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West Ham 3, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

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After a victorious return to Champions League football, Liverpool started horrendously to effectively lose the game inside ten minutes.

Bubbles besting Brendan.
Bubbles besting Brendan.
Mike Hewitt

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West Ham 3 Reid 2', Sakho 7', Amalfitano 88',
Liverpool 1 Sterling 26',

  • Lucas Leiva and Faio Borini in, Philippe Coutinho disappeared from the matchday squad completely while Adam Lallana dropped to the bench. 80 seconds passed and West Ham United scored from a set-piece. It was a poor goal to concede but a familiar one. The marking was rubbish. Rubbish rubbish rubbish. Liverpool had to respond quickly and...

  • West Ham scored again. Sam Allardyce took a leaf from page 133 of Brendan Rodgers' 180 page dossier: the fast start. Reid takes the ball from Balotelli close to the halfway line as Liverpool attempted to get an attack going, and West Ham work the ball down the other side with Sakho who floats the ball in past the quite hapless Simon Mignolet. The target was Enner Valencia but the ball beats the Ecuador international and the Belgian who wandered into lands where no goalkeeper should venture. 2 nil to the home side. 7 minutes gone. Disaster.

  • Raheem Sterling pulled a goal back after an excellent touch from Mario Balotelli. The Italian international took the ball beautifully but his shot was blocked. The ball broke to Sterling outside the area and the youngster rifled it into the goalkeeper's bott right corner. Golazo! One would have thought that Liverpool would take heart after halving the gap on 26 minutes but West Ham continued to be the better side in the first half with a couple of good chances to score. Mamadou Sakho came on for Javier Manquillo a few minutes before the goal in what looked to be a tactical substitution, but Liverpool are far too easy to play against. Far too easy.

  • Should there be more protection for players who have concussion? Dejan Lovren continued after a clash of heads with Sakho late in the half. Bandages look cool but the welfare of players looks a lot better. Anyway, Rodgers played a second early substitution when he sent on Adam Lallana at half time for Lucas Leiva. Maybe Gerrard and Lucas can't play together because speed and pace and strength and general moving around. Also, maybe Gerrard can't play three games in the space of a week because logic and reason and logic and reason and age.

  • The indomitable Mario Balotelli and rapid Raheem Sterling led the charge in the second half with an improved Liverpool performance in midfield and attack. Adam Lallana also had a positive influence finding good pockets of space, displaying his touch and intelligence that will serve Liverpool well once he's fully up to speed.

  • Liverpool improved in the second half and it looked like Liverpool would get a goal by the time Rickie Lambert replaced Fabio Borini with fifteen minutes to go.

  • Amalfitano's goal after Sakho's square header from the right side sealed the win for West Ham.

  • It's one thing to lose to Manchester City away, it's another to come undone against pesky Aston Villa once more, but it's not quite acceptable to lose to Aston Villa and West Ham in successive Premier League games.

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We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.