West Ham 0-4 Liverpool: Coutinho masterclass as Reds claim 3 vital points in top-four chase

14 May 2017

A new position for Philippe Coutinho saw the Brazilian provide a masterclass for Liverpool to take three vital points in their chase for a top-four finish.


West Ham 0-4 Liverpool

Premier League, London Stadium
May 14, 2017

Goals

Sturridge 35′ (assist – Coutinho)
Coutinho 57′
Coutinho 62′ (assist – Wijnaldum)
Origi 76′

Jurgen Klopp opted to change shape to a midfield diamond, something supporters have long wanted to see, pairing Daniel Sturridge up front with Divock Origi.

The surprising tactical element was that Philippe Coutinho started in a deeper ‘No. 8’ role with Adam Lallana further forward in the ‘No. 10’ role behind the two forwards. It proved to be perfect.

Liverpool took the lead on 35 minutes when Coutinho played a beautiful ball from deep in midfield for Sturridge to run on to, being played onside by Jose Fonte. Sturridge rounded ‘keeper Adrian and slotted for 1-0 and his first goal since January.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 14, 2017: Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring the first goal against West Ham United during the FA Premier League match at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • 2 goals and an assist for Coutinho in ‘new’ role
  • Sturridge provides better movement up front
  • Win keeps top four finish in our own hands

It should have been 1-1 at half-time though, with Andre Ayew somehow missing from two yards out from a corner just before the break. His shot somehow hit the post and Liverpool got a lucky break.

Klopp’s side started the second half well, forcing three quick saves out of Adrian in quick succession.

The two-goal cushion arrived just before the hour, when Coutinho provided a lovely composed finish from the edge of the box.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 14, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correiacelebrates scoring the second goal against West Ham United with team-mate Adam Lallana [L] during the FA Premier League match at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Brazilian stepped inside two defenders on the edge of the box and coolly placed the ball past Adrian.

Coutinho’s goal arrived seconds after Gini Wijnaldum had fired a volley from 25 yards which smashed the bar.

Finally there was some breathing space for Liverpool and more was to come just five minutes later.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 14, 2017: Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia scores the second goal against West Ham United during the FA Premier League match at the London Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The third arrived again from Coutinho, who finished by hammering in from close range after a counter-attack following a claim for handball by Wijnaldum inside the area off a corner.

The fourth then arrived from Origi but was made by Sturridge. The returning forward forced the opportunity with some nice feet down the right, and the ball eventually fell nicely for Origi to poke home from close range.

The win means that a top-four finish remains in the Reds’ own hands and a win over Middlesbrough in the final game of the season next season will guarantee Champions League qualification.


TIA Man of the Match: Philippe Coutinho

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

West Ham: Adrian, Fonte, Reid, Collins, Byram, Nordtveit, Fernandes, Cresswell, Lanzini, Ayew, Calleri.

Subs: Randolph, Feghouli, Snodgrass, Ogbonna, Fletcher, Quina, Rice.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Matip, Milner, Can, Wijnaldum, Lallana (Woodburn 89), Coutinho (Grujic 89), Origi, Sturridge (Lucas 86).

Subs not used: Karius, Moreno, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan.

Next match: Middlesbrough (H) – Premier League – May 21

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