Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by West Ham United in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie, provoking widespread criticism from a frustrated support.
Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United
FA Cup Fourth Round – Anfield – Saturday 30th January 2016
Liverpool welcomed West Ham to Anfield for the second time in 2015/16 with a place in the fifth round of the FA Cup at stake.
Looking to improve on a pair of defeats against the Hammers previously this season, Jurgen Klopp steeled his side for a tough outing on Merseyside.
While a result will have been at the forefront of supporters’ minds ahead of the Saturday evening clash however, a measure of the pre-match focus was on Joe Allen.
The Welshman was rewarded for his winning penalty in Tuesday night’s League Cup semi-final win with a starting role and the captaincy.
Brannagan—the star of the first half—almost opened the scores 10 minutes later, lashing a powerful effort from outside the area that was just tipped wide by Darren Randolph.
No side was able to find a decisive opening, but as Martin Atkinson blew for half-time, Klopp will have been impressed with how his young Reds had performed.
Lapping up the adulation of the Kop, a confident Allen attempted an ambitious bicycle kick towards the end of the second half, taking everyone by surprise.
The sight of Sheyi Ojo brought Anfield to their feet, with supporters applauding Klopp’s decision to bring him on in place of Ibe, and the 18-year-old showed a welcome intensity.
But Liverpool were unable to break down West Ham’s solid defence and breach the impressive Randolph’s goal, and the Reds must now prepare themselves for another FA Cup replay.
While Klopp’s young stars earned their praise, Benteke bore the brunt of the criticism as one of Liverpool’s most senior players at Anfield on Saturday night.
This is a performance that will have provided Klopp with much food for thought, as well as an unwanted headache, with the draw giving Liverpool yet another fixture to add to their ever-congested fixture list.
- MATCH REPORT: Reds held for East London replay
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