Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start and moved up to second in the Premier League table with a hard-fought 3-1 win over West Ham at Anfield.
Mohamed Salah’s penalty put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead early in the game and though Jarrod Bowen equalised before the interval, Darwin Nunez’s volley on the hour restored the advantage. Diogo Jota came off the bench to secure the points from close range late on.
West Ham had opportunities throughout and competed well before succumbing to a second successive defeat, the previous one coming against Manchester City. They are now seventh.
Liverpool’s fifth consecutive Premier League victory continues their strong start to the campaign and they remain two points behind leaders City.
Liverpool: Alisson (7), Gomez (6), Matip (7), Van Dijk (7), Robertson (6), Mac Allister (7), Jones (6), Szoboszlai (8), Salah (9), Nunez (7), Diaz (6).
Subs: Gravenberch (6), Jota (7), Gakpo (6), Endo (n/a).
West Ham: Areola (6), Coufal (7), Zouma (6), Aguerd (5), Emerson (6), Ward-Prowse (6), Alvarez (7), Soucek (7), Bowen (7), Paqueta (8), Antonio (6).
Subs: Kudus (6), Fornals (6), Ings (n/a).
Player of the match: Mohamed Salah.
How the game played out
West Ham have been in good form this season, beating Chelsea and Brighton already, and there were signs of their threat right from the start of the game. Alisson saved brilliantly from Tomas Soucek on six minutes and Michail Antonio should have done better with an easier chance soon after.
In Salah, Liverpool have a player capable of composure when it matters most. His cool touch from a counter-attack drew the foul from Nayef Aguerd and the referee awarded the penalty. The Egypt forward finished emphatically, a goal involvement for the 12th successive Liverpool home game.
- Jurgen Klopp made three changes to the team that defeated Wolves. It was no surprise to see Virgil van Dijk return in place of Jarell Quansah, while there were two changes in attack as Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz came in.
- David Moyes stuck with the side that took the lead against Manchester City, with Jarrod Bowen fit enough to play. Mohammed Kudus had to wait for his first Premier League start.
Klopp’s side remained vulnerable, however, with West Ham able to find space in behind their attack-minded midfield trio of Alexis Mac Allister, Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai. Some slick play engineered space for the equaliser, Bowen stooping to convert Vladimir Coufal’s cross.
Jones briefly thought he had restored the lead before the interval but was ruled offside and the game remained in the balance well into the second half. Nunez fired wide when well placed. Bowen headed tamely at Alisson when left free from James Ward-Prowse’s corner.
The decisive goal came on the hour with West Ham dropping deeper and deeper, allowing Mac Allister time to pick out a delightful pass over the top that Nunez was able to help into the far corner of the net on the volley. The Anfield cult hero drank in the applause from the Kop.
West Ham kept pushing with Lucas Paqueta providing real threat. But they were picked off late in the game with substitute Jota coming off the bench to force home from inside the six-yard box after the returning Virgil van Dijk won the initial header from a corner. Game over.
It reflected Liverpool’s superiority. They had the edge and though not entirely convincing, the wins keep coming. With Arsenal and Tottenham sharing the points at the Emirates Stadium, Klopp’s side move up to second. They may well be the team to test Manchester City again this season.
Liverpool’s win in stats
- Liverpool have won their last five games in the English Premier League, their last longer winning streak was from 17th April 2023 to 15th May 2023, a run of seven games.
- Liverpool have scored in their last 16 games in the Premier League, their longest run of games with a goal in the competition since a run of 24 games from 2nd January 2022 to 31st August 2022.
- Mohamed Salah has contributed to goals in his last 12 games in the Premier League (six goals and nine assists).
Liverpool host Leicester in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday at 7.45pm before visiting Tottenham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports, at 5.30pm.
West Ham travel to face Lincoln in the Carabao Cup third round on Wednesday at 7.45pm before hosting Sheffield United in the Premier League at 3pm on Saturday.