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.
On Dawson's performance, Cole 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."
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