Eight days ago, West Ham United lost their unbeaten record to Manchester City and it is now back-to-back defeats for David Moyes’ men as they were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Jarrod Bowen and Edson Álvarez missed Thursday’s encounter against FK TSC Bačka Topola with illness and suspension respectively but thankfully, both players were available to start here, otherwise, the Scotsman restored all the other players to the starting line-up.
Both teams had been in UEFA Europa League action just three days earlier but the difference for Jürgen Klopp’s side was that they had to travel to Austria for their tie, whereas the Irons had the advantage of being in East London and it showed in the early stages.
The visitors had chances to go in front but neither Tomáš Souček, nor Michail Antonio were able to divert the ball past Alisson Becker.
Having not taken advantage of the two presentable opportunities that came their way, the visitors were made to pay when the home side clicked into gear!!! Luis Díaz played the ball to Mohamed Salah, who was then tripped by Nayef Aguerd. Referee Christopher Kavanagh immediately awarded the home side a penalty. Salah stepped up to take it and confidently dispatched past visiting goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
Minutes later, the Reds nearly had a second when Alexis Mac Allister got in on the act. The French stopper made a hash of his clearance and the former Brighton and Hove Albion man headed back to Díaz for the Colombian to have a go himself but fortunately for the Irons, his effort was miles off target.
Despite Liverpool’s domination, the Hammers never let their heads drop and were back in the game minutes before the break when Bowen equalised. A great team move involving Lucas Paquetá, Antonio and Vladimír Coufal resulted in the Czech sending the perfect cross over to the winger, who then beat Virgil van Dijk to the ball and powered a header past Becker and into the net.
With that goal, he has now set a new club record of scoring in all four games on the road this season.
Reds’ youngster Curtis Jones saw a goal ruled out for offside, while Darwin Núñez was brilliantly denied by Areola.
Half-time arrived and West Ham were on course to maintain their unbeaten form on their travels… They couldn’t, could they?
It was fair to say that the hosts made a better start to the second-half. In fact, they fashioned a chance almost straight away. Salah worked the ball to Núñez but the Uruguayan only sent his effort wide.
Bowen might have added to his tally for the afternoon but, he instead forced Becker into an easy save after James Ward-Prowse had sent a free-kick into the box.
That miss once again proved costly, as Núñez regained the lead for his side when he latched onto Mac Allister’s perfect ball to volley past Areola.
In an effort to try and find a way back into the game, Moyes made a double substitution on seventy four minutes, as Pablo Fornals and Mohammed Kudus entered the fray for both Souček and Antonio.
Fornals almost found what Moyes was looking for but instead, his long-range shot was well saved by Becker.
All hope of the East Londoners getting a draw from the game disappeared with just five minutes of normal time to play when Liverpool wrapped the game up. Klopp had earlier brought on Diogo Jota in place of Núñez and the former Wolverhampton Wanderers player beat Areola.
Danny Ings was thrown into the action as West Ham made their final change as the former Liverpool man replaced Paquetá.
Moyes’ men continue their current busy schedule on Wednesday when they will hope to make it through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, as they face Sky Bet League One side Lincoln City at The LNER Stadium.