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Digging Deeper Into Liverpool’s Victory West Ham

With a victory over West Ham in the books, we take a closer look at what it all means for the Reds.

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Liverpool beat West Ham 1-0 to collect three points. They move within 3 points of Manchester City who are top of the Premier League. It’s Liverpool’s 7th straight win in the league and the Reds are very, very much on the march. That’s all that matters.

It feels like a big, big win for Liverpool. Because it is. That matters. It’s a first half of joy and beautiful football from the Reds and we think this is going to be easy but it’s only 1-0 at the half time break. There’s no chance Jurgen Klopp and that locker room thought it was going to be easy, because they know what they’re up against. West Ham are a good side, as we saw in the second half. But what matters is Liverpool only needs the one goal to win it because they defend for their lives.

You have an entire planet watching this one thinking that Liverpool will slip up. It’s the late kickoff, Manchester City and Pep Guardiola are looking for some breathing room as they take on their cross town rivals, and you have a nation still reeling from the Reds lifting a cup in London after the fans rightfully boo’d ‘God Save the Queen’. Every fan of every team wants Liverpool to lose and they’re living and dying with every West Ham chance, especially that turtleneck wearing baldy in Manchester. Oh well. Soz abar that. We’re right here and we’re not going away.

Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.


Winners and Losers

Winners

The suffering

After Liverpool won at the San Siro last month, Virgil van Dijk said, “You need to be ready to suffer, you need to be ready to do the hard work.” This win was suffering. This is a team that’s not only prepared to suffer, but they thrive on it. Every battle Virgil had with Michail Antonio he’d laugh afterwards. Ibrahima Konaté relished defending the entire right side of the field. Both fullbacks saved goals with last ditch tackles or goal line clearances. Sadio Mané got the shit kicked out of him to win the fouls to relieve the pressure. And, they all came off the field with the win.

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Doubt his ability all you want at your own peril. He’s not going to get worse, he’s only going to get better. What a shift from Liverpool’s “right” “back”. Those words are in quotes because he transcends the position he’s put in on graphics that show up on your TV. He’s defending that side of the field, but he’s playing winger, midfield, and forward all at once as well.

There’s a period in the first half where he can legitimately be upset he doesn’t record 4 assists and a goal. Just the 5 key passes today, an assist, a goal line clearance, and the 10 ball recoveries.

There’s not another right back in the country or the world who is doing what he’s doing, and we’re in the territory of narrowing it down to just having to say that few players are better. That’s how good he is.

Losers

Not putting it to bed

Look, everyone wanted the second goal in the first half or early in the second half. I know I did, and so did my blood pressure. I’m sure the manager wanted it too. Earlier in the season, Liverpool were snake bitten by not putting matches away. They’ve gotten better at seeing things out, but West Ham nearly made them pay for it.

David Moyes

The former Everton manager has never won at Anfield. Also, he’s never won away to Chelsea, Arsenal, or Manchester United. Tough scenes.


What Happens Next

It’s all on for Liverpool. They play Inter Milan on Tuesday in the second leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League. Next week it’s a trip to the south of the country to take on a reeling Brighton side that’ll be desperate to stop their bleeding.

Liverpool were do an unapologetic victory like this. What everyone else says doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how much the commentary and punditry fawns over West Ham’s chances. It doesn’t matter that David Moyes will feel like this was his best chance to win at Anfield, a place he still hasn’t tasted victory at. It doesn’t matter how many times people will point out marginal offside/onside calls. They can take all the talking points and the encouragement they want. We’ll take the points and the win. That’s all she wrote. Goodbye. See ya later. Up the Reds.