Liverpool nail Hammers!
Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 at Anfield to record their first victory of the campaign.
The win was the perfect way for Liverpool to celebrate The Kop’s 100th birthday as West Ham suffered their first defeat of the season.
Liverpool started the livelier of the two sides and Reds skipper Steven Gerrard had the first chance of the game on five minutes when he picked the ball up on the edge of the area and dragged his shot just wide of the target.
A minute later Jermaine Pennant sent over a fine cross from the right for Crouch, who under pressure from John Paintsil, could only head wide of the far post.
Luis Garcia had the next chance for Liverpool on when Anton Ferdinand’s poor clearance fell invitingly to him on the edge of the box, but the Spaniard sliced his shot well wide.
Liverpool continued to dominated the early proceedings and Paul Konchesky came to West Ham’s rescue on nine minutes when he headed Fabio Aurelio goalbound free kick off the line.
West Ham stunned the hosts on 12 minutes by breaking the deadlock through Zamora after a terrible gaffe by Jose Reina.
Zamora sent over a mis-hit cross from the left which caught out Reina at his near post and the Spaniard could only manage to palm the ball into his own net.
West Ham wasted a golden chance to double their lead two minutes later when Yossi Benayoun played Marlon Harewood in on goal, but the striker pulled his left-footed shot wide much to the relief of the home fans.
The goal seemed to knock Liverpool and it took them a while to get back in their stride and Aurelio blazed wildly over from the edge of the area after being teed up by Bellamy.
Aurelio was getting forward at every opportunity and he flashed over a dangerous cross right across Carroll’s goal, but no one was on hand to get on the Brazilian’s delivery.
Garcia called Carroll into the action on 33 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area which was fortunately straight down the throat of the Northern Ireland international.
Alonso then tried his luck from long-range with a swerving shot which Carroll was again equal to.
Liverpool drew level on 42 minutes with a stunning goal right out of nothing from Agger.
Agger carried the ball forward from the half way line and as the West Ham defenders backed off him the Dane unleashed a superb shot into the top corner past Carroll for his first ever goal for Liverpool.
Liverpool had their tails up and they grabbed a well-worked second goal right on the stroke of half time with through Crouch.
Gerrard picked out Garcia on the edge of the box and the Spaniard cleverly slipped in Crouch who coolly rounded Carroll before blasting his shot into the net.
Liverpool picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and Gerrard pulled a shot wide from the edge of the area seconds after the restart.
Rafa Benitez handed Dir Kuyt for his debut on 51 minutes and the Dutchman was quickly into the action firing in a shot from 30 yards wide of the target with his first touch of the game.
Kuyt had another half chance a minute later when he headed Garcia’s cross over the crossbar.
Benayoun went close to scoring for West Ham on 55 minutes when the Liverpool defence backed off him and he fizzed in a left-footed shot just wide of the far post.
The visitors showed they were not afraid to attack given any opportunity and Steve Finnan made a vital tackle to deny Benayoun a sight of goal after the Israeli had worked a neat one-two with Harewood.
Liverpool thought they had netted a third on 67 minutes when Bellamy got on the end of Kuyt’s pass to slot over Carroll, but his celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.
Kuyt was looking eager to mark his debut with a goal and he went close to scoring on 78 minutes with a shot from the edge of the area which Carroll pushed round the post.
Substitute Mark Gonzalez then warmed Carroll’s hands with a fierce strike which the goalkeeper could only collect at the second attempt.
West Ham really should have drawn level ten minutes from time when Paintsil’s cross somehow found its way to Bowyer right in front of goal, but the former Leeds man saw his shot clip the outside of the post.
Kuyt went close to scoring again on 84 minutes when Gerrard slipped the former Feyenoord man in, but his shot lacked the power to sufficiently trouble Carroll.
West Ham almost equalised two minutes from time when substitute Teddy Sheringham floated a free kick right into the danger area and the ball dropped to Carlton Cole who saw his shot blocked by the legs of Reina.