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Hammers lack fight as Liverpool record comfortable win

Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United Line-ups/stats
Premier League Results/standings


Liverpool kept-up their faint hopes of a Champions League place with a comfortable 3-0 win over West Ham United at Anfield. Goals from Yossi Benayoun, David Ngog and a Rob Green own goal were enough to see off a lacklustere West Ham team - who are still only three points from safety.

Without the injured Fernando Torres, Liverpool brought in Lucas and Dirk Kuyt for Ryan Babel and Javier Mascherano, who dropped to the bench. West Ham retained the side that started the home win against Sunderland on 10 April, with Scott Parker serving the second of his two-match ban.

West Ham went into the game having only scored four goals in 14 Premier League matches and were looking for their first win at Anfield since September 1963. Liverpool however were unbeaten in their last nine home games.

It was the home side who made the brighter star and were nearly ahead inside four minutes. Yossi Benayoun fed Maxi Rodriguez inside the box on the right and the Argentine drew a smart save from Rob Green at his near post. Minutes later a clearance put David Ngog through on goal but instead of taking the ball down, he opted to head it and the ball drifted tamely into Green's arms.

Twenty minutes in though and the home side did take the lead. Steven Gerrard fizzed across a free-kick from the right and Benayoun got ahead of the West Ham defence. The little Israeli deflected the ball with his stomach and it clipped the far post before rolling across the line. No celebrations from Benayoun against his old club.

Kyrgiakos then went close with a free-header from a Gerrard corner before Liverpool made it two just before the half hour. Benayoun spread the ball out to Rodriguez on the right and his low cross was met by Ngog, who firied across Green and into the net. Too easy for Liverpool.

Barely thrity-five minutes in and West Ham looked like a beaten team already. There only effort coming from Carlton Cole who found space inside the Liverpool half but his shot from distance went miles wide. At the other end, Gerrard curled a free-kick a couple of yards over the bar and Kuyt went close with a rasping shot as Liverpool went into the break firmly into control.

West Ham made  a change at the start of the second half, bringing on Guillermo Franco for Junior Stanisla. The Mexican almost made an immediate impact rushing on to a through ball into the box, but Pepe Reina was quick off his line to meet him and clear the danger.

Liverpool had a credible shout for a penalty turned down, when the ball seem to strike Mark Nobles hand but soon netted their third of the night on hour mark. Gerrard curled in another devilish free-kick from the left and Sotirios Kyrgiakos stuck out a leg and deflected the ball onto the post. The ball rebounded off the back of Green's leg and into the net. An unfortunate own goal from the England goalie.

So easy was the night for Liverpool, they afforded the luxury of taking off Steven Gerrard with twenty minutes to go and replacing him with Javier Mascherano. For the visitors Benni McCathry replaced CarltonCole with what was looked like a worrying knee injury for the England striker.

It was beginning to look like training game for Liverpool, and Rodriguez went close to making it four, with a shot from the left wing that nearly caught Green out at the near post.

The closing stages were played-out without incident as Liverpool kep up their impressive home run. While West Ham still remain in trouble at the bottom of the league, three points off Hull having played a game more.

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