The last 3 matchups between these two sides have been nothing short of entertaining! We have seen a 2-2 draw at Anfield followed by a thumping 0-4 Liverpool win at the London Stadium in the 2016/17 season and another Liverpool win, this time 1-4, at the Hammer’s home ground again earlier on this season.
Thankfully, entertainment wise, this match was no different. Liverpool ran out as 4-1 winners again, at Anfield, with goals from the magnificent Liverpool front three plus an Emre Can goal which kicked it all off!
It’s not what West Ham fans will want to hear but the scoreline doesn’t quite reflect how the match played out at all. This could have been anything from 5-0 to 10-2. Liverpool were heavy favourites prematch and it showed significantly on the pitch. It didn’t take long for them to start breaking West Ham down. Salah with a couple of opportunities inside the first 25 minutes saw him hit the post and put one wide from close range which could have seen Liverpool take a very early lead.
The deadlock was broken on the 29th minute with a very unorthodox goal, unorthodox for Liverpool that is. An in-swinging corner whipped in by Salah met the head of Emre Can who diverted past goal keeper Adrian to lift Anfield off its feet with Liverpool’s 100th goal of their season.
Arnautovic came close a few times but it was Karius who came out on top in that battle, with a couple of exceptional saves kept his teammates ahead. The sides went in at half time with all still to play for in the second half.
Liverpool raised the bar in the second half and continued to attack West Ham. The fans didn’t have to wait long to see their lead extended with Salah on the 51st minute doubling Liverpool’s lead. Ox showed his strength and managed to break through with the ball and whilst falling to ground, poker the ball through to Salah who made no mistake in finding the net.
Again, just 6 minutes later on the 57th minute Liverpool were at it again. Emre Can with a deft through ball to Firmino, who beat a rushing Adrian to the ball, poked it past him and with a no-look finish (his third of the season) slotted into an empty net.
It only took a couple of minutes and a lapse in concentration from Liverpool for Antonio, who had only been on the pitch for roughly a minute, to break through and put one past Karius for 3-1. Can outmuscled in the process and Kouyate played in Antonio who fired it into the far corner of the goal.
West Ham began to tire and it didn’t take long for Liverpool to break through again, Mane hit the post when clean through before eventually finding the net with a tap-in, after a great cross from the ever improving Robertson, on the 77th minute. Liverpool have now scored 4 or more goals for the 11th time this season.
The game was done, Klopp made a few changes and brought off his terrific trio and saw the game out.
Liverpool taking all 3 points and pulling themselves into second place, albeit, for roughly 24 hours as Man Utd managed to topple Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. Spurs also with a late winner in their match means Chelsea look to be the eventual losers in this weekend’s round of games.
Salah has scored 20 goals with his left foot in the league, the most by any player in the Premier league’s history for a single season.
Liverpool’s front three again showing exactly what they are about with all three on the scoresheet once again this season and for the third time in the last 8 games in all competitions. The front three now have 66 goals between them, Salah with 31, Firmino 22 and Mane 13. Liverpool now sit on 103 goals this season, with all competitions considered.
Moyes’ poor record at Anfield continues, it’s now 15 visits to Anfield without a victory (7D and 8L) whilst being at the helm of Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and now West Ham.
West Ham seemed to tire very easily and once they looked to be soundly beaten, their heads dropped further and the result as it stood could have been much worse had Liverpool been more efficient in front of goal.
THE PLAYER RATINGS…
Karius – 7
Trent – 7
Matip – 6
Van Dijk – 7
Robertson – 7
Milner – 7
Can – 7
Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
Mane – 8
Firmino – 8
Salah – 8
82’ Lallana (Firmino) – 6
87’ Moreno (Mane) – N/A
87’ Solanke (Salah) – N/A
Adrian – 6
Collins – 5
Ogbonna – 6
Cresswell – 5
Evra – 6
Zabaleta – 5
Kouyate – 6
Noble – 5
Mario – 5
Arnautovic – 6
Lanzini – 5
58’ Antonio (Lanzini) – 7
83’ Hernandez (Arnautovic) – 5
83’ Rice (Mario) – 5
Liverpool welcome Newcastle to Anfield next as we move into March and West Ham travel to Swansea in a clash which is likely to be tight, now that we have a resurgent Swansea who are still relegation contenders.
Written by George Pavlou.