From Lazio low to Hammers high for Dempsey
Clint Dempsey was delighted to play his part in Sunday's 3-1 win against West Ham.
The USA international revealed his frustration after a tough night against Lazio and goalless draw in Rome's Olympic Stadium in the Europa League on Thursday night.
He was determined to make an impact against the Hammers and did that in style - capped by a fantastic assist to set-up Gareth Bale to make it 2-0 in the second half.
Clint was denied twice by Jussi Jaaskelainen in the first half and then by the crossbar in the 58th minute.
But seconds after striking the woodwork, Clint delivered his golden moment, driving forward before scooping a clever pass for Gareth to dispatch in off the post. The assist prompted pundits on MOTD2 to declare 'if Messi had done that, we'd be talking about it all night'.
Clint was then involved in the third goal, touching the ball into the path of Aaron Lennon, who sprinted clear before squaring for Jermain Defoe to tap home his second for 3-0, the points safe.
"I had a frustrating night against Lazio, where I wasn’t really able to impact the game, so I wanted to come out and get on the ball a little more, to try and create chances for the team and myself," said Clint, voted US Soccer's Male Athlete of the Year last week.
"It was good to be part of the build-up in two goals, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a goal, I hit the post, but it was great to get the win and that was most important.
"Hopefully we can now get on a roll and move up the table."
Clint joined the chorus of admiration for Jermain's opening goal, a run from near half-way and shot from 22 yards a minute before half-time to hand us the lead our first half performance deserved.
"Jermain did a great job, beat a couple of guys and scored with a quality finish. He’s full of confidence. He came up big for us and hopefully he keeps doing what he’s doing."