There are one or two grounds that some teams just don’t like going to and for West Ham United it’s Anfield!!! They have now lost twice there this season but Wednesday night’s 5-1 Carabao Cup defeat was the worst of the two.
Only Vladimír Coufal, Edson Álvarez, Tomáš Souček and Mohammed Kudus retained their places, as David Moyes made six changes to the side that overcame Wolverhampton Wanderers three days earlier with Alphonse Areola, Ben Johnson, Pablo Fornals, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Angelo Ogbonna and Saïd Benrahma coming into the starting line-up, while Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma, James Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paquetá and Emerson Palmieri all dropped to the bench
Jarrod Bowen also remained in the starting line-up on what was his 27th birthday, while youngster Divin Mubama was included in the matchday squad.
Angelo Ogbonna was named Irons’ Captain for the evening in Zouma’s absence, while former West Ham goalkeeper Adrián was on the home side’s bench.
Liverpool were keen to get back to winning ways after their goalless draw with Manchester United here on Sunday, while the Hammers wanted to try and build on their result against Gary O’Neil’s side. Well, it was the home side that made the brighter start with West Ham’s attacking sporadic and not really being able to fashion any real chances.
Jürgen Klopp’s side were not suffering the after effects of the match against the Red Devils. They put their opponents under pressure and were dominating the early stages. Harvey Elliott had the first chance when he found space and tried his luck from long-range but fortunately, it didn’t cause any problems for Areola, as it went wide of the far post.
The former Fulham youngster went close again just minutes later but he missed the target once more, to the relief of the large number that had made the journey up from East London.
Benrahma looked as if he was going to start a promising move for the Irons but he ended up slipping which sent Liverpool on an attack. This proved costly, as Jarell Quansah set up Dominik Szoboszlai to confidently beat Areola.
The Reds could have gone into the break with an even healthier advantage but fortunately, Cody Gakpo’s header didn’t trouble the French stopper.
Moyes has never won at Anfield but his team were still in the tie when referee Tim Robinson blew the half-time whistle. Could they turn it around?
The hosts were looking for more goals at the start of the second-half and increased the tempo when the action restarted. Almost immediately, Areola was called upon to deal with a powerful effort from Darwin Núñez. Thankfully, the former Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper was equal to it.
Minutes later, a great team move involving Bowen and Johnson nearly set up Fornals. Unfortunately though, before the Spaniard could release the ball, home defender Konstantinos Tsimikas was alert to the danger.
The dominance of Klopp’s men was relentless and it wasn’t long after that chance had been wasted that Liverpool went further ahead. Great link-up play between Núñez and Jones resulted in the youngster squeezing the ball into the net.
Immediately after that goal, Moyes made his first change, introducing Lucas Paquetá in place of Benrahma.
Shortly after, Kudus tried to pull a goal back but it was a tricky opportunity and he only succeeded in sending the ball over the crossbar.
That was the Ghanaian’s last contribution to the game as he was part of a double change on seventy one minutes. He and Coufal made way for both Ward-Prowse and Thilo Kehrer.
The hosts had well and truly found their rhythm by this point and added a third when Gakpo got in on the act, as the game was drifting further and further away from the visitors.
Bowen scored here in the Premier League meeting between the two sides a little under three months ago and he smashed one past goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher six minutes later. Those away fans who had remained in their seats were cheering!!! The former Hull city winger was celebrating his 27th birthday here and whilst he wasn’t getting a present of a semi-final place, at least he did have a personal accolade to take away with him.
Whilst Moyes had introduced more fresh legs in the shape of Danny Ings, who had taken the place of Álvarez unfortunately, the pattern on the scoring showed no sign of changing. Szoboszlai had been withdrawn on the hour and Mohamed Salah who scored yet another goal for Klopp’s men and there was no way back for the Hammers now!!!
On eighty five minutes, the night’s entertainment was complete for the home fans, as Jones helped himself to a second goal as he found a way past Areola.
After another soul destroying night for the Irons, they will be thankful that they once again have a quick turnaround as Manchester United arrive in Stratford for Saturday’s early kick-off.