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Liverpool 0 West Ham 0: First Thoughts

Meh at Anfield.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

liverpool blog fc sbn

Liverpool 0
West Ham 0

  • Pregame Thoughts: More experience for West Ham in this match, but it's not exactly an Exeter City lineup from Liverpool. Good to see guys like Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan, and Brad Smith continue to get rewarded for solid performances. Poor Joao Carlos Teixeira can't even get his picture in Fox Sports' pregame lineup graphic, though.

  • Kouyate and Joe Allen have Sonny & Cher in the bag for next Halloween. 

  • First shot across the bow of Mignolet's confidence with a cheeky bugger of a free kick put on frame from the right by Dmitri Payet. 

  • Anyone else completely forget that Victor Moses was even a thing anymore? 

  • Liverpool doing ok so far with keeping play in front of them, but West Ham are getting into their game, using the full width of the pitch, and keeping numbers up in front of Liverpool's defensive line.  

  • Brad Smith showing the world why he's firmly a leftback with that errant right footed pass..

  • Ebay wakes up a bit, carrying the ball into West Ham's half and playing a one-two with Tex on the left channel of the box. Ball didn't find a target, but he had the right idea keeping it low on the first time cross.

  • Cameron Brannagan with an exquisite arc to his free kick delivery, right on a plate for Benteke in the right channel of the 6 yard box, but no chicken dinner.

  • Decent defensive shape from Liverpool, but the trident behind Benteke needs to establish itself beyond the halfway line in search of those opportunistic turnovers.

  • Tomkins feels the full fury of a shaggy Red Panda on that aerial challenege. Wish you would.

  • Kevin Stewart with a very Lucas-y tackle, high up the pitch, putting paid to any chance of a West Ham break with a silky shift to his left that maintains Liverpool's possession with a lot of Red bodies shifted forward. That's graduate level screening work there.

  • That's a perfect free kick, nice corner, and nearly an homage to Gerrard's '06 winner from Cameron Brannagan so far. Kid's ball striking is something else and it comes off both feet, to boot.

  • Payet should keep at this whole football thing. Could be a future in it for him.

  • Brad Smith really needs to tighten up. A back pass to Mignolet that should have been called an indirect kick is sandwiched between poorly timed bits of tackling on that left flank. 

  • Halftime: After threatening to make this game their own, West Ham have allowed Liverpool to grow into this one. Rough sledding for Smith against Payet, and anonymity from Benteke and Tex, but Brannagan and Stewart have been quite good. Our half time team talk includes a mango kombucha and surprisingly satisfying cold pizza.

  • Second half starts up with West Ham reinvigorated, and Dmitri Payet's just got a firm grasp on what he's doing on the pitch at all times. Impressive player. 

  • Alex Song going full Edgar Davids?! How have we missed that up to now?

  • Allen springs through in the box for a play with Benteke, Brannagan reminds people that he does in fact play for Liverpool with the subsequent free kick, and things get scruffy on the ensuing West Ham possession with a robust slide form Dejan Lovren ratcheting up the heat here. Game on.

  • Umpf, Tex.

  • And again Tex with an unbelievable ball over the top for Clyne to run onto and cross in low. No worries for the Hammers, though, as Benteke gave the frontside up for his marker to clear.

  • Kevin Stewart bangs in a long range bouncer off a clearance from Tex's set piece, and though people will be griping with Benteke, his attempted left footed finish was of the highest degree of difficulty. 

  • Second Victor Moses sighting of the day is of him trotting off the pitch. Nice guy, cool hair, that's about all we got there.

  • Another great bit of DMing from Stewart springs a delayed break that ultimately leads to Ebay setting up Tex for a left footed pop from the left channel. Anyone's game, this, even if its a bit of a flat affair.

  • Benteke gets two bites at the apple and Allen tries a flying scissors, but nothing doing. 

  • Boy, Brad Smith has a first step on him. And a second. And a third. Brad Smith is fast is what we're saying.

  • Sheyi Ojo coming on  for the mediocre Ibe, and we want that New Balance undershirt. Announcer's also pronouncing it "Say Ojo" -- is that right?

  • Tex shoulda given it right back to Ojo there, but how on Fowler's Red Earth that wasn't called a foul on the Portuguese, we will never know.

  • Good to see Mignolet is as flafftastic as ever in the air, but get your ass up off the deck, Enner.

  • Young Adam Carolla with a wild blast high and wide right for the Hammers.

  • Some transfer window dressing from Klopp as he puts Jerome Sinclair on for Cameron Brannagan. Quieter second half from the Englishman, but he's definitely a nice squad piece moving forward.

  • Ojo just gave four different players a 10 yard head start and beat them all to the ball by a full yard and a half. Tired legs and all, but still.

  • Tex comes off with Jose Unrealque coming on. Injury perhaps? Either way looks like a switch to a 3-5-2 here.

  • Foul on the newly introduced Enrique during a headed shot that hit the post for West Ham.

  • Tame finale, but a nice developmental game for Liverpool's young guns, and no loss!

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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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