Sunday, 8 December 2013

Own Goal Treble Sees Hammers Blunted

Liverpool hosted West Ham hoping for a second home win in the space of a week and made one change from the stunning Norwich win with Sahko replacing the ill Agger.

The game was preceded by a well respected minute of applause for the late Nelson Mandela which was very emotional and well observed. The home side began well with Suarez piling on early pressure but his clever chip went wide. 15 minutes gone and Mignolet set up a counter-attack by picking out Sterling who played in Henderson who shot wide.

Mignolet made an excellent save from Maiga from close range after Jarvis raced down the wing and swept in a cross and the winger had another threatening cross but it failed to find a team mate, Coutinho found Sterling but the England forward failed to hit the target. Liverpool took the lead withing minutes as Suarez hit the ball across the box and forced a save from Jaaskelainen but the ball bounced in off Demel to give the home side a half-time lead.

Liverpool went 2-0 up inside two minutes of the second half when Gerrard's free-kick found Sakho at the far post and the defender headed goalwards with Skrtel and Collins colliding to forced the ball over the line but the goal was given to the Frenchman to spare West Ham's blushes of a second own goal.

Gerrard raced goalwards in the 56th minute but worryingly pulled up as he attempted a shot and had to go off to be replaced by Lucas,West Ham got some luck of their own as Jarvis' header across goal was met by the unfortunate Skrtel who tapped into his own net to level the own goals tally but also give the Hammers hope of a comeback.

The hope was short-lived as Suarez connected to an exquisite cross from Johnson to head past Jaaskelainen for 3-1 and to continue his amazing scoring run but the West Ham mood dropped further as captain Kevin Nolan received a straight red card for a challenge on Henderson.
Liverpool took advantage of the extra man with Suarez weaving left and right skillfully on the edge of the area before shooting for goal but was denied a second goal by a deflection off the shoulder of O'Brien which fooled Jaaskelainen as the ball flew into the net for the third own goal for the afternoon.
The Reds held on to complete back-to-back victories at Anfield and due to other results going in their favour, they moved up to second place behind Arsenal with a tough trip to Spurs next Sunday.