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West Ham United
April 7, 2013
• Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 45007
West Ham United
That is all from me Rhys Turrell on the LIVE commentary. Head over to Goal.com's main site for all the reaction to the game at Anfield and coverage of all the day's other Premier League games. Until next time, goodbye.
As it is, Sam Allardyce's men claimed a good draw which moves them closer to their required 40 points for the season. Brendan Rodgers will be a little disappointed that his side were not more fluent in attack, and frustrated that some of the chances that fell their way were not dispatched with a bit more quality.
Liverpool were the better side throughout the contest, but they were unable to break down a very resolute West Ham side who came for a point and could have escaped with all three had they been a bit more clinical in front of goal.
The referee blows for full time and the points are shared at Anfield.
90' + 4'
Liverpool pump a few hopeful balls into the area but little comes of it for the hosts. This looks destined to be a goalless draw.
90' + 3'
Another chance for Liverpool. Enrique does well down the left before squaring to Gerrard 30 yards from goal. The captain lofts a ball over the top of the defence to Suarez whose first touch is outstanding, and he follows that with a powerful shot low towards the near post where Jaaskelainen has to smother the ball to safety. Good play, and a good save.
90' + 1'
Lucas is fouled by Cole on the halfway line. Allowing Liverpool the chance to put the ball into the area, but they waste the chance, and West Ham easily clear.
There will be five minutes of added time. Not sure why it's so long, but that will give the hosts real hope.
Suarez and Coutinho once again link up well, but they are unable to cause any damage as they one-two their way into a huge crowd of Blue shirts.
West Ham waste a chance as Taylor crosses terribly from a good position. They have defended well all afternoon, but are starting to look very tired.
Yellow Card Joey O'Brien
They nearly do! O'Neil whips in an in-swinging corner from the left and his delivery is met by the head of Jack Collison who powers an effort towards the target but Lucas knees the ball clear on the goal line.
West Ham win a late corner, can they capitalise?
Daniel Agger comes inches away from a late winner. The big defender is high up the field and his left foot shot from around 25 yards is turned around the far post by a sprawling Jaaskelainen.
There are 10 minutes left to play at Anfield, can the hosts grab an important win, or will the visitors hold on for a point? A draw is the least West Ham deserve after their good showing this afternoon.
Liverpool are just going a little more direct with their attacks now, and have found several openings through the good work of Gerrard in a deeper role.
Sturridge does well now after good build up play. The former Chelsea man finds a bit of space on the edge of the area after nice work from Gerrard and Suarez, and Sturridge finds just a yard of space and powers a shot at goal with his left foot, but Jaaskelainen is equal to his effort.
For all the good work West Ham have done of the counterattack this afternoon, you have to say that Liverpool have themselves been very resolute at the back. They may well need to increase the tempo of their attacking play though if they want to earn all three points against the Irons this afternoon.
Chance wasted by Steven Gerrard here. Luis Suarez beats a few men and squares for the unmarked skipper on the edge of the box, but his curling shot goes well clear of the crossbar. Poor effort.
West Ham deserve some real praise for their performance today - they have been excellent defensively. Organised and playing a good offside line, they have not looked too threatened by the hosts today.
Big penalty shout for the home side here. Steven Gerrard ran into the area and appeared to trip over the outstretched legs of Tomkins who made a challenge on the Reds skipper inside the box. The referee pointed straight away for a corner, and he looks to have made the right call, as the Irons player seemed to get a toe on the ball.
As I mentioned earlier, Suarez is coming more and more into the game now, and here he clips a shot from the edge of the area towards the back post, but his effort is wide of Jaaskelainen's far post.
West Ham haven't won at Anfield in 50 years, but the more the game stays like it is, the more they may fancy their chances. Liverpool are going close, but it might not be their day.
The ball is in the net for the home side, but it's ruled out for offside. Some raggedy defending from West Ham sees the ball fall to Henderson on the right corner of the area and he blasts a shot towards goal which is turned in by Sturridge, but the January signing is standing in an offside position. Correct decision.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Are Liverpool lucky not to concede a penalty? James Tomkins is kicked by Enrique in the area after miscontrolling the ball. A more harsh referee may have pointed to the spot there.
After being quiet for large parts of this contest, Luis Suarez is bursting into life here. The Uruguayan skips past several defenders in the right corner before closing in on goal but his cross-cum-shot from the angle evades everyone and goes behind for a goal kick.
The home side are carrying a greater threat now, but they need to be wary of being caught on the break by the visitors, who look dangerous, particularly in the form of Matt Jarvis and Mo Diame.
David Lynch reports: "Liverpool have started this half with added vigour but have just been denied by two last-ditch blocks on the line by the visitors. Firstly, Guy Demel contorted his body brilliantly to hack it away before James Tomkins threw his body in front of a goal-bound effort from Steven Gerrard. Fantastic defending."
It is end-to-end stuff here as now Gerrard goes close again. Coutinho and Suarez link up well once again with the latter reaching the byline and skilfully crossing into the area. The ball comes to the England captain, but his shot is cleared off the line by Tomkins.
Matt Jarvis embarks on a solo mission forward for West Ham, and after evading the presence of Carragher, he crosses low into the area but it is cleared well by Agger.
Steven Gerrard shows his team how to do it. The Reds captain powers forward down the right channel and after a lucky deflection or two reaches the byline and squares across the area, however, the Hammers have enough bodies back to hack the ball clear.
Liverpool just seem to be a little ponderous in attack so far, and they will need to move the ball quicker if they are to pull West Ham out of position and create openings.
The Reds rather halfheartedly appeal for a penalty after a Daniel Agger shot from distance hits James Collins in the area. His arms were down, tucked into his chest, and it hit somewhere near his shoulder. Never a penalty.
West Ham have started the second half very sloppily and will need to up their game if they want to get anything out of this contest.
Liverpool have made a positive start and have won an early corner after a Carragher cross was put behind by Tomkins.
Gerrard and Suarez roll the ball to each other and get the second half underway.
The two sides are back out for the second period, and the home side will kick off in just a moment and get the game back underway.
Liverpool can go above their neighbours Everton if they win and the Toffees lose at Tottenham today. As it stands, both sides are drawing.
I have to agree with David there. For all of the possession the hosts have had, they have rarely looked like actually putting the ball into the net. The Hammers have remained strong at the back, and have looked lively on the counterattack, so should go into the break reasonably happy. You have to wonder how much better they might look if Andy Carroll was leading their attack, though.
David Lynch reports: "Half-time here at Anfield and the 0-0 scoreline has hardly looked threatened. Liverpool have had all of the ball but have struggled to break down a determined Hammers defence. The visitors have had a few half chances of their own and will know the possibility of an Anfield smash and grab is very real."
The referee Anthony Taylor puts his whistle to his lips and blows for half-time.
One minute of added time will be played.
Jordan Henderson closes in on goal following a swift move forward for the Reds. With options to his left and right the midfielder decides to take on a shot, but it is poor and without power, and eventually trickles wide of the post.
Now Nolan heads over the bar from a similar position. Despite being overrun for most of this game, West Ham have kept themselves in the contest, and are creating a few openings of their own now.
West Ham have another half-chance and yet again it has fallen to that man Cole again. It will come as little surprise that his header from the near post was mistimed and went wide. He has had a poor half.
That said, the home side just need to stay patient and a goal should come; they have been totally dominant so far.
Luis Suarez has been a little quiet so far this afternoon. He has just picked up the ball around 30 yards from goal and dribbled towards the target but was easily tackled by Collins.
Huge chance for the Hammers here, wasted by Carlton Cole. Jamie Carragher plays a ball across to Lucas who loses his footing and the ball falls to a wide open Cole. He has time and space but can only place his shot into the midriff of Daniel Agger. Terrible effort from the game's best chance.
West Ham are not helping themselves, however, by conceding possession far too easily across the field. They are also not retaining the ball up front when it gets there.
Liverpool are doing a very good job of winning the ball high up the pitch which is not allowing the away side a moment to rest. Nice work from the Reds.
It's one-way traffic here at Anfield, with the home side surely not long away from opening the scoring in the day's first Premier League game.
Suarez and Coutinho link up well now and the former gets a shot on goal from a tight angle after completing a one-two with the Brazilian. His effort was on target, by Jaaskelainen was equal to his low effort.
An early injury to former Aston Villa man Downing sees January signing Sturridge enter the fray.
David Lynch reports: "Diame almost scores an absolute wondergoal for the visitors, evading as many as four challenges before smashing over the bar when free on goal. Might have done better after some wonderful work."
Mo Diame almost scores one of the greatest goals for a long time here. The Hammers midfielder picks up the ball in a wide area and dribbles around four of five defenders before closing in on goal. His shot, however, is high over Reina's crossbar.
Now we see the first real sight of Luis Suarez this afternoon. The Uruguay striker nutmegs James Collins around 30 yards from goal and blasts a shot towards goal, but it is comfortably wide of the post. Dare I say he should have done better there?
West Ham look a little one-dimensional in attack here, with just long balls up to the front man Cole being the order of the day so far. You suspect the likes of Carragher and Agger with eat those up all afternoon.
West Ham offer a sign of the attacking threat they can pose here as they counter quickly from a corner. The ball comes to Mo Diame who finds a little space to take a shot, but he blasts it well clear of the bar.
David Lynch reports: "The Liverpool fans are screaming for a penalty after Glen Johnson goes down but a replay proves that the full-back was barely touched and, in fact, the incident happened outside the box."
Glen Johnson has just been denied a free kick for what looked a certain foul. The England man powered forward from right-back and found himself just yards outside the area where he was fouled. Or was he? Replays show there was very little contact.
Today represents a big chance for Carlton Cole to earn a regular place in the West Ham starting XI, but as yet he has failed to impress, and the Irons look pretty toothless in attack.
Liverpool's midfield are doing a good job of winning the ball and moving it quickly so far, with Jordan Henderson in particular showing some nice touches.
The atmosphere seems a little flat at Anfield today. Perhaps the home fans are enjoying a rare sight of British sunshine - it is glorious on Merseyside this afternoon.
West Ham are certainly defending in numbers here, with plenty of blue shirts standing firm against constant waves of Red. It's a matter of time before Liverpool score here.
What is this? A miscued volley from Steven Gerrard? I can't believe it. The normally ever-reliable England and Liverpool captain receives the ball on the edge of the Hammers area, but completely scuffs his effort at goal and his shot goes well clear of the crossbar.
We've just seen the first real chance of the contest, as Philippe Coutinho finds a bit of space on the left side of the pitch and dribbles towards goal before powering his shot low towards the near post with his left foot. His effort is on target, but causes little trouble for Jaaskelainen.
David Lynch LIVE from Anfield: "A confident start from Liverpool at Anfield, with the hosts knocking the ball about with ease and making Sam Allardyce's side put in all the early running. No chances yet, however, with five minutes on the clock."
Liverpool are just playing their way back into the contest now, with the back four enjoying plenty of touches on the ball.
The Hammers have made the better start in these very early stages, with captain Kevin Nolan winning several tackles in midfield before being fouled himself and winning a free kick. It's lofted into the box by Gary O'Neil, but easily gathered by Pepe Reina.
We're underway at Anfield.
David Lynch is LIVE at Anfield for Goal.com this afternoon: "A beautifullly observed minute's silence at Anfield to mark the anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster comes to a close before kick off. Top class from both sets of fans."
It has particular poignancy this afternoon as the club remember the 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough Stadium tragedy in 1989. A minutes silence will also be observed.
The scarves are up and waving as the locals belt out 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
Steven Gerrard and Kevin Nolan lead the two sides out onto the Anfield turf, and kick off is just a few minutes away now.
We're 10 minutes away from the referee's starting whistle at Anfield...
For what it is worth, I can't see beyond a win for the home side, and I think they may score a fair few as well, so I'll plump for 3-0 to the Reds.
As always you can get in touch with me throughout the game with your thoughts and predictions. You can do so via Twitter @rhysturrell.
As expected, Carlton Cole comes in for the ineligible Andy Carroll, and the other change West Ham make from their win over West Brom last time out sees a central defensive swap, with James Tomkins coming in for Winston Reid.
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Tomkins, Collins, O'Brien, Diame, O'Neil, Vaz Te, Nolan, Jarvis, Carlton Cole. Subs: Henderson, Collison, Maiga, Taylor, Pogatetz, Chamakh, Potts.
Brendan Rodgers names the same side which defeated Aston Villa last weekend, with Danny Sturridge once again on the subs bench.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Jose Enrique, Gerrard, Lucas, Downing, Henderson, Coutinho, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Assaidi, Sturridge, Coates, Suso, Shelvey, Skrtel.
First up I have the team news, and it looks a bit like this...
I'm Rhys Turrell and I'll be taking you through all the action from Anfield as Brendan Rodgers' side look to lay down a marker for their top four rivals by claiming all three points.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the day's first Premier League game where Liverpool host West Ham.
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