West Ham 1 - 2 Liverpool
Wet Ham (yes, that is intentional): Paqueta 12’
Reds: Gakpo 18’, Matip 67’
Jurgen Klopp sends out a largely unchanged XI from the last time out, with the only change being Konate out for Joel Matip.
Liverpool try, not for the first time this season, to build some momentum off two wins on the bounce. The Reds will need to keep their winning ways, likely until the end of the season, if they have any outside hopes of securing Champions League football next season. But if any team would do things the hard way, it would be this gang of pricks.
It’s an encouraging opening few minutes, with Liverpool finding lots of space all over the pitch. However, the visitors nearly put themselves in an early hole (for the one millionth time this season) after an errant pass creates an dangerous situation.
Goal. Well, the Reds find themselves in a hole for the millionth time this season. This time it’s courtesy of a worldie from outside the box...which is just one of those.
GOAL! Liverpool respond with a long distance goal of their own! Trent pops it off to Cody Gakpo, who hits a hard and low shot off the near post and in. The xG is currently at 0.03-0.16. Funny game.
Liverpool responded very well to going behind, though they have yet to really create much beyond the occasional shot from distance, or rushed attempt from inside the box. Still, there is loads of space to play into, if they can pick the right final pass.
The game opens up as the half wears on, with both sides missing some half decent chances. Liverpool are just about on top, but they’ll need to be more composed at both ends of the pitch to ensure that they leave London with all three points.
West Ham start, quite annoyingly, camped out in Liverpool’s half. It is not the opening few minutes that Liverpool fans were hoping to see, but thankfully that possession did not lead to a goal.
Liverpool are let off the hook after Bowen casually carries the ball half the pitch and slots, but he was thankfully just offside.
Klopp makes his first change on the hour mark, bringing Jordan Henderson and Diogo Jota off for Thiago and Luis Diaz. The subs appear to be working as intended earlier, with the Reds showing just a bit more cutting edge and control since the change.
GOAL!! Joel Matip comes up huge on a corner, getting free of his marker and sending home a bullet header to put the Reds in front!
Liverpool have their tails up after the goal, and the home side appear to be punched out. Hopefully The Reds can take advantage of this momentum and find a third to put this match to bed.
Klopp brings Darwin Núñez on to replace Gakpo. I’m not sure this match needs Darwin’s supremely chaotic himbo energy, but also give me all of that supremely chaotic himbo energy.
James Milner comes on as Klopp’s final sub (and time wasting shithouse in chief). The Reds have lost that momentum after the go ahead goal, and it appears as if it will be a nervy remaining 10 or so minutes.
And it absolutely is a nervy 10 or so minutes, including surviving a penalty shout after a ball-to-hand incident with Thiago! But Liverpool survive the trip to London with all 3 points!
It wasn’t pretty, but Liverpool do just enough to come from behind and keep the winning streak—and the slim Champions League hopes—alive.