LIVERPOOL 4-1 West Ham
Liverpool continued their Premier League season with a win at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp made one change from the side that had gone out to face Southampton this year. James Milner replaced Gini Wijnaldum. Hindsight is a wonderful thing that can only happen after the match has finished but Klopp declared himself “delighted” with the squad he’d picked. I’ve got to say I was happy enough with seeing the lineup before the game had even kicked off though. Good work, Jurgen.
Liverpool had previously travelled to London to face West Ham earlier this season and claimed all three points in that fixture. The Liverpool fans had confidence from knowing we had what it takes to win against these opponents already.
As for goals, Liverpool fans would have to wait around 30 minutes for the first goal to be scored. The first half hour had been eventful, with both sides looking to show their skills and determine who could be the leader in the game first. That would be interesting and either side had their chances but at the half hour mark, Emre Can made Liverpool the game’s leaders. A particularly bad debut for new West Ham defender Patrice Evra saw Evra attempt but fail to clear a Liverpool corner which Salah had taken. Can did not waste the opportunity given to him as the ball came to him past Evra and he finished well from close range. Now, the score became Liverpool 1-0 West Ham.
More would still come for the next quarter of an hour, but the away side could not reply with a goal of their own and Liverpool finished the 1st half with a single goal lead at the break.
The players came out of the dressing rooms refreshed and ready for more. Liverpool had only to defend a lead or perhaps go for another goal that would secure the 1st goal and perhaps the win, even if West Ham scored once.
The home side didn’t play overly defensively, with more attacking plays being seen by Liverpool. Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Loris Karius did good jobs when they were needed to, our defence looked solid. Still, the forwards that were assigned with more aggressive play didn’t just let the defenders do all the hard work.
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain was used to playing in London derbies as an Arsenal player and West Ham had more reason to fear him once again as he pushed his way around the pitch. Wherever he wanted to take the ball, that’s where he was going to end up. He looked unstoppable and though at times he could have shot and most likely scored himself, he unselfishly helped Salah score by creating a goal for him early into the 2nd half. Liverpool 2-0 West Ham.
Liverpool had a two goal lead and it wasn’t looking like changing. West Ham had their moments but the home side were dominating. Who we’d see attacking next was a constant lottery of Salah/Mane/Firmino/ assisted by much of the rest of the team, just behind them.
Who wants 3?
7 lucky minutes after Salah had scored his goal, Firmino was about to claim his too. Can played in the Brazilian with an amazing pass that was terribly hard to defend against, with Can not even looking towards Firmino as he played in his teammate for an assist that helped Bobby make it Liverpool 3-0 West Ham.
Where was the game going to go from here? Had Liverpool won already? Well actually West Ham didn’t give up and would get a goal even.
David Moyes used some clever strategy as he brought on a substitution that would score within moments of coming into the game. What an impact for Antonio. The score was now Liverpool 3-1 West Ham just a couple of minutes after Bobby had gotten his goal. Wow! The away fans could sing for a while at least. Not really any point in discussing how Liverpool conceded, nothing was done terrible defensively. Moyes just used what is normally a key player in a way that surprised Liverpool. I think Antonio had wanted to start the game but Evra’s debut had seen the West Ham squad switched around a little and the substitute bench saw a regular player pushed out for until the 2nd half. At least he was fresh and ready to score for them when he’d make his appearance.
Liverpool didn’t change any tactics up, we just kept on going as we had done already and seemed to want a 4th goal.
20 minutes after Antonio had scored, Liverpool had been pushing forward. A contested ball between Mane and the West Ham goalkeeper saw Mane lift the ball over Adrian and into the net. High pressure there but Mane seemed cool as ice as his attack helped make the score Liverpool 4-1 West Ham. There was still 13 minutes and then a bit of extra time to go but Liverpool had secured all three points for this fixture.
Man of the Match
Salah is continuing to score and has gotten at least 31 goals in the season now. He’s equal with the season when Suarez scored 31 (and Sturridge had scored 21, that SAS were getting plenty of goals together). Fernando Torres once claimed 33 goals in a season so Salah has a couple more to go until he’s level with the Spaniard’s record. It’s all incredibly close and record-breaking seems to be easy for Salah. I believe in him. Many people think he can not just equal but also break these records.
Liverpool have another chance to see Rafa Benitez in Liverpool again as his Newcastle squad comes to Anfield next Saturday. I hope you all look forward to that as much as I do. Walk on with hope in your hearts, Anfield Family. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
[written by Stuart Drewery]