Slaven Bilic’s future as the Hammers boss has been uncertain for quite a few months now and the Croatian was desperate to shake off all criticism and regain confidence following a sensational comeback victory against mighty Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup Round of 16 tie at Wembley Stadium.
But their Premier League run hit a massive setback following a 3-0 home defeat against newly promoted Brighton & Hove Albion followed by a 2-2 draw against bottom-placed Crystal Palace last weekend. Liverpool were looking for their third successive win across all competitions and Jurgen Klopp, the Reds boss, was cautious ahead of their trip to London Stadium to encounter the Irons. The game, however, proved to be another catastrophic outcome for the Hammers as the Reds registered a comfortable 4-1 win at London Stadium.
Roberto Firmino forced Joe Hart to make a smart stop in early minutes, but it was the home side who looked commanding in first 20 minutes. Andrew Ayew was unlucky as his strike hit the woodwork and the Reds were finding it hard to open up the Hammers defensive resilience. But things changed completely when the Reds defended Lanzini’s corner and the Irons did not have enough players in the back to deal with pacy Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah who formed a quick counter-attacking movement. Mane placed it beautifully for Salah who made no mistake to finish it into the back of the net. Liverpool hit back again within minutes of their opener when Mohamed Salah’s corner was poorly defended by West Ham skipper Mark Noble and Joel Matip finished it from close range. The first-half ended 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
But the game after the break proved to be an absolute thriller. West Ham looked desperate and purposeful from the very beginning as Bilic made a couple of attacking inclusions in form of Andy Carroll and Marko Arnautovic. But it was Manuel Lanzini who pulled one back for the Hammers capitalizing a defensive mistake of Joe Gomez. But Liverpool restored the lead within seconds when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain picked up Firmino’s pass and hit on target. Which although was denied by Hart but the rebound fell in The Ox’s path who put it into the back of the net in the second attempt. Joe Gomez looked vulnerable time and again and West Ham wasted a few decent opportunities to make the game even more exciting. Firmino wasted a glaring chance but it was the Egyptian Mo Salah who picked up Mane’s pass and made an amazing finish to take the scoreline beyond West Ham’s reach.
Liverpool won it 4-1 adding more uncertainty over Bilic’s future who might now be sacked during the international break.
West Ham United vs Liverpool Lineups:
West Ham United: Joe Hart, Winston Reid, Cheikh Kouyate, Angelo Ogbonna, Edimilson Fernandes (Andy Carroll 46′), Pedro Obiang, Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble (Marko Arnautovic 61′), Aaron Cresswell, Andrew Ayew, Javier Hernandez (Diafra Sakho 72′).
Liverpool: Simon Mignolet, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno,Emre Can, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Dejan Lovren 87′), Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino (Dominic Solanke 87′), Sadio Mane (James Milner 77′).
West Ham United vs Liverpool Highlights:
West Ham United vs Liverpool Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||6(1)||15(7)|