Our latest fixture saw Liverpool hammer West Ham. Pardon the pun, but we really did hammer them. Maybe 4-1 flattered them but, on the other hand, some may say that they did have a fair few chances of their own. Things may have been completely different ifAndre Ayew had finished his early chance instead of striking Simon Mignolet’s upright. Arguably, West Ham were marginally the better team in the first 20 minutes. This was all to change however in the 21st minute.
Quite rightly we have been criticised for how we both defend and attack corners at both ends of the pitch. Saturday saw us enjoy some unexpected success from a corner we defended and one of our own.
Liverpool Hammer West Ham
In the 21st minute, Liverpool comfortably defended a West Ham corner taken by Manuel Lanzini. West Ham had piled so many players into and just outside the Liverpool box they were immediately in trouble when the ball broke to Mohamed Saleh on the edge of his own box. A deft little touch to Sadio Mane in support a few yards to his left suddenly saw Liverpool with an intriguing 3v1 situation. Saleh kept pace with Mane as Mane sprinted about three quarters of the length of the pitch. As Mane closed in on the exposed West Ham box, he slipped the ball to Saleh. The kind of form Saleh is in ensured a simple finish.
We Score From A Corner…..Again!!
Three minutes later we actually score from our own corner. Again!! As big as a shock it was for us to score from a corner last week against Huddersfield, this was also a very pleasant surprise.
It wasn’t a particularly good corner from Mohamed Saleh but as everything he seems to touch at the moment turns to gold, we ultimately scored from it. An unlucky ricochet off Mark Noble (unlucky for him that is) saw the ball fall nicely to Joel Matip. Big Joel calmly finished with a simple tap in. It may be fair to say that with his size and aerial ability, he should be maybe notching a few more. Or is it just as much down to poor delivery?
Nevertheless, this is not the time to nitpick.
2-0 up in a matter of three minutes and the game’s complexion has changed. It would be great to be able to say, “game over” when we are in such a commanding position. But as we are talking about modern day Liverpool, this is rarely the case.
Lanzini Pulls One Back
Ten minutes into the second half, Manuel Lanzini briefly dragged West Ham back into it. A nice finish from Lanzini but again, it was a goal that could and should have been avoided. A cross from out deep to the West Ham right, should have been comfortably dealt with by Joe Gomez. Not sure why he didn’t cut out this fairly easy cross to deal with, but his failure to do so presented Lanzini with the opportunity.
No doubt there were thousands of Liverpool fans around the globe who groaned, “Here we go!!”. Such is our fragility at times, we very rarely relax during a game no matter how many goals ahead we are, or how much more dominant we are. Luckily we didn’t get chance to chew too many nails though.
The Ox With His First Liverpool League Goal
Virtually straight from the kick-off Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain restored our two goal cushion. One thing that has surprised me about The Ox since he arrived on Merseyside, has been the reaction from some fans. Before he even had a chance some of our fans were already on his back. Albeit, like in so many cases, it was the Social Media fans and the Internet Forum Warriors who were too quick to judge.
Make no mistake, he is a quality player. He ticks a lot of boxes. For one, he has Premier League experience at a top Premier League rival. Furthermore, he has pace in abundance, a great work ethic and versatility. Oh, and he’s a Liverpool fan!!
Maybe some of the fans initial negative reaction to his signing was because they felt he was signed at the expense of the capture of much needed defensive reinforcements. After all, we are well covered in midfield and up front. If that was the reason, then hopefully the fans view of him will change now that they can see that his quality is beginning to shine through. He does give us plenty of options and is, I feel, a great addition to our squad.
Super Saleh Seals Victory
To complete the “Liverpool Hammer West Ham” storyline, it was perhaps right and fitting that “Man Of The Moment” and “Man Of The Match”, Mo Saleh notched the fourth. A cool finish from about 15 yards low in the bottom right hand corner brilliantly highlighted his sky high confidence. That was the 33rd goal Joe Hart has conceded against Liverpool in 18 games. That is nine more than he has conceded against any other side. He must be sick of the sight of us.
A Quick Word On West Ham
As Liverpool hammer West Ham for the second season on the trot at the Olympic Stadium, the pressure finally told on Hammers manager, Slaven Bilic. He was sacked on Monday, with David Moyes tipped to be his successor. I don’t mean this in a patronising way, but I think a lot of fans from all over the country have a soft spot for West Ham. They are many non-London clubs fans favourite London team. I must admit, I don’t particularly like any of the top London clubs, with the exception of West Ham.
Hopefully, they can turn their season around and begin to climb the table. If Moyes is appointed however, you can see he may well be under huge pressure from the word go. A Carlos Ancelotti, or a Roberto Mancini appointment may have bought themselves some time. But realistically, are they real options?
Anyway, Bilic is gone and whoever the new manager is to be, already seems to have a big job on their hands. Best of luck to the new manager.
What Did Match Of The Day Think?
If you didn’t see the goals or the highlights on Saturday, you can watch this short video and listen to Danny Murphy and Sam Allardyce’s thoughts here……
Next Up For Liverpool
As we enter yet another International break (please no more injuries!!), our next opponents are Southampton at Anfield on 18th November. I don’t know about us being due a win against the Saints. We’re due a goal against them. For some reason they seem to be able to shut us out better than most in recent seasons. It will be a game however, where we can see Virgil Van Dijk at close quarters. Let’s hope he will end up in a Red shirt soon, but also hope he ends up on the losing side on the 18th.