Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham
Reds: Salah 16’ (p), Núñez 60’, Jota 85’
Wet Hammers: Bowen 42’
After a disastrous Saturday in which both Everton and Manchester United were unlikely winners, the Reds try to salvage something good with a win today. It would be really nice if they didn’t concede first, or, hear me out, at all. Big ask, I know.
Jurgen Klopp is able to send out a very strong side after resting most of the starters against LASK midweek. Trent Alexander-Arnold is the only notable injury (besides the permacrocked Thiago), whose hamstring has apparently not fully recovered.
Liverpool have a much better second fifteen than their first, buoyed no doubt by their goal. They have the visitors penned back defending their own defensive third, and look to be turning the screw, slowly.
West Ham have a bit of a late-half flurry, and they are rewarded when Bowen gets his head to a cross and just manages to squeeze it past Alisson.
The teams go into the half knotted at 1-1, though the Reds will be disappointed not to be in the lead. The home side created more and had the run of play through most of the half. They should have enough to win it in the second, if things largely play out roughly the same in the second 45 minutes.
Liverpool, to no one’s surprise, start slow and allow a few decent half-chances from the visitors. However, there appears to be space on the break, if Liverpool can pick the right pass.
MO. SALAH. WON. A. PENALTY! Must be the end times, yeno. Granted, you’ll never see a worse tackle in the box than that, so the ref actually had to give it. The Egyptian King steps up to the spot and absolutely leathers it past the keeper. 1-0 to the Reds!
It’s a pretty quiet opening 15 minutes. Darwin spurned a great chance just in front of goal, and then put the Reds back on top with a sublime first time finish after an inch-perfect chipped pass over the West Ham defense.
With fifteen minutes to play, Curtis Jones comes off for Ryan Gravenberch. After a few more minutes Klopp brings off Darwin and Diaz, bringing on Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota.
That goal by Darwin seems to have taken the wind out of West Ham’s sails. Considering the midweek efforts, it’s also understandable. Unless Liverpool do something stupid, they should be able to see this one out (famous last words, right).
And Jota removes any and all remaining doubt from proceedings. Virg nods a corner down toward the Portuguese striker, and Jota converts. Thanks for putting a man on the post, Moyes, it helped Jota stay well onside!
It was about as complete of a performance as you could hope for from the Reds, especially given the opponent and midweek efforts. The Reds looked more and more in control as the match progressed, and were deserved winners on the day.