West Ham 2-0 Liverpool: Andy Carroll nets in Hammers victory
By Grant Miles
Last Updated: 02/01/16 8:03pm
Andy Carroll scored against his former club to give West Ham a 2-0 win over Liverpool on his 150th Premier League appearance.
Two headed goals, the first from Michail Antonio after just 10 minutes and Carroll's powerful effort in the 55th minute, secured all three points for the Hammers.
Liverpool mustered 23 shots, but tellingly just one of them was on target as Jurgen Klopp's men were unable to find a way past Adrian, despite hitting the crossbar and having an effort cleared off the line with 13 minutes remaining.
The result moved the Hammers above Liverpool in the Premier League and up to sixth place, with Klopp once again left with plenty to ponder after another disappointing display.
Dimitri Payet made his first league appearance since the start of November, coming on as a substitute in the 64th minute, but a concern for Slaven Bilic will be an injury to Manuel Lanzini who was forced off six minutes before the end of the first half.
West Ham made a blistering start to the game and Antonio opened the scoring with a back-post header. The winger appeared to foul Alberto Moreno deep in the West Ham half but, after helping his side win back possession, burst forward and rose above Nathaniel Clyne to nod in from six yards.
Eight minutes later, Lanzini's vicious, swerving effort from 20 yards out crashed against the woodwork as Bilic's men came close to adding a quick-fire second.
Liverpool were seeing more of the ball but West Ham continued to cause the visitors problems, with Aaron Cresswell's deflected shot forcing Simon Mignolet to save at his near post.
For all their lacklustre play, Liverpool were inches away from equalising with their only meaningful effort of the half, as Emre Can's curling shot came back off crossbar just before the interval.
Liverpool played with far more purpose after the break. Philippe Coutinho fizzed a shot over before Moreno's low cross found Christian Benteke, only for the striker to miss his kick in front of goal.
Nothing materialised from all the Reds' endeavours, and they were caught out by their former £35m signing Carroll, 10 minutes into the second period.
Mark Noble swung a brilliant cross in from the Hammers' right and Carroll out-jumped Clyne to crash his header home, leaving Mignolet with no chance.
Carroll had scored the winner against Southampton on Monday and his third of the season gave the Hammers breathing space, although he could have extended that advantage further had it not been for a brilliant point-blank save from Mignolet on 69 minutes.
West Ham spent much of the remainder of the second half on the defensive, though, and Lucas' low header in the 77th minute was cleared off the line by Noble before Joe Allen missed a golden opportunity to score in the 90th minute.
But the game was already out of Liverpool's reach by that point, as West Ham notched their first back-to-back wins since mid-October, while Liverpool's top four aspirations were dealt a huge blow.
West Ham: Adrian (7), Tomkins (6), Collins (8), Ogbonna (7), Cresswell (8), Kouyate (7), Lanzini (6), Noble (6), Antonio (8), Valencia (7), Carroll (8).
Subs used: Payet (7), Obiang (6), Jenkinson (6).
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Clyne (6), Lovren (5), Sakho (5), Moreno (6), Lucas (5), Can (6), Firmino (5), Ibe (5), Coutinho (5), Benteke (5).
Subs used: Allen (6), Lallana (6), Smith (6).
Man of the match: Michail Antonio