Goals from Cody Gakpo and Joel Matip gave Liverpool a hard-earned win at West Ham, moving the Reds up to sixth in the Premier League.
West Ham 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League (32), London Stadium
April 26, 2023
Gakpo 18′ (assist: Alexander-Arnold)
Matip 68′ (assist: Robertson)
There was just one change from the side that had started the last three league games, that being enforced as Ibrahima Konate was ruled out and Joel Matip stepped in.
It meant the trio of Thiago, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz again had to watch on from the bench.
Despite Konate’s absence, Liverpool kept with the same tactics as the last three games, with Alexander-Arnold in midfield when in possession – a riskier strategy given Matip’s comparative mobility.
Liverpool saw plenty of the ball early on without creating anything. Instead, it was the home side who took the lead via Lucas Paqueta’s strike from just outside the box in the 12th minute.
Thankfully, the Reds, in their “dizzying” away kit, equalised within five minutes when Cody Gakpo received the ball 25 yards out, turned and hit a superb strike into the bottom corner.
In an entertaining first half, Diogo Jota had two good chances to put Liverpool ahead. The first he shinned the ball over at the end of a counter-attack, while the second effort he couldn’t direct home from close range after Salah’s clipped ball was headed on by Henderson.
At the other end, West Ham should have taken the lead themselves when they broke and Liverpool’s two defenders were Matip and Henderson. Somehow Van Dijk ended up getting back on the line to deny Antonio.
Half time: West Ham 1-1 Liverpool
West Ham thought they’d re-taken the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Jarred Bowen expertly finished on the counter attack, but thankfully for Liverpool – and especially Van Dijk – it was ruled offside.
It was an end-to-end encounter, Salah should have done better when he got in behind soon after.
Klopp, who was particularly animated on the touchline throughout, introduced Diaz and Thiago on the hour.
Liverpool began to dominate and it should have been 2-1 from a corner when the ball somehow didn’t cross the line from Matip’s shot.
Not to worry, the resulting corner resulted in Matip with a definition of a bullet header!
There were some shaky moments as Liverpool held on, not least a handball against Thiago in the penalty area that thankfully wasn’t given.
The win moves Liverpool up to sixth, now six points behind fourth-placed Man United but having played two more games.
TIA Man of the Match: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
West Ham: Fabianski; Coufal, Aguerd, Zouma, Cresswell; Rice, Paqueta, Soucek; Bowen, Benrahma, Antonio
Subs: Areola, Ogbonna, Kehrer, Emerson, Downes, Fornals, Cornet, Lanzini, Ings
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson (Thiago 59′), Jones (Milner 84′); Jota (Diaz 59′), Salah, Gakpo (Nunez 79′)
Subs not used: Kelleher, Gomez, Tsimikas, Elliott, Carvalho
Next Match: Tottenham (home, Sunday 30 April)