Liverpool 3-1 West Ham: The Verdict

Stephen Killen

WHU: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio.
LFC XI: Alisson; TAA, Phillips, Henderson, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Milner; Shaqiri, Salah, Origi.
Goals: 87′ Dawson; 57′ , 70′ Salah, 85′ Wijnaldum
Bookings: 48′ Rice, 49′ Soucek
Subs: 62′ Yarmolenko (on for Fornals); 56′ Jones (on for Milner)., 70′ Firmino (on for Shaqiri), 80′ Ox (on for Origi)

Read Time:4 Minute, 43 Second

Mohamed Salah’s brilliant brace fires Liverpool into third as Georginio Wijnaldum rubber-stamped the win in the latter stages despite Craig Dawson’s consolation.

Curtis Jones slipped Salah in who jinked right and left before expertly curling into the top corner.

The Premier League top goalscorer doubled his tally marking off a wonderful Liverpool counter attack, three passes then a deft chip from the forward hammered the Hammers.

Wijnaldum tapped home, rounding off a terrific move as Roberto Firmino put it on a plate for the Dutchman.

Dawson got a goal back for the hosts from a corner.

London continued to be a happy stomping ground as it was two wins in a matter of days for the Reds.

Dull First Half

Both teams failed to gain a stronghold in the early passages, the hosts had the best chance in the opening stages.

Two chances came in quick succession through Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals but the Spaniard had his deflected effort cleared off the line by Robertson.

Craig Dawson then bravely blocked Xherdan Shaqiri’s effort on goal.

On the stroke of half-time, Divock Origi came close after Thiago’s eye of the needle pass but the Belgian poked wide.

Mohamed Salah tried to go alone but he was forced to try his luck from outside the box and it was a standard save for Lukasz Fabianski.

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PositivesNegatives
Thiago’s use of the dark arts. The Spaniard, as we know, tackles like Lucas Leiva but his use of the nitty-gritty aspect of football is a joy to behold.Struggled to get Mohamed Salah involved and to threaten the West Ham defence. He was almost a passenger in the first 45.
Two words, James Milner, he is a brilliant player, he could play till he’s 50. Thiago also elegant as ever with a few nice flicks here and there. We failed to create much other than half chances and blocked shots.
Nat Phillips dealt with the threat of Michail Antonio well. The Bolton Baresi headed and challenged successfully which is reassuring for a player who lacks Premier League experience. On one occasion, he headed clear a certain goalscoring opportunity as he was the only one following runners.
First Half Reaction
The Bolton Baresi: The Towering centre-back was monumental in thwarting the West Ham height advantage.

Rampant Reds

Antonio flashed one wide after a counter-attack spearheaded by Jared Bowen.

Down at the other end Salah ended six Premier League games without a goal, the Egyptian jinked in and out and curled his strike into the top corner.

One soon became two through an incisive Liverpool counter attack.

Andy Robertson cleared from the West Ham corner, Trent Alexander-Arnold perfectly picked out Shaqiri, he played it first time to Salah whose first touch was tremendous and chipped over Fabianski.

Wijnaldum rounded off a perfect Liverpool move after a brilliant one-two between Curtis Jones and Firmino as the Brazilian passed across goal to the Dutchman who put the ball in an empty net.

Dawson got one back for West Ham but it was only a mere consolation.

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Liverpool Transfer Room Verdict

Following the game, we asked LFCTR Writers; Priyasha and Ritchie for their match reaction.

Ritchie’s Verdict (@Slack_9):

Ritchie hailed the win as Liverpool made it two in two, he said:

Fantastic result and a hard-earned victory.

“The goals were sublime and Salah was ruthless in front of goal picking up the highest rating.

“Phillips was immense at the back and never really troubled, the lad stepped up well.

“Love that Milner was angry at coming off, loved, even more, his moment with Klopp after Jones provided the assist for Salah.”

Priyasha’s Verdict (@lfcpriya11):

Two wins in two, Priyasha was delighted with the Reds display, she said: “Back-to-back class games, what an end to a woeful January.

Nat Phillips stepped up again when he was called upon, Trent is getting back on form again and Mo Salah showed yet again why he is one of the best wingers in Premier League history, if not the best.

“The loss of Mané was felt, but a brilliant second half by Liverpool was enough to see out a 3-1 win at the London Stadium.” She concluded.

Stephen’s Verdict (@SteKillenBL):

What a win, shame Craig Dawson’s goal blemishes the performance nonetheless.

Can we play in London every week?

The first half wasn’t great but we came out in the second half. No Mane? No Problem.

Salah is back for the Rampant Reds.

We had performers in each area of the pitch, Phillips – superb won everything, Thiago – always adds that sparkle, Salah – match-winning performance.

An awful, woeful, horrific January sort of turns slightly positive ending it with two wins in two.

There’s ground to be made on City in their formidable form but we’re the reigning champions and feared for a reason.

PositivesNegatives
What a goal by Salah. Normally he is the thwarted from cutting inside onto that deadly left foot but he found the corner with perfection.Conceding. Robertson takes it off Phillips head, Dawson ghosts past Oxlade-Chamberlain and tapped home.
Curtis Jones looks very confident and continues to blossom in the midfield.
Wijnaldum in the 6. He is faultless in that position, he is capable of unlocking Thiago and the other midfielders when he’s there.
Play THAT second goal on repeat. What. A. Goal.
Salah will steal the headlines but credit to Nat Phillips, he won absolutely everything in the air.
Second Half Reaction

Read more by Stephen Killen

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