West Ham fans dubbed Craig Dawson "better than Harry Maguire" for his performance against Chelsea – even though he received a red card late on.
Dawson was given his marching orders four minutes from time after hauling down Romelu Lukaku inside the box and giving away a penalty. Before that lapse in concentration, he had been a rock at the back for the Hammers.
The 31-year-old made seven clearances and seven blocks, including twice denying Timo Werner in a matter of seconds as West Ham defended resolutely at Stamford Bridge. Despite his late sending off and Christian Pulisic's even later winner, fans of the east London club praised Dawson on social media after the match.
Some compared him favourably to Manchester United defender Maguire, who has faced criticism in recent weeks following a series of below-par performances.
One person wrote: "Craig Dawson is twice the centre half Harry Maguire and Tyrone Mings are." Someone else asked: "What is Harry Maguire better at than 94-year-old Craig Dawson?"
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A third person said: "Craig Dawson is a better CB than Harry Maguire. Should go to the World Cup instead of Maguire." While one Red Devils fan even admitted: "I’d have Craig Dawson at Utd over Maguire in a heartbeat."
Others simply praised the former Watford man's defending up until the red card. Including one who said: "Craig Dawson man. He's the man of the match for me. Blocked everything. Unfortunate for the red card. I wish it wasn't a penalty. Glad Chelsea won all the same."
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville also praised Dawson for his performance until his sending off. He said: "Brilliant from Dawson. All the talk before the game was about Dawson being the only centre-back. He’s the only one they needed in the last minute or two. Two really good blocks."
Dawson will now miss next weekend's trip to Arsenal but is available for the Hammers' crucial Europa League semi-final first-leg at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
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