Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur – Liverpool’s title rivals have all made a winning start to their campaign which, understandably, put added pressure on Jurgen Klopp to deliver this afternoon at Anfield against a reconfigured West Ham United side under veteran Manuel Pellegrini.
But the Reds were at their very best from the beginning and made the tie look one-sided with a thumping 4-0 win against the Hammers.
Liverpool kept the Hammers backline on their toes with relentless pressure high up the pitch. They kept on switching flanks, whipping in crosses, one-twos and high pressing game mostly through James Milner who was all over the pitch winning back possession and building up moves. Lukasz Fabianski had a busy afternoon as he made some decisive stops but failed to prevent Mo Salah who tapped in from close range from an exquisite low cross of Andrew Robertson down the left. New boy Naby Keita played a big role in building up this movement and the domination continued right until the very end of the first half which saw the Reds doubling their lead via Sadio Mane. Andrew Robertson’s cross was kept into the game by Milner from the byline and the Senegalese sensation made no mistake to put it into the back of the net.
The hammering continued even after the break as Sadio Mane made it 3-0 with a swift finish. He, however, was offside and lucky to have it in his name as the assistant official missed it completely. West Ham looked dispirited and could not create much except a few half chances. Daniel Sturridge scored with his first touch after coming on as an 88th-minute substitute when he converted James Milner’s corner at the second post. The Reds enjoyed a perfect start of their new campaign and grab the top spot of league standings for the time being.
Liverpool vs West Ham United Lineups:
Liverpool: Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah (Daniel Sturridge 87′), Sadio Mane (Xherdan Shaqiri 82′), Roberto Firmino (Jordan Henderson 69′).
West Ham: Lukasz Fabianski, Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Declan Rice (Robert Snodgrass 46′), Ryan Fredericks, Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere, Arthur Masuaku, Michail Antonio, Felipe Anderson (Javier Hernandez 62′), Marko Arnautovic (Andriy Yarmolenko 67′).
Liverpool vs West Ham United Highlights:
Liverpool vs West Ham United Match Stats:
|Shots (on Target)||18(8)||5(2)|