Liverpool 4-1 West Ham: Jurgen Klopp's men breeze past Hammers
Last Updated: 25/02/18 7:06am
Liverpool maintained their unbeaten record at Anfield in the Premier League this season and moved up to second with a 4-1 win over West Ham.
Ahead of Manchester United against Chelsea on Super Sunday, this looked a good opportunity for Jurgen Klopp's men to improve their top-four chances and they did not fluff their lines with goals from Emre Can (30), Mohamed Salah (50), Roberto Firmino (57) and Sadio Mane (77).
Salah's strike was his 25th goal in his last 25 appearances and set a new Premier League record of 20 left-footed goals in a Premier League season - surpassing Robbie Fowler's longstanding achievement.
Michail Antonio notched a consolation for West Ham (59), who caused problems for Liverpool in the first half courtesy of Marko Arnautovic, but David Moyes' side are now just three points off the relegation zone.
Liverpool: Karius (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (7), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7), Can (7), Milner (7), Mane (7), Firmino (8), Salah (8).
Subs: Solanke (6), Moreno (6), Lallana (6)
West Ham: Adrian (5), Cresswell (6), Collins (6), Ogbonna (5), Zabaleta (6), Evra (5), Joao Mario (6), Kouyate (6), Noble (6), Lanzini (6), Arnautovic (8).
Subs: Rice (6), Antonio (7), Hernandez (6)
Man of the match: Mohamed Salah
The entertaining nature of the game was evident in the opening minutes, where both teams hit the woodwork.
Salah found space in the box but Adrian pushed his effort onto the post before Arnautovic broke clear of Virgil van Dijk and attempted to beat Loris Karius with a delicate chip, but his sensational effort was tipped onto the crossbar.
Klopp's men took the lead when Salah's corner was met by Can, who was supposed to be being marked by Hammers' debutant Patrice Evra. It was Liverpool's 100th goal of this season in all competitions.
It didn't take long after the break for Salah to get in on the act as he reversed a clever shot past Adrian after a run by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Liverpool made one change from their last Premier League clash with Southampton with James Milner replacing Georginio Wijnaldum. The headline news was that Patrice Evra made his West Ham debut as David Moyes has selected a cautious team to deal with Liverpool’s electric attack. Evra and Manuel Lanzini were the only changes from their win over Watford – Michail Antonio and Javier Hernandez dropped out.
Firmino added a third when Can played him in and the Brazilian finished into the empty net with a no-look finish after rounding the goalkeeper.
Antonio scored within moments of coming on when he found a gaping hole in the Liverpool backline but Liverpool regained control and Mane completed the victory by lifting over Adrian from close range.
Man of the match - Mohamed Salah
Who else? From the first attack of the game it was clear to see Salah's high level had not been affected by a mini-break of matches for Liverpool. He struck a post with a fine low effort early on and was a constant menace down the right-wing before capping his display with a clever low finish to double Liverpool's advantage.
Special mention should also go to Arnautovic for West Ham, whose play was dripping in quality throughout and was unlucky not to score.
Manager reaction: Jurgen Klopp
"When I woke up this morning I didn't expect a game like this - I only hoped for it.
"It was a joy to watch. It was a fantastic football game - it was fluid, flexible, intense, aggressive, angry and full of desire. I saw a lot of things I wish to see in a football game - it's not often a game delivers all of that, today was one of those days."
"It was a tough day, but we played a good team in form. We've done quite well against the top teams since I've been at the club and I thought for periods today we also did quite well."
- Liverpool have scored 4+ goals in three consecutive Premier League games versus a single opponent for the first time since doing so against Norwich between 2012-2013.
- David Moyes has never won against Liverpool at Anfield in all competitions as a manager (D7 L8), failing to win with Everton, Man Utd, Sunderland and now West Ham.
- Salah has been directly involved in 31 Premier League goals this season (23 goals, 8 assists), more than any other player.
- Evra made his Premier League debut for West Ham, the Frenchman is the fifth oldest outfield player to make an appearance this season (36y 284d).
Next up for Liverpool is an Anfield clash with Newcastle next Saturday while West Ham have another away day at Swansea.