Liverpool 2-2 West Ham United: Jurgen Klopp's men stumble
By Gerard Brand at Anfield
Last Updated: 12/12/16 6:33am
Liverpool fell behind in the Premier League title race after being held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham at Anfield on Sunday.
Liverpool took the lead early on through Adam Lallana's neat strike, but Dimitri Payet's 25-yard free-kick and Michail Antonio's finish had West Ham going into the break 2-1 up via some questionable goalkeeping from Loris Karius on both occasions.
Divock Origi capitalised on Darren Randolph dropping a Sadio Mane cross to finish from close range just after the break, but despite dominating the second half in possession, Liverpool could not grab a winner.
The result means third-place Liverpool are six points behind leaders Chelsea and three behind second-place Arsenal. West Ham are 17th, a point above the drop zone.
Lallana and Joel Matip both returned for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp made two changes from the side that lost at Bournemouth, with Emre Can missing out through a knee injury.
West Ham made four changes as Aaron Cresswell, Andre Ayew, Antonio and Havard Nordtveit were given the nod at Anfield following a 5-1 defeat by Arsenal.
After a dramatic 4-3 defeat by Bournemouth last weekend, it initially looked more simple for Liverpool this time out as they took the lead after five minutes.
After getting down the left wing, Mane's centre found Lallana eight yards out, and the midfielder stroked it into the bottom right corner past Randolph.
There were warning signs early on for Liverpool, as Antonio got in behind Dejan Lovren and forced a save out of Karius, before West Ham equalised on 27 minutes.
Payet, who had not scored for West Ham since October 1, curled a free-kick into the bottom left corner from 25 yards, though there were question marks over the positioning of Karius, who also got a palm to the effort.
Anxiety grew in the Liverpool camp, and it was soon 2-1 to West Ham in somewhat fortuitous fashion.
Matip was left flat-footed as Nordtveit's hopeful drilled ball forward deflected off the head of Lovren, allowing Antonio to sneak in and poke the ball past Karius, who was caught in between racing out and staying closer to goal.
Roberto Firmino then glanced a header wide as Liverpool reacted well before the break, while Matip's looping header from a corner bounced off the crossbar.
They were back level just two minutes after the break through Origi, who reacted well to finish into an empty net from a few yards out after Randolph had failed to catch Mane's hopeful left-wing cross.
Gini Wijnaldum then fired wide from just inside the area a couple minutes later, while at the other end Ayew's diving header went a few yards wide of the left post.
Jordan Henderson then lined one up from 30 yards out, forcing Randolph into a fine fingertip save as the ball headed for the top corner, as Liverpool dominated the second period.
They could not find the winner, however, as West Ham's defence stood firm despite having little possession in the second half.
West Ham: Randolph (5), Nordtveit (6), Reid (7), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (6), Noble (6), Obiang (7), Ayew (6), Lanzini (6), Payet (7), Antonio (8)
Subs: Carroll (6), Fernandes (6)
Liverpool: Karius (4), Clyne (6), Lovren (5), Matip (4), Milner (6), Henderson (6), Wijnaldum (8), Lallana (8), Mane (7), Origi (7), Firmino (6)
Subs: Klavan (6)
Man of the match: Michail Antonio