave his side a crucial lead against Lyon on Thursday night.

The Hammers progressed to the last four of the Europa League against the Ligue 1 side, winning 3-0 on the night to emerge victorious 4-1 on aggregate, partially thanks to Dawson’s opener, a powerful header from a Pablo Fornals corner. 

And Cole gleefully hailed defensive talisman ‘Ballon d’Orson’ and his impact on the tie.

Carlton Cole has hailed Craig Dawson for his goal against Lyon in his side's Europa League tie

Carlton Cole has hailed Craig Dawson for his goal against Lyon in his side’s Europa League tie

Dawson scored the opener against Lyon as his side beat Lyon 3-0 to progress to the semi-final

Dawson scored the opener against Lyon as his side beat Lyon 3-0 to progress to the semi-final

He said: ‘He gets there by sheer determination, drive. Everything you need from ‘Ballon d’Orson’! Everything you need from a footballer of his ilk. 

‘He is a special person to have on that pitch because he’s the one who’s going to lead that team to victory. You can see (it). 

‘He had a few that came his way (before his goal), and his eyes are fully focused on the ball. 

‘He knows on that field, in the air, there’s no one on that field matching him. So I’m really happy he got onto the end of that.’

Cole used the nickname 'Ballon d'Orson' as coined by Hammers fans to describe the defender

Cole used the nickname ‘Ballon d’Orson’ as coined by Hammers fans to describe the defender

Former Hammers striker Cole (pictured) called him a 'special person' on BT Sport

Former Hammers striker Cole (pictured) called him a ‘special person’ on BT Sport

Centre back Dawson gave the visitors the lead at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais shortly before half-time, and midfielder Declan Rice doubled the lead a minute before the interval with a slightly deflected shot from outside the penalty area.

Jarrod Bowen then scored three minutes after the break to effectively kill the game off as a contest and send West Ham through to the semi-finals of the competition, where they will play Barcelona’s conquerors Eintracht Frankfurt. 

Former Everton midfielder Leon Osman added on BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘It’s a brilliant goal. 

‘I mentioned West Ham’s threat from set-pieces. They have great height and great desire to get the ball.

‘Dawson attacks it from deep. It’ a complete mismatch as (Moussa) Dembele the forward is marking him.’

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