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West Ham 2, Liverpool 0: First Thoughts

Liverpool are again undone by a hard-working, well-organised side with a big aerial presence.

Clive Rose/Getty Images
West Ham 2 Antonio 9', Carroll 55'
Liverpool 0
  • 4-2-3-1 with Lucas and Can in the double pivot. In theory, a solid shield for our CBs.
  • Ibe goes close on 3 minutes with a low drive from 18 yards. About a foot wide of the far post.
  • Hammers fans singing the Stevie song. We don't really mind the bantz, but this is getting kinda sad. Maybe sing a song about Frank Lampard or Joe Cole or something, guys?
  • Goal for West Ham. Alberto Moreno goes down and stays down on the left flank, West Ham counter, and Antonio - who made the tackle on Moreno 120 yards ago - scores from a terrific Valencia cross after isolating against Clyne at the far post. Glorious start to 2016, this.
  • Lanzini hits the post from 20 yards with a knuckleball from a different planet. The all-white kit is the only sexy thing Liverpool have managed today.
  • Lucas booked for a stamp on Noble. No malicious intent, but is late into the challenge.
  • Firmino plays a long ball for Benteke, who is let in by a Collins slip, but the Belgian is unable to get the ball under control before Tomkins gets back to clear it for a corner.
  • Sakho lands awkwardly on his right leg after an aerial duel. Limps back. Our chest hurts.
  • Some sloppy defending leads to a Valencia shot that goes out for a throw in.
  • Firmino nearly pokes it home after a scramble in the box following a corner. Nicks Adrian's nose while he's at it. The football gods demand blood and get several milliliters of it. It is all very dramatic.
  • The best piece of play on the day ends with a Firmino effort that bobbles well wide. Promising, accurate one-touch play there, at least.
  • Lanzini comes off with an injury. The Premier League holiday programme claims another victim.
  • Coutinho shoots from 40 yards. We groan like a thousand tectonic plate shifts.
  • Oh great; long throws. Can flicks it on from the first post and Cresswell shoots. Blocked by Clyne.
  • Firmino sets up Can for a shot from 18 yards. Off the crossbar. Fuck.
  • Half-time thoughts: Bad in a familiar way. Better towards the end, with some promising pieces of play and a shot off the bar, but mostly depressingly impotent. The pressing has been ineffective and leaves too many gaps. The decision to have Lucas as the most attacking of the holding mids seems an odd one, and Benteke is 1/7 in aerial duels. Not many options on the bench, so this must come down to Klopp getting the current XI to do better.
  • West Ham come out six minutes late for the second half. Bobby Madley is displeased.
  • A Coutinho through ball sets up Moreno, who finds Benteke with an excellent cross, but the Belgian fluffs his shot.
  • Goal for West Ham. Overcommitted, ineffective pressing leaves Noble in tons of space, and his cross finds Carroll at the back post, where Clyne is all alone against two attackers. 2-0.
  • Lallana and Smith come on for Firmino and Moreno.
  • Oh great Dmitri Payet is back I'm sure this won't make things worse.
  • Mignolet with a terrific triple save from a point blank Carroll header, a Carroll shot and an Antonio shot, all from a combined range of about 12 yards.
  • Jordon Ibe with a magnificent through ball for Smith, whose cross is blocked for a corner.
  • Lucas header after a corner is hacked off the line by Noble. Denying us a Lucas goal is terrible form, Mark.
  • Shouts of handball, but Coutinho's shot clearly hits Carroll in the stomach.
  • Joe Allen comes on for Mamadou Sakho, probably to shore up the CB spot.
  • Mignolet saves Liverpool again, this time from a thumping Kouyate effort from 15 yards.
  • Allen somehow manages to head inches wide after Coutinho picks him out with a great cross.
  • Full-time thoughts: Drek. Just drek

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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.

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