Liverpool v West Ham Report & Analysis- Reds complete “4-1” league double over Hammers

A dire second half performance saw West Ham slump to defeat at Anfield to Liverpool, who ended up beating the Hammers by the same 4-1 scoreline they had won by when the two teams met at the London Stadium earlier this season.

Given West Ham’s poor record at Anfield and Liverpool’s attacking prowess, few would’ve given the Hammers a chance before the game, but a two week break and the club’s encouraging performances against the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea earlier in the season had several fans hopeful.

West Ham boss David Moyes, who had never won at Anfield as manager, made two changes, bringing in Patrice Evra for his club debut for Michail Antonio and Manuel Lanzini back from injury at the expense of Javier Hernandez.

Liverpool’s solitary change from the team that had beaten Southampton at St.Mary’s was in midfield, with James Milner replacing the ill Georginio Wijnaldum.

West ham Starting XI v Liverpool 2018

The Reds’ forwards gave West Ham an early taste of how devastating they could be in attack, with Mo Salah’s 3rd minute shot beating Adrian, but the post came to the visitors’ rescue.

At the other end, Marko Arnautovic produced a delicious chip, with Lorius Karius just about able to tip it onto the crossbar. The Austrian also had West Ham’s other real opportunity in the first half- a long range effort that again brought Karius into action.

Liverpool finally broke through in the 29th minute and it was not one of their famed trio, but Emre Can who opened the scoring. The Reds had three successive corners and on the third, Can beat Patrice Evra to nod home past Adrian for his sixth goal of the campaign and Liverpool’s 100th of the season. It was a blemish on an otherwise decent evening for the former Manchester United and Juventus defender.

At half time, Liverpool dominated possession and passes (twice as much as West Ham), but the visitors were still in the game. Then, just as they had done against Brighton, West Ham forgot to turn up for the second half and Liverpool pounced.

It was Salah who opened the floodgates in the 51st minute, creating a record for most Premier League goals scored with a left foot in a single campaign. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain strode forward and despite the best efforts of Kouyate, Noble and co., got his pass away to Salah in the box. Cresswell tracked the Egyptian’s run and followed him, but the former slid it through his legs and past Adrian to make it 2-0.

Salah Cresswell

The chances kept coming, with Mane shooting straight at Adrian, but once again, individual errors lead to West Ham’s downfall. Adrian’s kick was poorly controlled by Joao Mario, who was robbed in possession by Emre Can, and the ball found its way to Firmino, who evaded a desperate Adrian and slotted home for 3-0.

Moyes immediately removed Manuel Lanzini, perhaps as a precautionary measure given the Argentine’s recent return from injury, and put Michail Antonio on. The substitute had an immediate impact, netting just seventy seconds after coming on. Kouyate stole the ball from Can in midfield and found Antonio in space, and he timed his finish to perfection.

There were a couple of nervy moments from Liverpool after that, and it seemed West Ham might be able to do what Arsenal had not too long ago. But normal service resumed soon afterwards, with the Reds continuing to pepper Adrian’s goal. Another excellent run from AOC had Mane in space, but the latter hit the post. He was however able to eventually get on the score-sheet, with Robertson surging down the left flank and passing it across goal, where this time, the Senegalese international made no mistake.

Declan Rice and Javier Hernandez were late subs for West Ham, but they had precious little to do and the game finished with the same scoreline that it did in the previous meeting between the two clubs this season.

Liverpool went to second in the table as a result of the win, while West Ham must pick themselves up for a crucial away game at Swansea next weekend.

Liverpool 4 (Can, Salah, Firmino, Mane) beat West Ham 1 (Antonio)

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