Liverpool triumph over West Ham

It was a match where both teams were playing without Liverpool strikers. Liverpool went into the game without a single senior recognized striker after Luis Suarez missed the match through suspension. Andy Carroll – Liverpool’s record signing who is on loan at West Ham was also out of action due to his knee injury.

Liverpool triumph over West Ham

Liverpool triumph over West Ham

West Ham were hoping for back to back wins at home after their amazing comeback against European Champions Chelsea.

Liverpool had won their previous Premier League match against Southampton and won their decisive Europa League match against Udinese courtesy to a Jordan Henderson goal.

Liverpool played Jonjo Shelvey as their made up striker. They went into the match with a lot of England Internationals. Thankfully Liverpool is one of the very few players in the English Premier League playing a lot of English players. Full English Internationals Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling, Steward Downing, Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson started the match and finished. Joe Cole and Jordan Henderson two more England Internationals also made impact substitution appearances.

West Ham started Diame who changed the match around against Chelsea after coming on as a substitute.

Liverpool was on the front foot when the match started and their dominance eventually resulted in a goal when Glen Johnson scored a beauty of a goal from outside the penalty box. Johnson who started his career at Upton Park with West Ham did the right thing by not celebrating the goal.

Liverpool then made a very early substitution by replacing the in – form Jose Enrique with another West Ham product – Joe Cole. Downing then moved to the left back position and Cole played on the wings.

The substitution changed the momentum of the match as West Ham who were on the back foot till then started putting up immense pressure on the Liverpool defence. The major issue that Reds had to cope with was the areal power of Carlton Cole.

In the 36th minute The Hammers were awarded a penalty, a very harsh decision as the ball hit Joe Allen’s hand while he was turning away from the ball. It was not a deliberate hand ball but the referee pointed to the spot much to Liverpool’s agony.

Noble stepped up to take the penalty and scored despite Reina guessing the right way. West Ham were clearly in control from there on as the kept pushing for another goal. The major problem for Liverpool was the areal balls targeted at Cole. The Hammers played strong physical football and out powered the smaller Liverpool players on many occasions. Their strong physical presence was what led to their second goal when two West Ham players crammed the 6 foot 3 Steven Gerrard with no space, forcing the Reds and England skipper to head the ball into his own net.

The first half ended 2-1 to West Ham.

In the second half West Ham continued to dominate and Liverpool were the second best team. Downing despite being a makeshift full back made some very important clearances and interceptions to keep the score unaltered. Agger who had scored the winner against Southampton made some very important interceptions to clear some areal balls as well as low crosses.

Liverpool came close to scoring then through Raheem Sterling who turns 18 this month. The youngster shot one with his weaker foot on goal only to see the experienced Jaaskalainen parry it over.

West Ham was struck with a huge blow in the 71st minute when Diame was stretched off the field after he pulled himself up with a possible hamstring problem. The forceful substitution might have worked in Liverpool’s favour.

Liverpool replaced Lucas who recently returned to full fitness with Henderson who scored the winner against Udinese.

In the 76th minute there was a glimpse of a player who scored that amazing volley against Sweden in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Joe Cole made a terrific run into the box and Shelvey put him through. The former West Ham captain finished off in emphatic style with his weaker foot to level the score. He too like Johnson showed respect to his former club by not celebrating the goal.

Then just after a minuet Henderson made run down the right wing and made a cross which for which both Jonjo Shelvey and Collins had gone int. The ball looped over the advancing West Ham stopper and went in. Shelvey celebrated the goal, but replays showed it was an own goal. Nevertheless it put Liverpool in front once again.

With just minutes left Brendan Rodgers decided to go defensive and brought on the tall Uruguayan centre back Sebastian Coates to deal with the areal balls.

Liverpool in the end held on to the lead and had a chance to go up by another goal when Sterling was one on one with the goal keeper. The 17 year old overdid his first touch which made it easy for Jääskeläinen to come out and clear the ball. They were then denied a penalty when Shelvey was brought down in the box. Shelvey seemed to have taken some tips from Suarez before the match as he dribbled past the West Ham defenders and was face to face with the goal keeper, he was brought down but the officials indicated to play on. Liverpool are now the only team in the league yet to be awarded a penalty this season.

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