Liverpool 2 - 1 West Ham
Liverpool: Salah 41’ (pen), Jota 83’
West Ham: Fornals 9’
As Klopp hinted at in pre-game interviews, Nathaniel Phillips gets his Premier League debut in the defense. Otherwise, Scouse legend in the making Curtis Jones also joins the starting XI.
Liverpool start the game off strong, nearly creating a chance in the first few minutes through Salah and Firmino working together.
On the other end of the pitch, Phillips and his magnificent beard pull off their first solid defensive feat, clearing a dangerous ball into the box for a West Ham corner that rolls out for a goal kick.
Goal :( Fornals 9’ - Well, that didn’t start well. Gomez clears a shot with his head, but it only gets as far as Fornals, who was waiting squarely inside the box. His shot slides past Alisson into the net.
Liverpool have been the best team since the goal with nothing to show for it. However, they keep pushing forward. Sadio Mane gets the ball in space, but a clean tackle by Cresswell knocks it away to Salah. Eventually, after a scramble, the captain gets the ball and his feet and shoots it wide. That’s the closest the Reds have gotten so far, but it’s nice to see some endeavor by the players. Mane, in particular, has looked flat in this first half up until now.
38 minutes in, Declan Rice fouls Gini Wijnaldum right outside the box. Enter Trent Alexander-Arnold, who unfortunately sends his free kick straight into the wall.
GOALLLL!! Salah 41’ - Finally, Liverpool get a break. Salah earns a penalty for his side when Arthur Masuaku fouls him in the box. He takes the spot kick himself. It’s right down the middle, but it slides right past Fabianski. The score is leveled five minutes before halftime.
The game begins more open than I would have liked at the start of the second half. Liverpool get the first chance through another Alexander-Arnold free kick that finds Salah’s head. It flied over the net and harmlessly out of play.
On the other end, however, West Ham force a diving save from Alisson.
It took a while, but the Reds seem to have tired out their opponents. Just before Klopp makes his first changes, taking out Curtis and Firmino in favor of Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota, is a sustained attack on Fabianski’s goal. If they keep this up for the remaining 20 minutes, then hopefully a second goal will come for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s VAR nightmares continue another day. This time, at least, it was a clear foul from Mane in the middle up to Jota’s goal that saw it disallowed after a lengthy check. It would be nice to just score a goal in open play that wasn’t immediately shaved off in some game soon.
Regardless, the match is level and again, and the Reds have 10 minutes to make something else happen.
GOALLLLL! 83’ Jota - This is Diogo Jota’s world, and we all just live in it. There’s a good interplay between the subs and Mane that ends with Shaqiri measuring his pass perfectly for Jota to slot home.
Liverpool match their record of 63 unbeaten home games in a row for the second time in their history. David Moyes extends his own personal record of never winning at Anfield with another club.