West Ham United 0-2 Liverpool
Liverpool’s unbelievable run of Premier League wins is now up to 15 games in a row as they handily dispatched a struggling West Ham side, 2-0. Mohamed Salah had a hand in both goals as he starred in Sadio Mane’s absence.
The win extends Liverpool’s commanding lead atop the table to 19 points. It also sealed a remarkable sweep as they’ve now beaten every other team in a single top-flight campaign for the first time in their illustrious history.
As for West Ham, their misery continues. They’ve now lost four of their last five games and remain tied for the second-fewest points in the league. David Moyes will need to turn things around in the final third of the season for the Hammers to avoid the drop.
Highlights of the game
As expected, the Premier League 2020 news for Liverpool was that Sadio Mane didn’t make the squad after picking up an injury in their 2-1 win against Wolves. Divock Origi got the start and was involved in Liverpool’s first meaningful attack on four minutes.
The Belgian got behind the Hammers defence and tried to square the ball to Salah, but Lukasz Fabianski was on hand to smother the cross.
West Ham had their first real chance to threaten Liverpool on 15 minutes. Robert Snodgrass sent in a dangerous cross for Manuel Lanzini, who couldn’t make contact with the ball. But the flag had gone up, so his goal wouldn’t have counted.
On 29 minutes, it was Andy Robertson’s turn to put in an inviting cross from Liverpool’s left wing. However, neither an outstretched Origi nor Salah could get on the end of it.
But Jurgen Klopp’s men would eventually get their breakthrough just a few minutes later. The Reds were rewarded a penalty after Issa Diop brought down Origi in the penalty area. The West Ham defender also picked up a yellow card for his troubles.
Mohamed Salah stepped up to take the spot-kick, and the Liverpool superstar smashed the ball into the bottom corner to give his side the lead.
West Ham had a good chance to equalise four minutes after the break as Manuel Lanzini found himself with acres of space at the penalty spot. But the Hammers forward completely fluffed his shot, which trickled harmlessly into Alisson’s arms.
Liverpool came right back the other way and very nearly doubled their lead. Roberto Firmino forced a fine save from Fabianski with a quick shot on the turn.
Not too long after, though, Liverpool did get their second through a lightning-quick counterattack. Jordan Henderson found Salah, who supplied an inch-perfect through ball with the outside of his left foot to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The England man displayed his strength as he shook off a challenge before expertly finishing past Fabianski.
However, the home side nearly pulled one back on 55 minutes through Snodgrass, who got a sight on goal after Gini Wijnaldum carelessly gave the ball away. But despite not having much to do for most of the match, Alisson was alert and came up with a fine save to deny the Scot.
Three minutes later, Snodgrass swung in a free-kick which Angelo Ogbonna got on the end of. But the West Ham centre-back was unable to direct his header toward goal.
The Hammers came even closer on 71 minutes as Declan Rice fired straight at Alisson after a forceful run. And in trying to clear the ball, Trent Alexander-Arnold nearly put the ball into his own net as he struck the post.
Alexander-Arnold was back on the attacking side moments later and almost set up another Salah goal, but the Egyptian’s header went wide. Salah would also hit the post with a first-time strike from the edge of the box.
Rice had one last chance to salvage a West Ham consolation as he got a good header from a free-kick. But it wasn’t to be as Alisson made a great diving stop to preserve his clean sheet.
The Premier League 2020 suggests a comfortable Liverpool win, and as the final statistics bore out, that’s what they got. The visitors controlled 71 per cent of possession and outshot the Hammers, 13-7.
Salah more than made up for Mane’s absence as he recorded five shots. And with his goal, he has now gone ahead of Mane as the team’s leading scorer with 12 league goals.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are now just three wins away from matching Manchester City’s Premier League record of 18 consecutive wins.
Liverpool are back in action this weekend as they host Southampton at Anfield. The SBOTOP will have the Reds favoured to preserve their perfect home record, but the Saints have been in fine form of late and could prove to be a dangerous opponent for the champions-elect.
As for the Hammers, they have a must-win game at home against Brighton. With Manchester City and another matchup against Liverpool on the horizon, the Hammers need to pick up three points against their fellow relegation strugglers.
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