Both teams have enjoyed a recent upturn in form with two wins in their last three league games, as West Ham aimed to put more daylight between themselves and the drop zone – whereas Klopp’s men still have aspirations of claiming a European spot.
WHU: Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Cresswell, Rice, Soucek, Pacqueta, Benrahma, Bowen, Antonio
LIV: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Roberston, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Jota, Salah, Gakpo
Liverpool began by having large spells of possession, but were nearly architects of their own downfall. A sloppy pass by Van Dijk found Jarrod Bowen, though he could not find the waiting Antonio with his cross. Soon after, Robertson played a wayward pass towards the edge of his own box – inadvertently teeing up Said Benrahma to shoot, but he decided against the effort.
West Ham did take the lead shortly after the ten minute mark. Paqueta played a nice one-two with Antonio on the edge of the box, and the Brazilian lashed it home with the aid of a slight Van Dijk deflection, to give Moyes’ men a great start. Paqueta’s purple patch continues, with three goals in as many games.
Liverpool responded in fine style, as Cody Gakpo picked up the ball up from 25 yards before smashing home hard and low past Fabianski. The Hammers’ lead had lasted barely five minutes!
Liverpool were pressing hard for the second goal, and a huge chance fell to Diogo Jota as the ball deflected to him in the box – but he fired over from close range. He squandered another huge chance before half time – Salah’s cross was flicked on towards the Portuguese international who could not head home from six yards.
At the other end, Benrahma drove into the box and crossed the ball low and hard towards Antonio, though Van Dijk made a miraculous clearance as the Jamaican looked destined to tap home. From the resulting corner, Antonio had a good chance as a flick on found Antonio free – but he couldn’t connect well. That was the last action of an electric first half, which could – and should – have seen more goals!
The start of the second half was more subdued. Jarrod Bowen had a fine goal ruled out correctly for offside, though it was Liverpool who took the lead after 67 minutes following a corner from Andy Robertson. The Scottish left-back found Matip, who crashed his header home as the Reds completed the turnaround.
West Ham felt they should have had a stoppage time penalty for a handball against substitute Thiago Alcantara but VAR disagreed, leaving David Moyes furious on the touchline.
West Ham huffed and puffed for the equaliser – but in the end their effort weren’t enough. Liverpool held on for their third win in a row, giving them great boost in their quest for Europe, as they climb to sixth place. Defeat for the Hammers leaves them looking over their shoulder as they drop to 14th, but they remain five points above the relegation zone.