Hammers Undone on Merseyside Again
In their last two games against both newly-promoted Fulham and Southampton, West Ham United have had to come from behind to earn results. Unfortunately, they were unable to do that on Wednesday night, as they lost 1-0 to Liverpool at Anfield.
David Moyes made three changes from the side that drew 1-1 against the Saints at St Mary’s three days earlier, as Kurt Zouma returned in defence to take the place of Vladimír Coufal, who dropped to the bench along with Emmerson Palmieri. Flynn Downes was finally handed his full Premier League debut, as he filled in for the injured Lucas Paquetá, who had picked up a serious shoulder injury after Sunday’s encounter, while Pablo Fornals also started. Alphonse Areola was included amongst the nine substitutes, alongside Darren Randolph.
The hosts came into this game off the back of a 1-0 victory over current Champions Manchester City, while the Hammers wanted to try and do what they failed to do last season and end the unbeaten home run for Jürgen Klopp’s men.
However, the home side almost got off to the worst possible start but Irons’ Captain Declan Rice was unable to take advantage of goalkeeper Alisson Becker’s mistake and the chance had gone.
The visitors were fortunate still to be level with fifteen minutes gone when Trent Alexander-Arnold was involved in setting up Darwin Núñez to send a thumping effort towards goal but Łukasz Fabiański did brilliantly to tip it over the top.
Liverpool’s new Uruguayan striker was really in the mood here and seven minutes later, he found the net. The summer signing met a cross from Konstantinos Tsimikas and his downward header went past Fabiański.
Núñez went close again just before the break but his latest effort came off the post and when the ball fell back to him he sent the ball narrowly wide of the target.
Just as it was looking as if the Reds would go into the break with the advantage, West Ham were eventually awarded a penalty. VAR intervened after referee Stuart Attwell saw nothing wrong after Joe Gomez had fouled Jarrod Bowen.
Bowen had scored his last two spot kicks and he stepped up to take this one but Becker went right way and the home side preserved their clean sheet, as Attwell blew the whistle. West Ham weren’t without their chances but needed to improve after the break.
That improvement did come from the East Londoners in the second-half as they continued to create chances but were yet to beat Becker in the home side’s goal.
Liverpool had a great chance to increase their lead when a counter-attacking move ended with Captain Jordan Henderson sending in a good-looking cross with the aim of picking out Roberto Firmino but fortunately Aaron Cresswell got a vital touch to the ball, meaning it didn’t reach the Spaniard.
Moyes made his first substitution on sixty one minutes, as Saïd Benrahma entered the fray for Fornals.
The Algerian does seem to make an impact when he is in these situations and he certainly did again here. The winger was on the end of Rice’s looping back post cross and attempted a volley but unfortunately, Becker saw it all the way and made an easy save.
On seventy four minutes, a second West Ham change was made and Moyes decided to replace Downes with Michail Antonio, meaning that he would get a rare chance to partner Gianluca Scamacca upfront.
Fabiański was under pressure again but he excelled once more, as he made an excellent save from Firmino.
West Ham really should have left Anfield with at least a point and they went close on two separate occasions before Attwell bought an end to the action. Scamacca found himself in a great position but could only fire over.
Deep into four minutes of stoppage time, a great team move involving Benrahma and Bowen eventually ended with Tomáš Souček having the easiest of chances to allow the Irons to take a share of the spoils back to East London with them. However, Becker thwarted the midfielder by making a magnificent block.
The night ended in disappointment for the visitors but they have to wait until Monday night for their next action when newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth are the visitors to Stratford.