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Premier League
Saturday, 4th November 2017

West Ham United 1
Liverpool 4

by David Fletcher


A lucklustre West Ham side falls to its knees under calamitous circumstances on home soil at Liverpool's mercy. Despite their decent start, it was to be a long night for the Hammers as they fall to their fourth defeat of the season by three goals or more.

Both sides enjoyed clear-cut chances early on, with Roberto Firmino going close for Liverpool from a Mohammed Salah free-kick that was to be denied by 'keeper Joe Hart. Meanwhile, at the other end, Andre Ayew was a whisker away from putting the home team in front after his effort ricocheted off the post from a Manuel Lanzini deflected pass.

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A succession of questionable decisions from referee Neil Swarbrick going against the Hammers stirred the home fans up who really started to get behind the team, encouraging them to make the most of their time on top.

However, that would be their downfall, as their excess of pressure on a corner sparked a Liverpool counter attack. With a couple of one-twos, Sadio Mane and Salah were away with only Aaron Cresswell to beat. In a flick of a switch, West Ham's confidence dropped considerably.

It would turn into a shambolic couple of minutes, when Liverpool's corner clattered off Mark Noble, only for Hart to parry into Joel Matip's path who doubled up Liverpool's lead.

As a consequence, that notorious sinking feeling was felt around the ground, as players lost their sharpness and left the pitch dejected for half time.

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It was a relatively quiet start to the second period, though West Ham were given a glimmer of hope when Manuel Lanzini latched onto an Ayew cross at the expense of Joe Gomez and lobbed it over Simon Mignolet to cut West Ham's deficit to just the one goal.

Though their lead wouldn't last long and just 57 seconds later, Liverpool restored their two-goal advantage when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to beat Hart after his initial effort was blocked by the England international.

Barring an immediate response from the Hammers after conceding, which saw Lanzini in a near identical position to his first goal but coudn't find the net after nice link up play from Javier Hernandez and Andy Carroll, West Ham were well and truly beaten.

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After a period of hiatus, the away side would finally sentence the match with about a quarter of the match still to play.

Firmino had a clear opportunity to put the game to bed but scrambled his effort wide, though his team mate Salah would put the icing on the cake as far as Liverpool were concerned when he drilled his effort beyond Hart's reach into the far corner.

West Ham were in free fall as their fans marched out in utter disgrace. The full time whistle coulnd't come soon enough as Liverpool created a plethora of chances as they kept carving the Hammers apart on the counter attack.



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Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Though he did concede four goals, there was little he could do on most of them.


Edimilson Fernandes
Didn't stand out in any aspect and as a consequence was sacrificed for an attacking option in Andy Carroll at half time.


Aaron Cresswell
Played a part in West Ham's early pressure and was relatively consistent.


Angelo Ogbonna
Was good all-round but got caught out of position on a number of occasions.


Winston Reid
Left the defence exposed many times and lost a lot of duels.


Cheikhou Kouyate
Didn't look comfortable being a centre-half having the responsibility of being the last man.


Pedro Obiang
Was poor tracking back in the second half failing to provide the all-important link between attack and defence.


Mark Noble
Started off well providing a link between attack and defence, but made so many mistakes and got frustrated with himself and his team mates as he let the crowd get under his skin.


Manuel Lanzini
Provided one of the remarkably few joyous moments of the night with his goal and kept trying to push forward right until the last minute.


Andre Ayew
Was sharp in attack with the assist for the only goal of the night.


Javier Hernandez
Held up the ball well but failed to ruffle some feathers in Liverpool's notoriously shaky defence.


Substitutes


Andy Carroll
(Replaced Fernandes) Was a powerfull presence in the air and provided chances for his team mates with his aerial duels.


Marko Arnautovic
(Replaced Noble) Delivered some decent crosses but lost interest, as did many of his team mates, as the match drew to its conclusion.


Diafra Sakho
(Replaced Hernandez) Very little desire to put things right.


Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.


Declan Rice
Did not play.


Arthur Masuaku
Did not play.


Sead Haksabanovic
Injured during warm-up.



Match Facts

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Manuel Lanzini.

West Ham United

Joe Hart, Edimilson Fernandes, Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Manuel Lanzini, Andre Ayew, Javier Hernandez.

Goals: Manuel Lanzini 55                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Liverpool

Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Solanke 87), Mane (Milner 76), Firmino (Lovren 87)..

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: Karius, Sturridge, Grujic, Alexander-Arnold.

Goals: Salah (21, 76), Matip (23), Oxlade-Chamberlain (56).

Booked: .

Sent Off: .

 
David Fletcher's Man of the Match: Manuel Lanzini


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