West Ham United 1-4 Liverpool
Liverpool produced the “perfect” counter-attacking performance to thrash West Ham at London Stadium on Saturday, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said. Mohamed Salah scored twice, while Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also netted in a 4-1 win.
The Reds, who are sixth in the Premier League, have now scored 10 goals in their last three games in all competitions.”Our counter-attacking was pretty perfect,” Klopp said.”We had some wonderful play. That’s 3-0, 3-0, 4-1, it’s been a really good week.”
Salah put his side ahead in the first half, firing beyond keeper Joe Hart after the Hammers were caught out by a quick counter-attack. The Reds doubled their lead soon after when Matip slotted home from a corner.Manuel Lanzini’s deft finish briefly gave the hosts hope but Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first Premier League goal for Liverpool restored their two-goal advantage before Salah’s powerful finish sealed the win.
Defeat for West Ham means they are 17th and just one point above the relegation zone. The Hammers’ points total of nine after 11 games matches their total over the same period in 2010-11 when they were relegated from the top flight.”The pressure mounts game by game and at this moment it is big,” Bilic said. “We will see what the club will do. The club is above everyone.”Liverpool’s attacking play has been outstanding at times this season but during the first few games of the campaign they lacked the clinical touch in the final third to round it off.
However, successive 3-0 wins against Huddersfield in the Premier League and then Maribor in the Champions League in recent weeks suggested that had perhaps been found.With Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Chelsea entertaining Manchester United on Sunday, the trip to West Ham offered Liverpool an excellent chance to gain ground on their title rivals before their games.
It was a chance they grasped with both hands.Against a side who had set up to try to stifle their attacking qualities, the visitors made the most of their few opportunities – something they failed to do earlier in the season – as two of their three shots on goal in the first half resulted in goals. Sadio Mane, back in the side for the first time since the start of October after recovering from a hamstring injury, highlighted why he is such an integral player for the Reds as his pace allowed Liverpool to break quickly from a West Ham corner.
The Senegal forward took the ball from the edge of his own area to the edge of the West Ham box before setting up Salah for a simple finish.”I decided after just one training session to bring Sadio in from the beginning,” Klopp added.”I’ve never done that before, but obviously it was not the worst idea I’ve ever had. Sadio is a naturally fit player, he is a machine.”
Salah the signing of the summer?
The opener was Salah’s fifth goal in as many games for the club and the winger is proving to be worth every penny of the £34m Liverpool paid Roma for his services in the summer.The Egypt international’s second of the game, a neat drive across Hart into the far corner, means he has now had a hand in 15 goals in all competitions this season, more than any other Liverpool player.
The win marked the first time since August that Liverpool had recorded back-to-back wins and maintaining that sort of consistency will be crucial to their hopes of finishing in the top four.
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