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And that, my Premier League friends, is that for today. Thank you very much for following on a day that saw Arsenal ease to victory against Aston Villa, Papiss Cisse save Alan Pardew from the axe (for now) and West Ham stun Liverpool. We’ll be back at 10:00 BST on Sunday for all the build-up to the rest of the weekend’s fixtures, including the big one between Manchester City and Chelsea. See you then and cheerio!
Still recovering from the 8-2 demolition Real Madrid dished out to Deportivo, the second Liga game of the day is currently Atletico Madrid 2-1 Celta Vigo at half-time. Over in Italy, AC Milan and Juventus have just kicked off in one of the biggest matches in European football this weekend.
LIVE: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Celta | LIVE: Milan 0-0 Juventus
@GoalUK if Chelsea win tomorrow Liverpool will be 9 points behind hahaha— Adel Chelsea (@adelchelsea) September 20, 2014
@GoalUk Arsenal won 3 nil after loosing to Bor. Dortmund while Dortmund loose 2 nil after beating Arsenal 2-0. Strange old game.— Windell Jnr. George (@GeorgeWindell) September 20, 2014
Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho caused constant problems for the Liverpool defence, while Stewart Downing was a menace in midfield. That’s the good, how about the bad? Well, Javier Manquillo was subbed after just 21 minutes and Steven Gerrard struggled to impact the game. Full player ratings below.
Player Ratings: West Ham 3-1 Liverpool
Liam Twomey reports: “The early blitz was a trick often employed by Brendan Rodgers' title-challenging Liverpool side last season but here they were undone by familiar weaknesses: slack set-piece marking and poor defensive positioning. Despite significant investment they are on course to beat the total of 50 goals conceded which ultimately cost them the Premier League last year. Such an honour looks well beyond them on days like this.”
Courtesy of our buddies over at Opta, here’s a look at some alternative stats from today’s game...
- Raheem Sterling has been involved in nine goals (six goals, three assists) in his last 10 Premier League apps
- Liverpool have set a new club top-flight record of scoring in 17 consecutive away games
- West Ham have only kept one clean sheet in their last 17 Premier League games
Liam Twomey reports: “One suspects Brendan Rodgers didn't lose too much sleep last night worrying whether Stewart Downing would come back to haunt him, but the one-time Liverpool cast-off was instrumental in this victory. Operating in the same No.10 position which saw him impress against Hull City he pulled all the strings as West Ham put this match beyond Liverpool in the opening 10 minutes.”
Just the result West Ham and Sam Allardyce needed in front of their own fans. They pick up their first victory at Upton Park this season and move ahead of Liverpool in the table into eighth. As for the Reds, they showed promise at the start of the second half but struggled to test the Hammers goal before getting punished for more poor defending late on.
3 - Stewart Downing has more assists this season in five PL games (3) than he did in the whole of 2013-14 (2 in 32 PL apps). Creator.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2014
GOAL: And that’s the three points wrapped up! Mamadou Sakho attempts to clear up field but only heads the ball into the path of Stewart Downing who, 35 yards out and with plenty of space ahead of him, picks out Morgan Amalfitano on the left side of the area. The Frenchman has too much pace for Martin Skrtel and gets to the pass ahead of him to slot in a third on his home debut.
This match ain’t big enough for two Sakhos and one of them (almost) has to leave. It’s another injury concern for West Ham as Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho accidentally rakes his studs down the leg of Diafra Sakho. He’s moving rather gingerly but will carry on.
Cheikhou Kouyate can’t continue. Problem: West Ham have already made their changes. He’s suffered a recurrence of the groin injury which almost forced him off in the first half. Surely Sam Allardyce will instruct his side to play with 10 men? Nope! Kouyate is back on in the heart of midfield. This could be interesting...
Bayern Munich could only draw with Hamburg earlier today and now title rivals Borussia Dortmund are losing 2-0 to Mainz with 10 minutes to play. Follow LIVE updates below.
Keeeeep glancing: Play-by-play updates
A reluctant Fabio Borini is about to take a corner but is forced to the sidelines to be replaced by Rickie Lambert. Attack, attack, attack! And James Collins is on for Enner Valencia. Defend, defend, defend!
A chance for West Ham as Diafra Sakho clips over from just outside the area, and then Mario Balotelli wins Liverpool a corner after forcing a save out of Adrian at his near post with a powerful hit from a tight angle. Change for the Hammers - Morgan Amalfitano is on for Alex Song.
Liam Twomey reports: “Liverpool's new formation has shifted the momentum in this match and the Upton Park crowd is now showing its anxious side, groaning with every misplaced pass from the home side and forward surge from the visitors. Adam Lallana's trickery in the final third is beginning to cause problems and, after an anonymous first half, Fabio Borini's intelligent movement is starting to worry the West Ham defence.”
Summer loan signing Carl Jenkinson is on for West Ham, replacing Guy Demel, and is already in the book for a foul on Alberto Moreno.