Liverpool’s clash with West Ham was billed as a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp’s side, and in games of this magnitude it is your best players who arise to the occasion. On Sunday, for Liverpool that man was Philippe Coutinho.
Coutinho was excellent today as Liverpool dismantled a West Ham team who frankly looked like they’d celebrated beating Spurs last week a bit too hard.To be fair to the Hammers they started the game reasonably well, with Lanzini again showing real quality going forward, while West Ham soaked up a Mane-less Liverpool attack.
However the tide of the game changed when Coutinho picked the ball up in the middle of the park and threaded Sturridge through for a 35th minute opener. Sturridge looked sharp considering his lengthy layoff.
Andre Ayew then set the tone for the rest of the game as he quite remarkably failed to score from a yard out, hitting the post. His second attempt was cleared by Liverpool after a messy scramble in the box.
For the rest of the match Liverpool took West Ham through the ringer. Coutinho’s 57th minute goal came from some pretty poor goalkeeping from Adrian, who had so far had a decent game, as he flapped and stretched hopelessly only to look up and see Coutinho guiding the ball home.
Coutinho’s 2nd came 5 minutes later as the West Ham defence looked like they were playing a game of sleeping lions in the box. Nobody seemed to anticipate the movement of the Liverpool attack, choosing instead to stare at referee Neil Swarbrick in a claim for a hand-ball.
Origi scored after some good play from Sturridge to finish the Hammers off. Liverpool are now poised to secure Champions League qualification if they can beat relegated Middlesbrough next week.
West Ham should be disappointed with how they crumbled today, unfortunately an all too regular sight for the East London outfit this season. It’s been a turbulent year that has improved since the transfer of Dimitri Payet. Hammers fans will be hoping their second season at London Stadium is better than their first.
Man of the Match: Coutinho was absolutely electric, dancing around the West Ham defence, scoring 2 and getting an assist. Liverpool have to ward of interest from the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich if they want to stay competitive at the top of English football.
Written by Chris Wyles.
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