Liverpool 0-3 West Ham: Lanzini, Noble and Sakho end Hammers' long wait for Anfield win
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 30/08/15 10:49am
West Ham stunned Liverpool 3-0 to win their first league game at Anfield in more than 50 years and end their hosts' unbeaten start to the season.
Goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho secured a famous victory, which also featured controversial red cards for Philippe Coutinho and Noble.
Slaven Bilic's side – who defeated Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day – were ahead after just three minutes when Lanzini tucked in at the back post – the first goal Liverpool have conceded this season.
Roberto Firmino almost hit an immediate response, smashing a drive against the woodwork, but West Ham doubled their advantage on 29 minutes when Noble coolly slotted in after Lanzini had robbed Dejan Lovren of the ball by the corner flag.
Liverpool's afternoon got worse on 53 minutes when Coutinho was sent off after picking up an unfortunate second yellow card, and, although Noble was later shown a straight red in bizarre circumstances, Sakho added a third in injury-time as West Ham secured three points at Anfield for the first time since 1963.
West Ham had lost to Leicester City and Bournemouth after shocking Arsenal and, with no victories in 19 Premier League visits to Anfield, seemed to be facing a tough task against Brendan Rodgers' men, who impressed on their own trip to the Emirates on Monday night.
However, the visitors were celebrating with just three minutes on the clock after Lanzini pipped Joe Gomez to Aaron Cresswell's cross, after Martin Skrtel had only half-cleared Dimitri Payet's centre.
Liverpool were almost back on level terms on seven minutes when Firmino unleashed a fierce, swerving effort from 35 yards, but the ball rebounded back into play off the post.
That was as good as it got for Liverpool in the opening 45; the Reds struggled to unlock West Ham's resolute defence and Bilic's side repeatedly threatened on the break.
First Lanzini fired wide after a quick break up field, before Cresswell shot tamely over the bar from the edge of the box on 24 minutes.
West Ham's second came courtesy of an error from Lovren. Harried by Lanzini, the defender had ample opportunity to clear for a throw-in, but was eventually robbed of the ball, allowing the Argentine to tee-up Noble for a smart finish.
Coutinho, who had picked up a yellow card just before half-time for stopping a West Ham counter-attack, was then dismissed less than 10 minutes into the second period for a foul on Payet.
The Brazilian slid in to tackle the West Ham midfielder but a smart pirouette from Payet meant Coutinho took down his man – and collected a somewhat harsh second yellow card.
Christian Benteke saw an effort blocked and James Milner dragged a shot wide as 10-man Liverpool searched for a way back into the match.
Liverpool's cause was helped when Noble was sent off on 78 minutes – however, the West Ham midfielder appeared to be extremely hard done by.
Referee Kevin Friend blew for a foul on Noble as he tried to clear the ball from the edge of his box, however, Noble continued to slide in and beat Danny Ings to the loose ball and was given his marching orders as a result.
Liverpool failed to capitalise on the decision, though – Lovren was unable to divert Benteke's header goalwards and Pedro Obiang twice blocked Ings efforts – and it was West Ham who put the game beyond doubt in injury time.
Sakho was allowed to advance on Liverpool's goal and slide a low shot past Mignolet to wrap up another massive away win for West Ham.
Matt Le Tissier's Soccer Saturday verdict
"Liverpool forgot how to defend.They were so poor when the ball was put into the box. There were a lot of times when they had time to just clear it and their headers never had any distance, never had any height.
"They have invested in Benteke but they are not playing football that suits Christian Benteke's game. The service is not what he probably had at Aston Villa. He had so much more service into the right areas of the box than what he has at Liverpool.
"He had one glancing header with about a couple of minutes of stoppage time remaining and that was it. The service into the box clearly was not good enough. Don't buy a £32m striker and not play to his strengths."
Liverpool: Mignolet (5), Clyne (5), Skrtel (6), Lovren (4), Gomez (5), Can (5), Lucas (5), Milner (6), Firmino(6), Benteke (6), Coutinho (6), Moreno (6), Ings (6), Ibe (6).
West Ham: Randolph (6), Tomkins (6), Reid (7), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (8), Kouyate (7), Obiang (7), Noble (7), Lanzini (8), Sakho (7), Payet (7), Jarvis (6), Oxford (6), Cullen (6).
Man of the match: Manuel Lanzini