Liverpool’s game against West Ham was a match that would have huge repercussions at both ends of the Premier League table. The hosts were looking to take advantage of the fact that Manchester United and Chelsea lock horns on Sunday, while West Ham are not out of the relegation battle yet.
Liverpool started quickly and looked to be turning the screw inside the opening 10 minutes as Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk warmed the hands of Adrian before West Ham started to bite back.
However, it was Jurgen Klopp’s men that took the lead as Emre Can was able to score from a corner after half an hour. The second-half saw Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino continue their fine scoring runs before Michail Antonio cut the arrears.
However, Sadio Mane was able to score to see all three of Liverpool’s forwards hit the back of the net and end the game. Liverpool move up into second for now with Manchester United still to play. West Ham on the other hand stay on 30 points with the relegation zone not far behind.
Liverpool’s fast start
David Moyes has not ever beaten Liverpool at Anfield, and the start West Ham had hinted at the fact he would not break his duck on Saturday. The mesmerising football that Liverpool have been able to play this season was on full show in the opening 10 minutes as the Hammers were unable to keep up.
The first sign of this came in the third minute as Liverpool broke which allowed Roberto Firmino to drift onto the left before cutting the ball back to Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian was able to use his quick feet to shift the ball onto his left foot before drilling an effort that Adrian did well to push onto the post.
Salah was involved soon after as Trent Alexander-Arnold profited from Liverpool’s superb one-touch passing to roll the ball into Salah, but his cross was cleared by James Collins. From the resulting corner, Virgil van Dijk was able to beat his marker, but his header was fired straight at the goalkeeper.
Liverpool’s start was an ominous one for the Hammers, and if the two teams carried on in the same manner, then the London side would not be leaving with any points.
Emre Can strikes to make it 1-0
Emre Can may be on his way out of Anfield, but he can still have a huge impact on the game as he displayed against West Ham. The German was able to capitalise from Salah’s wicked cross as he beat Patrice Evra to the ball before finishing to make it 1-0.
Honestly, it was no more than Liverpool deserved as they have continued their rich form going forward. For David Moyes, he will have been hugely annoyed to have seen his side concede in that manner as the marking was simply not good enough and it gave Can the chance to score and make West Ham’s job a lot harder.
Arnautovic stars in the first-half
Marko Arnautovic has come in for some criticism following his move from Stoke, but under David Moyes, he has been a different player. The forward was able to get in behind Joel Matip and, despite having nothing on in front of him, he chipped a sublime effort that Loris Karius did well to push onto the bar.
West Ham’s most important player was then able to smash an outstanding effort from a 30-yard free-kick which swerved massively. Karius was able to push the ball away, but the travelling fans were being shown exactly why the Hammers have put so much faith in him.
Mohamed Salah continues his outstanding run before Firmino scores the third
Of all of the signings the Premier League teams have made this year, Mohamed Salah must be up there as one of the very best, if not the best.
The Egyptian was not able to break into Chelsea in the way he wanted to, but he has been proving himself to be one of the best forwards in the world. Salah received the ball before somehow evading challenges in the box and then firing into the bottom corner to make it 2-0. 25 goals in his last 25 games tells you all you need to know about Liverpool’s new talisman.
Roberto Firmino was then able to make it 3-0 after perfectly timing his run to beat the offside trap. The Brazilian then displayed great composure and feet to go around the advancing Adrian before converting via a cheeky no-look finish.
Antonio comes on to give West Ham hope.
Michail Antonio was only brought on moments before he was given the chance to make it 3-1, and how he took his opportunity. The forward was able to race in behind Liverpool’s back-four before firing past Karius to make it 3-1.
Question marks will hang over Liverpool’s defence as they were so easily cut open by a single pass, and it remains a huge worry for Klopp as his side will not become the world beaters their attack suggests they could become if they can’t defend.
The goals saw the match turn into an end-to-end contest as West Ham were pressing for a goal before they were caught on the break, but Firmino was unable to take his chance with Adrian saving well. While this change in tempo gave West Ham a chance to put pressure on Liverpool’s defence, the Reds are the last side a team will want to be trading counter-attacks with.
This allowed Liverpool to kill off the game once and for all, and they did exactly that through Sadio Mane. Firmino was once again the architect as he fed Andy Robertson who fired the ball into Mane, and the attacker was able to turn it home to make the score 4-1 and end the game as a contest.
Liverpool: Karius 7 – Alexander-Arnold 7, Matip 7, van Dijk 7, Robertson 7 – Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Can 8, Milner 7 – Salah 8.5 (Solanke 6), Firmino 9 (Lallana 6), Mane 8.5 (Moreno 6).
Unused subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson,.
West Ham: Adrian 6 – Zabaleta 6, Collins 6, Ogbonna 6, Creswell 6, Evra 6 – Mario 5 (Rice 5), Kouyate 5, Noble 6, Lanzini 6 (Antonio 7)- Arnautovic 8 (Hernandez 6).
Unused subs: Hart, Reid, Hugill, Byram.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
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