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West Ham United
7 December 2013
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 44781
G. Demel 42' (own goal)
M. Sakho 47'
L. Suárez 81', 84'
West Ham United
M. Škrtel 66' (own goal)
That's it from me, it's been a pleasure. See you next time.
What a week at Anfield. Liverpool dismantle the Hammers 4-1, to add to their 5-1 smashing of Norwich midweek. It's their fifth straight win at home, and it takes them to within four of leaders Arsenal - who play tomorrow against Everton. West Ham had a window of opportunity to get back into the game, but saw it shut quickly, and continue to slug it out around the relegation zone.
90' + 4'
90' + 3'
YNWA ringing around Anfield now. After a blip from their early season form in recent weeks, two emphatic wins in four days have seen them right back in the thick of it at the top of the table. Meanwhile, Coutinho stings the palms of Jaaskelainen from long range.
90' + 1'
Yellow Card James Collins
90' + 1'
Into stoppage time now. Liverpool have had 29 attempts on goal today. Tells it all, really.
Almost another own goal! Henderson deftly slips in Suarez, who dribbles past two players before drilling a ball across the face of goal that just misses getting that crucial touch!
You have to look back at that Maiga chance now, and think of what might have been for the Hammers. That would have made it 2-2 at a spell when Liverpool looked their most vulnerable. Now, they're three goals down, a man down, and have their captain suspended for the next three matches.
NEARLY A LUIS HAT TRICK! Suarez goes weaving towards goal down the left, but just runs out of room after taking Jaaskelainen out of the equation!
Goal Luis Suárez
SUAREZ ADDS ANOTHER!
The stupidest of stupid red cards to pick up. The game's all but decided, yet the Hammers skipper decides to rake his studs into the calf of Henderson on a harmless throw in. He will now miss three crucial games.
NOLAN SENT OFF!
Red Card Kevin Nolan
Yellow Card Guy Demel
This should settle Liverpool down now nicely. One goal was a reasonable ask for West Ham, two goals are out of the question. All signs point to three points to the hosts.
Assist Glen Johnson
Goal Luis Suárez
Johnson with an INCH PERFECT ball to the far post, and Suarez gets behind Collins to power a firm header past Jaaskelainen! That should be that!
SUAREZ WRAPS IT UP!
We have seen nothing from Liverpool in attack since they conceded. It's now a matter of digging their heels in and repelling this final stretch of Hammers pressure.
Diame with a great pass for Jarvis, who eschews a first time shot in favor of squaring it back into the centre. Liverpool get rid, and that was poor from the winger, who could have cracked that on goal himself.
Yellow Card Joe Cole
Cole is booked for a late challenge on Allen. Surprisingly, this is the first booking of the game. It's been a respectful contest, and a tightly managed event by referee Michael Oliver.
The Hammers in the ascendancy here as the game enters its final lap. Liverpool are penned back in their own half, and are having to withstand an artillery bombardment as the ball is shelled into the box at every opportunity.
WHAT A CHANCE! Joe Cole's corner is not cleared properly, and West Ham do well to keep it alive. Collins' shot it deflected to Maiga on the post, and he contrives to side foot it wide when it seemed easier to score!
Corner for West Ham...Liverpool have some defending to do...
Liverpool seemed set to rack up another dominant win, but instead, they've got only a goal separating them from the visitors, who will now sense blood with every set piece and high ball. Meanwhile, Henderson is down injured in the box.
Own Goal Martin Skrtel
Out of nowhere, West Ham are back in it! Jarvis flicks a ball back into the mixer from the back post, and Skrtel, in his haste to clear the ball ahead of Maiga, ends up diverting it past a stunned Mignolet!
SKRTEL OWN GOAL!
James Collins has been nothing short of superb so far. He's gotten a number of blocks, interceptions and tackles in, and puts his body on the line once again to stop a Coutinho piledriver.
JAASKELAINEN! What a save from the 38-year-old goalkeeper! Sterling is again denied a goal after his shot from a great position is stopped by the keeper, who got down well to his left hand side!
STERLING! Bad miss again from the young winger, who latches onto a Henderson square, but blasts over the bar from point blank range! Liverpool pushing it now!
Liverpool starting to pile the pressure on thick on West Ham's goal. Coutinho has another pop from range, and this time finds the target. Jaaskelainen makes the save though!
Gerrard does indeed make way for Lucas, a solid shift for the captain.
Suarez with his typical hustle to take the ball off a West Ham player's toes. He lays off to Gerrard, who sees a snap shot deflected by Collins. The skipper has taken a bit of a knock here.
Joe Allen caught dallying on the ball by Dame, and he streaks off towards the Liverpool goal. He tries to play in half time sub Joe Cole, but Sakho makes an excellent sliding interception.
Skrtel is back on his feet, and receives a warm round of applause from the home fans. Play can now resume.
Skrtel is involved in an almighty collision with Diame, and is down on the deck, needing some treatment. It seemed to be a bad landing more than anything. Let's hope he's able to recover.
Perfect start to the second half for Liverpool, and it will be some ask for West Ham to get back into this one. The Reds look good value for their fifth straight home win.
Assist Steven Gerrard
Goal Mamadou Sakho
LIVERPOOL ADD ANOTHER!
Here we go again!
Half time at Anfield, and Liverpool hold a slender 1-0 lead at the interval. Guy Demel's unfortunate own goal has been the difference so far. Liverpool have been effervescent at times, but much of it has been flash without fire at the end. West Ham have caused some danger with their troglodyte aerial game, and Liverpool will have some defending to do before this one is wrapped up. Restart in just a bit.
45' + 2'
The referee signals for half time.
45' + 1'
Nervous times in defence for Liverpool as West Ham ping in a corner that is not properly defended. Matt Jarvis nearly makes it count, but Skrtel gets rid eventually.
Suarez has been very lively and important to the Liverpool cause today, but to be quite honest, we've seen the negative side to his approach to the game, as he has snatched at a number of shots which have all gone off target.
Sterling plays a lovely lay off for Suarez, who is in the clear, and...blasts it horribly into orbit. Shocking how awful that finish was.
Own Goal Guy Demel
After Sterling's near miss moments ago, Liverpool get a stroke of good fortune! Johnson flicks a header into the box, and Suarez drills one at goal straight away. Jaaskelainen saves, but Demel, in a difficult position, can only bundle the rebound into his own net!
OWN GOAL! LIVERPOOL LEAD!
The Coutinho-Sterling combo works a treat again, as the latter is released on goal, but his deft finish to the bottom corner rolls agonizingly wide!
Diame does excellently to free himself into space in the middle, and he takes advantage of that with a through pass to Downing. The winger squares up on Flanagan, but the young full back does well to deflect his cross away from danger.
It's stiflingly tight and congested at the top of the box, as Liverpool try to tiki-taka their way through the middle. Gerrard nearly takes a plunger to the whole ordeal with a determined run forward with the ball, but the excellent Collins is there again to take the ball off a Liverpool player's feet.
Coutinho nearly picks out a world class pass for Sterling, who made an equally magnificent diagonal run off the right flank behind the defence. However, at the last, Collins makes a VITAL interception to prevent the clearest of clear cut chances.
Liverpool still look lively on and off the ball, but West Ham aren't panicking like they were during the opening quarter of an hour. The visitors, as usual, look menacing every time the ball is in the air as well. It's going to be a close one, this.
Sterling to his credit has never stopped moving off the ball since the first whistle. He latches onto another through pass, this time from Gerrard, but his first touch lets him down, and Jaaskelainen is not troubled.
Sterling lays a diagonal ball off to Suarez, who is implored by the crowd to shoot from the top of the box. He instead plays to Coutinho on the left, who takes too long to make up his mind, and when the ball eventually comes back into the centre, Tomkins clears with little difficulty.
Coutinho is the next Red to have a try from range, but it's the same result as Suarez before him - dragged wide of Jaaskelainen's right hand post.
West Ham are absolutely hounding Suarez on the ball now. the Uruguayan drifts into the hole to attempt a one-two with Henderson, but Collins nips the ball off his twinkled toes.
Suarez tries an ambitious shot on the turn from nearly 30 yards, but it's deflected out for a corner. Coutinho whips in the resultant delivery, but there is no one in a red shirt in position to meet it.
Some signs that West Ham are starting to find their feet here at Anfield. Liverpool are forced to launch their attacks from deeper and deeper positions, and the Hammers back four is looking a touch more composed.
Maiga absolutely hammers one at goal from a Jarvis feed, but Mignolet show superb conviction to get a strong hand to that effort! What a stinger, and what a save!
Coutinho is fiending for the ball in the opening stages of this game, and has played a few peaches already. This time though, his aim lets him down as he doesn't get his pass anywhere near Sterling's run.
Sterling is set on his bike by some strong distribution from Mignolet, and has Demel back-pedaling all the way from the halfway line. He squares for Henderson at the far post, but Tomkins' interception just about gets it away for a corner.
Downing stands menacingly over a free kick as piles of West Ham bodies set up camp in the Liverpool box, but the delivery does not beat the first man. What a disappointing moment for the visitors, as set pieces will most likely be their best avenue for a goal.
It's not looking good for West Ham so far in this game. They've pumped a few obligatory long balls forward for Maiga, but Skrtel has dealt with all and sundry so far. The Slovak defender has really rediscovered his form in the new campaign after a few ho hum years.
Coutinho pings a lively little ball into Suarez, who gets past the defensive line with a diagonal run from the right once again. The crowd holds their breath as he advances on Jaaskelainen, but the Uruguayan's finish disappointing, straight at the keeper.
Flanagan plays a simple pass to Suarez at the top of the box, but with confidence coursing through his veins, he attempts a lob out of nothing that just sneaks the wrong side of the top corner! Jaaskelainen looked bemused!
Liverpool really in control of this match to start. The passing in the middle is crisp and incisive, while Suarez and Sterling are moving menacingly into pockets of space in the attacking third.
Henderson looks for and finds Suarez on the break, which sends the Anfield fans into a frenzy. He runs at a petrified Collins, but surprisingly decides to try to pick out Sterling when a shot would have been the easier option. That allowed Collins to get his body in front of the ball.
Downing, against his former club, whips a good ball in towards the far post. Jarvis rises above everyone, but can't direct his header anywhere but over the bar.
Here we go!
Let's talk about Suarez though! Ten goals in his last six EPL games. Ten in four at Anfield. Thirteen in nine in the league this season. A goal every 62.15 minutes this season. Twenty-nine in his last 28 for Liverpool. Against Norwich, he became the first player to bag a hat-trick of hat-tricks against a single club. And he's even kept the skulduggery to a minimum this season. No wonder then, that Liverpool is ready to smash the bank accounts on a proposed new contract. What a player!
The trouble for West Ham today is simple. Their 12 league goals as a team are bettered by a single Liverpool player - Luis Suarez with 13. Glen Johnson should be licking his chops, with a nifty record of scoring in three of his last four outings against the Hammers, one of his former stomping grounds.
For West Ham, Winston Reid sits this one out with an ankle injury, but that blow is but a scratch compared to the absence of Ravel Morrison, who is serving a suspension. The midfielder seemed to have the world at his feet when just a pup at Manchester United, but his knucleheaded nature ended his career at Old Trafford, and seemed to resign him to a life of lower league scrapping. But under Sam Allardyce, he has begun to re-apply himself, and let his outrageous natural talent shine through.
If it ain't broke then don't fix it. Well, almost. Daniel Agger is the only absentee from the side that dismantled Norwich midweek. Mamadou Sakho, the big money signing from PSG, takes his place in the centre of defence.
WEST HAM SUBS: Adrian, O'Brien, Collison, Diarra, C. Cole, J. Cole, Taylor.
WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen; Demel, McCartney, Collins, Tomkins; Noble, Diame, Nolan, Downing, Jarvis; Maiga.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: Jones, Cissokho, Kelly, Lucas, Moses, Alberto, Aspas.
LIVERPOOL: Mignolet; Flanagan, Sakho, Skrtel, Johnson; Allen, Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling, Coutinho, Suarez.
First, our teams.
Greetings one and all, and welcome to Liverpool's Premier League clash against West Ham. Bringing you all the action from Anfield, my name is Keeghann Sinanan.
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