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Premier League: Liverpool Beat Plucky Hammers

Liverpool 3-2 West Ham United

Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham in a five-goal thriller at Anfield to take another step closer to the Premier League title.

The team here at SBOTOP and the vast majority of pundits elsewhere all had this down as a big home win. We headlined our match preview as “Hammers to the slaughter” and at odds of 1.18 to win Liverpool looked nailed on.

But the underdogs put up a great fight, and only a Sadio Mane goal on 81 minutes finally killed them off. The Premier League 2020 betting odds on the Hammers going down drifted over the weekend as their relegation rivals all struggled, and this performance will have given their fans real hope.

 

Highlights of the game

We expected goals tonight, and there were quickly two in the opening 12 minutes. The first came from a regular source as Trent Alexander-Arnold, so prolific as a provider, crossed and Georginio Wijnaldum glanced a header past Lukasz Fabianski. Although, the keeper got a hand to the ball and will have been disappointed not to keep it out.

Moyes opted for damage limitation in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City last week and, as the Reds had opened the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock, he may well have been planning the same approach for the next 82.

But not so as remarkably, the Hammers were level minutes later. They won a corner which Robert Snodgrass swung over, and Issa Diop guided his header past Alisson to silence the Anfield chants of “We’re gonna win the league!”

Alexander-Arnold came close to restoring Liverpool’s lead when put in by Roberto Firmino, but his cross-shot whistled wide. Then, the wing-back fired in a corner which Virgil Van Dijk met with a powerful header and watched it crash off the bar and over as the Hammers survived through to half-time.

Firmino had a glorious chance to score in the opening minute of the second period as he collected the ball on the overlap, but he blazed over. And it wasn’t long before the Hammers made him feel worse.

Pablo Fornals hits West Ham's second goal during their Premier League clash against Liverpool
Pablo Fornals celebrates after scoring West Ham United’s second goal against Liverpool

Moyes had just brought Pablo Fornals on and when Declan Rice sent a tempting cross into the danger area, he swept the ball home to make it 1-2.

As expected, Liverpool piled forward looking for an equaliser. Fabianski made a great save to deny Alexander-Arnold, but the Hammers briefly weathered the storm until their keeper had a nightmare.

Andy Robertson raided down the right and pulled the ball back for Mo Salah, who scuffed his shot, only to see it bobble through Fabianski’s legs and in.

Then, with just nine minutes left on the clock, the Reds went ahead again. Joe Gomez saw his shot blocked but Robertson latched onto the loose ball and squared for Sadio Mane to pass into the empty net.

The Senegalese striker had the ball in the net again but was ruled offside. And at the other end, West Ham substitute Jarred Bowen was clean through on goal but Alisson was equal to his effort.

 

Key statistics

It was hard work, but Liverpool have now won 18 Premier League games in a row to equal Manchester City’s top-flight record.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has made 24 assists for Liverpool in the Premier League, only one fewer than the defender who has made the most for the Reds at this level: Stig Inge Bjornebye.

Liverpool are unbeaten in eight league games against the Hammers, but Moyes’ team is only the second to score against the Anfield club in 12 matches.

West Ham have now gone eight games without a win and have lost 22 points from leading positions – the worst record in the league.

 

What’s next?

The Reds march on to London next week with a trip to face one of West Ham’s big rivals when they visit Nigel Pearson’s Watford. The Hornets are fighting for their lives but have taken just a single point from their last four games and are deep in trouble.

The Premier League 2020 results on Saturday and Sunday went well for the Hammers and so, on the whole, it was a good weekend for Moyes’ men. Norwich City, Watford, Aston Villa and Bournemouth all lost…and none of those teams was facing Liverpool! And the Premier League table doesn’t look much worse than it did last Friday.

Brighton earned a draw away to Sheffield United, but the Hammers would have taken this set of results if offered. They would prefer a different group of fixtures to come, though. Next up they face a resurgent Southampton, and then Arsenal and Wolves, all had good wins this weekend.

 

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