Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Liverpool v West Ham

Liverpool played host to West Ham in the final home game before the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy and prior to kick off, a minutes silence was respectively observed.

Liverpool were unchanged from the win at Aston Villa and looked to keep up a fifty year unbeaten run at home to the Hammers which could have begun well had Coutinho beat Jaaskelainen but he forced a good save from the Finn.
Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Luis Suarez all had chances of their own but it was the Hammers who had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 25th minute after a powerful run by Diame saw him fly past three defenders but his effort on goal blazed over.

Liverpool were forced to make a change as Downing was replaced by Sturridge and a slick one-two between Suarez and Coutinho almost opened the scoring but the Brazilian's drive was saved by the boot of Jaaskelainen.

West Ham pressured and nearly profited from a Lucas Leiva mistake as his slip let Cole have a stab at goal but a brave well-timed block by Agger kept the score level and in stoppage time, Liverpool
 pushed again and as Jaaskelaninen misjudged Coutinho's corner it allowed Sturridge to fire from point-blank range but the Finn recovered to ensure a stalemate at half time.

They continued their pressure after the restart and Gerrard put in a threatening cross with Sturridge lurking but Diame cleared the danger and only a goal-line clearance by Tomkins denied the Liverpool captain from opening the scoring.

The ball was in the net in the 66th minute as Sturridge diverted Henderson's shot past the keeper but the celebrations were cut after after the goal was ruled out for offside and moments later Coutinho show narrowly wide of the upright.

It seemed that West Ham were content with a draw and Liverpool  more interested in pushing for a win but in the final minutes it was the Hammers that had a glorious chance to secure the win as Jack Collison powered a header at goal but it was cleared on the line by Lucas who ensured that the fifty year unbeaten home record stayed intact and secured a hard fought draw.

Next up is a trip to Reading who are in deep relegation trouble and could be on the verge of relegation if Liverpool get back to winning ways but their recent meetings against the Reds show that anything can happen with them shocking Liverpool most significantly in the FA Cup in 2010 so we will see what happens.