West Ham End Liverpool's 25-match Unbeaten Run In 5-goal Thriller
Liverpool’s 25-match unbeaten run in all competitions came to a screeching halt as West Ham put three goals past Alisson to record a momentous 3-2 victory at the London Stadium.
The Reds were also on a 12-match unbeaten run in away matches in the Premier League but were no match for David Moyes’ side as goals from Pablo Fornals, Kurt Zouma and an Alisson own-goal sealed all three points for the Hammers.
Mohamed Salah continued his mini-drought in front of goal, with the Egyptian now going three matches without finding the back of the net after he scored in ten matches in a row at the beginning of the season.
Liverpool’s loss means they drop to fourth on the table with West Ham now in third position, level on points (23) with Manchester City and three behind league leaders, Chelsea.
West Ham started the match on a positive note taking the game to the Reds with Michail Antonio entering a foot race with Virgil van Dijk in the third minute. The West Ham forward won a corner kick off the Dutch defender.
West Ham took a surprise lead from the resultant corner with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker flapping at a Pablo Fornals direct kick under minimal pressure from Angelo Ogbonna. The goal was given and adjudged an Alisson own-goal after an extensive VAR check despite Alisson’s complaints of being crowded out.
That goal provided the momentum for the Hammers as they were first to every ball in the opening fifteen minutes of the match, starving the Reds of any breathing space.
In a stop-start first period, Italian defender, Angelo Ogbonna, was the recipient of two heavy challenges. The second, a flailing elbow, from Diogo Jota meant the defender’s end in the contest, replaced by Craig Dawson in the 23rd minute.
Afterward, Klopp’s men laid siege on the West Ham goal in search of an equalizer. Andrew Robertson could not find the perfect cross from his surging run from the right flank in the 23rd minute.
Ben Johnson was called into action in the 28th minute to block another Robertson cross destined for the Hammers’ penalty box.
West Ham were happy to sit back and wait for the odd chance to counter-attack, and such an opportunity presented itself in the 29th minute. However, Jarrod Bowen slipped when a Fornals pass found him in space.
From there on, it was all Liverpool as the Reds launched wave after wave of attack. In the 34th minute, Jota sent a header over the bar from a Henderson cross after patient build-up play from Liverpool.
Johnson had to make a last-minute header from another Henderson cross that was bound for the head of the onrushing Jota in the 34th minute. A couple of Mane crosses in the 37th and 38th minute did not get to their intended destinations as Liverpool ramped up the pressure on West Ham’s goal.
Mohamed Salah won a freekick on the edge of the penalty box off Declan Rice in the 40th minute. Liverpool found their equalizer from the resultant freekick with Alexander-Arnold curling a sumptuous effort past the West Ham wall and the shell-shocked Fabianksi.
West Ham went in search of another goal after conceding, Antonio failing to sort out his legs in time as he was sent on his way from a Benrahma through-ball in the 46th minute. Virgil van Dijk was called into action in first-half added time to make a last-ditch challenge on Jarrod Bowen as the Hammer prepared to pull the trigger in the Liverpool box.
After the break, West Ham came all out against the Reds, playing fearless attacking football against Liverpool.
Henderson was the first to be called to action in the second half as he had to block an Aaron Cresswell shot from going into the Liverpool penalty area. Declan Rice could only direct his header onto the crossbar from the resultant corner kick.
Liverpool then had two big chances with Fabianski putting out a big hand to push out a Mane half-volley in the 51st minute. Salah then uncharacteristically shot wide with his stronger left foot in the 57th minute.
West Ham refused to be put down by the Liverpool side and went in search of a goal of themselves. Their pressure paid off in the 68th minute as Fornals ran onto a Jarrod Bowen pass, placing an exquisite finish beneath Alisson.
The Hammers had smelled blood and went for the kill, peppering the Liverpool post with attack after attack. Van Dijk showed his experience by chaperoning Antonio off the ball and making a crucial block in the 74th minute as the West Ham striker threatened to score.
However, it was not to be Liverpool’s night as former Chelsea defender, Zouma, sent a towering header past Alisson in the 75th minute from a tight angle to make the scoreline 3-1 in favour of Moyes’ team.
Klopp threw on Thiago Alcantara and Divock Origi in a desperate attempt to rescue at least a point from the match while Moyes responded by sending on an extra pair of defenders for the last ten minutes.
Origi pulled one back for the Reds in the 83rd minute with a smart swivel shot to set up a tense finale. Sadio Mane had the chance to win it for Liverpool at the death but the Senegalese put his 91st-minute header wide off the mark.
With the London Stadium rocking, West Ham held on for a historic 3-2 victory over Liverpool, the Reds first loss of any kind since April 2021.
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