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Dublin: 5 °C Thursday 22 March, 2018


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

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Kick off is at 5.30pm.

Let’s get started with some team news shall we…

Here are today’s teams…

West Ham: Hart, Reid, Kouyate, Ogbonna, Fernandes, Obiang, Lanzini, Noble, Cresswell, Ayew, Hernandez

Subs: Adrian, Masuaku, Rice, Haksabanovic, Arnautovic, Sakho, Carroll

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Klavan, Moreno, Can, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Karius, Lovren, Alexander-Arnold, James Milne, Marko Grujic, Solanke, Sturridge

This should be another intriguing encounter in a weekend of top class Premier League action. A fitting start before two massive fixtures tomorrow afternoon as Manchester City hosts Arsenal before Manchester United make the trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

Back to today, however, and we have a West Ham side aiming to build on their dramatic League Cup win against Tottenham last week, while also trying to sweetly and swiftly forget about last weekend’s 2-2 draw with bottom-placed Crystal Palace. A result made sure thanks to a 97th minute equaliser from Wilfried Zaha. Ouch, Slaven.

Liverpool meanwhile will be looking to continue their own run of form. Following an embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Spurs at Wembley they have recorded back-to-back 3-0 wins against Huddersfield and again against Maribor in the Champions League three days ago.

Just under ten minutes to go before kick-off. For Jurgen Klopp’s side Sadio Mane returns to the starting XI while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is given his first start since joining from Arsenal back in August.

Jordan Henderson is out with a thigh problem, with Simon Mignolet handed the captain’s armband in his absence this evening.


Kick-off: We’re underway…


An early free-kick from Liverpool is swung in by Mohamed Salah. A chance presents itself early doors for Roberto Firmino as Joe Hart spreads himself well to block on the line, before the ball is booted clear by Aaron Cresswell.


A quiet enough opening here. West Ham not really pressing when not in possession, with Liverpool on the front foot. They really are standing out in that luminous orange jersey.


OOOFFF CHANCE! The game erupts into life all of a sudden thanks to a killer through ball from Lanzini to Javier Hernandez.

He skips onto the pass and smashes an effort off Simon Mignolet’s front post as the goalkeeper failed to get to the ball first. That was nervy from Liverpool following a decent opening spell.


West Ham fans were calling for a foul there as Klavan hauled Hernandez down on the edge of the area — Slavan Bilic was too.

The Mexican striker spun away from his marker quickly and maybe should have received a free-kick there after being dropped to the floor by a loose leg from the defender. Bilic really isn’t happy with that decision from referee Neil Swarbrick.



Philippe Coutinho is absent today and you can sense that in Liverpool’s hesitation. They are enjoying the lion’s share of possession but, at the moment at least, have very little direction about themselves.

They seem happy to rest on possession, with West Ham equally happy to mop up on the counter, forcing free-kicks and corners when the opportunity arises.


And just as I say that Liverpool break on the counter at a tremendous speed! Sadio Mane is clean through on goal before selflessly passing the ball sideways to Mohamed Salah who has the simple task of slotting it past Joe Hart to make it 1-0. Oooof.


Out of no-where it’s 2-0 Liverpool! Boom. Smack. Wallop. Slavan Bilic doesn’t know where to look or how to feel, as Jurgen Klopp punches the air like a feeble punchbag.

It’s a routine corner which Joe Hart saves at the first hurdle, but a complete lack of marking gives Joel Matip the simple task of tapping it into an empty net to double his side’s lead a minute after going a goal up!



Goodness me, where did that come from? A sudden storm sees West Ham completely capitulate in the space of three minutes. Salah gave Liverpool the lead following a sudden break via Mane, but that second goal from Matip was simply comical from the hosts.

It could be a long evening in the London Stadium if Bilic’s side don’t manage to stem this tide.


West Ham look a little bit shell-shocked at the minute trying to get going again. Is this all over before it even got going?


Mark Noble receives a yellow card for simulation after taking a tumble and going to ground.


Liverpool in total control now as Salah and Mane are given all the time in the world to swagger wherever they wish with neat dribbles, allowed stroke the ball to and fro from wing to wing — Klopp’s side are very comfortable at the moment.

West Ham on the opposite end appear utterly lethargic pining for the merciful sound of the half-time whistle. It can’t come soon enough for Bilic’s side who need to re-asses their game-plan if they are to get any sort of result from this game.


There will be two minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.


A tough half to take for West Ham. They started promisingly, creating a host of chances despite only enjoying a tiny share of possession. Liverpool, meanwhile, looked slightly aimless for the opening 20 minutes before Mohamed Salah gave them the lead.

It was a classic move of Liverpool this season, full of power, pace and precision. Sadio Mane broke at speed on the break against an absent Hammers defence, before slotting the ball sideways to Salah, who easily slotted the ball beyond Joe Hart.

Just three minutes later Jurgen Klopp’s side were two goals to the good, with Joel Matip tapping into an empty net after a routine corner was not cleared inside the box.

Slavan Bilic’s side would drop to 17th were his side to lose this evening. It could be a long second half for West Ham if they don’t turn things around…


Second-half: We’re back underway…


Substitution for West Ham: Andy Carroll replaces Edimilson Fernandes.


A yellow card for Winston Reid for a late foul on Sadio Mane at the start of the second half.


Early chance for Liverpool who look intent on building their lead. Mohamed Salah finds himself free on the edge of the penalty area along the righthand side.

He brings the ball back to an unmarked Sadio Mane, however his powerful effort flies over the crossbar as the player was always leaning backwards when he hit it.


Those bubbles don’t seem to be helping Slaven Bilic’s mood, do they?

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League - London Stadium Source: John Walton


Oh, we’ve got a game now don’t we! It’s a truly brilliant goal from Lanzini who took down a cross towards the back post before slotting it past Simon Mignolet. It’s 2-1!


It’s 3-1 and Liverpool have scored straight away after conceding! Their two goal cushion has been restored as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scores on his first Premier League start for Liverpool.

His first effort, a low drive at the front post, is saved by Joe Hart, however he is given a second bite of the cherry and gleefully slots it beyond Hart at the second time of asking with no marker in sight.


It’s completely end-to-end at the moment as the game opens up into utter chaos.

Another chance comes and goes for Lanzini, who strikes a powerful effort just over the tip of the crossbar. That could have been 3-2, and boy oh boy West Ham aren’t giving up hope just yet.


Substitution for West Ham: Marko Arnautović replaces Mark Noble.


Another effort from the hosts as Javier Hernandez heads over the bar following a dinked cross into the box from Lanzini, who has been a driving force behind his side this evening.



Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has had a mixed start to life at Anfield, but he has now scored a goal on his first Premier League start for his new club.

West Ham United v Liverpool - Premier League - London Stadium Source: John Walton


Another opportunity for Liverpool as they provide another swift break on the counter.

Mane receives a neat back-heel from team-mate Firmino but again blasts his effort over Joe Hart’s crossbar. There certainly does look like this game has more goals in it with 20 minutes to go.


CHANCE! Ooooh that really, really should have been 4-2 for the visitors. Roberto Firmino does brilliantly to break away, leaving Ogbonna in his wake, however with only Hart in his way the Brazilian drags his effort horribly wide of the post.


Substitution for West Ham: Diafra Sakho replaces Javier Hernandez.


Game, set and match. It’s Mohamed Salah’s 12th goal of the season in all competitions. He receives the ball just inside the penalty area and with a sweet strike of his left boot sweeps the ball past Joe Hart into the bottom corner. 4-1 and game over for West Ham.


And just after that fourth goal Liverpool made a switch, with James Milner being introduced in place of Sadio Mane after 77 minutes.


Oooooh it was so, so close to a hat-trick for Mohamed Salah. It was a neat cross into the box from Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah trapped it first time, however his curling strike was well stopped by Joe Hart who read it well.


A lot of empty seats are visible now inside the London Stadium as a host of supporters felt it was time to go after that fourth strike. West Ham will drop into 17th place tonight…


Almost a fifth for Liverpool as they break again against a shambolic West Ham defence which looks completely out of its depth as their supporters continue to pour out of the stadium.

This time it’s Oxlade-Chamberlain looking to grab a second, but his low strike inside the box is blocked down a mass of claret jerseys. It’s a matter of damaged limitations for the hosts in these final moments.


Annnnnnd another chance for a fifth from Liverpool. James Milner is picked out on the break, he bears down on goal but the substitute’s effort is poor. Very poor. And it drags wide with the whole goal at his beg and mercy.


Substitution for Liverpool: Dejan Lovren replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


Substitution for Liverpool: Dominic Solanke replaces Roberto Firmino.


Good Lord, the chances just keep coming and coming for Liverpool. This is honestly getting a little bit embarrassing for West Ham at the moment. It looks like men playing against a gang of kids as Liverpool break on the counter every single time.

They could be six or seven up at this stage, but Klopp’s side are proven rather wasteful in front of goal in these final ten minutes.


Manuel Lanzini is given a yellow card for kicking the ball away. The 24-year-old has been a source of inspiration for his side today, but that was quite frankly silly.


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