West Ham United suffered their first defeat since 19 September, as they were beaten 2-1 by current Premier League Champions Liverpool at Anfield in Saturday’s late kick-off.
David Moyes was forced to make one change to the side that drew 1-1 with Manchester City last weekend, as Michail Antonio was substituted in that game after picking up a hamstring injury so Sébastien Haller filled in, while deadline day signing Saïd Benrahma was included in the matchday eighteen but started on the bench.
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have not had the best of starts in recent games and they were to experience that feeling again when the Hammers went in front after just ten minutes. Arthur Masuaku’s cross was half cleared by Joe Gomez, only for the ball to drop into the path of Pablo Fornals who managed to control and shoot past Alisson Becker.
Liverpool’s record of sixty three unbeaten home games was on the line but despite all their possession, a first attempt on goal came on twenty five minutes but the Irons survived, as Jordan Henderson sent his long-range effort narrowly wide of the post.
West Ham had managed to hold the Reds off but the scores were level just before the break when they were awarded a penalty after an apparent foul on Mohamed Salah. It was harsh on the visitors but the Egyptian stepped up and sent goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański the wrong way.
The East Londoners were feeling hard done by going into the break but fashioned the first real opportunity of the second-half and it was the same combination that led to their goal but this time, Fornals wasn’t able to generate good enough power to beat Becker.
Having picked up points from some tough looking fixtures recently, the Hammers were trying their hardest to make sure they went back to Stratford with something to show for their efforts. Fornals, who also scored in this fixture last season, was close to adding his second of the game but unfortunately, Andrew Robertson saw the danger and produced a brilliant block to deny the Spaniard.
Haller was proving ineffectual so Moyes made his first substitution on seventy four minutes as Andriy Yarmolenko came on to replace the Frenchman.
Three minutes later, Liverpool thought they had turned the game around when Diogo Jota found the back of the net but the visitors were given a lifeline when VAR spotted that there was a foul on Angelo Ogbonna by Sadio Mané. However it also seemed to show that Fabianski had been impeded while making the save.
The Reds have been known for a late twist or two and that is exactly what happened on eighty five minutes as Jota did make it 2-1 when he latched onto a great ball to slot past the Pole.
The visitors made a double change in the last minute of normal time, as Benrahma and Manuel Lanzini took the places of Masuaku and Jarrod Bowen.
Defeat for Moyes’ men leaves them down in thirteenth place in the table ahead of a much easier run of games, starting on Saturday evening with the visit of newly-promoted Fulham to Stratford.