Liverpool made sure they stay toe to toe with Man City in the league standings, as Jurgen Klopp’s men defeated resilient West Ham United.
The Reds had to defeat Hammers, to cut Man City’s lead at the top to three points. Moreover, Man City are up against their local rivals Man United on Sunday, which means the whole context becomes spicier.
And as expected Liverpool started brightly with some good moves very early in the game. But West Ham’s discipline causing Liverpool all sort of frustration.
After numerous attempts, Liverpool deservedly got the lead in the 27th minute after Sadio Mane nips it from Alexander Arnold’s cross.
At half-time Liverpool lead 1-0, but it was known that the lead is not secure enough. West Ham had their opportunities and have been fairly successful at cutting the hosts open.
With the start of the second half, it was a similar story even though Liverpool had more possession and created more chances David Moyes’s men matched with everything Liverpool was throwing by.
But Hammer’s big chance was in the 65th minute of the tie. West Ham No.10 Lanzini came very close to giving visitors the equalizer but he instead fired it wildly.
As the game approached death, it was very nervy for the fans of both sides. And Liverpool crowd in the stadium just wanted the full-time whistle to blow.
With the final whistle was blown, there was a sign of relief among the Liverpool players and fans.
The Reds made sure the minimum requirement is achieved, namely the big three points. No matter with what margin Klopp’s team wins the game, the most important thing was to get the three points.
In the end, it finished Liverpool 1-0 West Ham United at Anfield.
Liverpool’s win over West Ham is their 7th consecutive victory in Premier League games. This is their best run of wins in a single League campaign since registering 18 wins in the 2019-20 title-winning season.
West Ham manager David Moyes is yet to win Anfield in Premier League tie. In the total of 17 attempts, he lost six times and drew eleven times.
The Hammers have issues away from home. And now they have lost five times in the last nine Premier League games. Their losses have been equaled to as many as they had in their Previous 23 topflight games on roads (W13, D5)
Liverpool vs West Ham United: Post match reaction
Jurgen Klopp turns out to be a happy man after his boys dug deep to secure a vital win. When asked about winning seven Premier League games in a row to close the gap, the boss said
We had to. There was no other choice. We will come to that point pretty soon probably that when you win seven – or for us, 12 in all competitions in a row – then you cannot not only win the ones where you are flying. Today we were obviously not flying, we had to dig really deep and that’s what the boys did.
On the importance of adding quality to the squad and Luis Diaz’s early impact, the German said
Again, it was necessary, we cannot rely on these boys and we have on top of that, not to forget, Divock Origi and Taki Minamino, we had Shaqiri here, all brilliant players who helped us to win the things we won in the past. You need to bring in quality and fresh energy. That’s what we tried and it looks like it worked out.
On Liverpool’s defensive performance, Klopp said
We should have done it differently but there were different counter-attacks. The first goal they nearly scored when Trent cleared the situation with a long leg, that was really bad defending, we have to admit that.
We know that we needed some luck in these moments and proper defending just in a different way, but I think it is difficult to deny them over 95 minutes. These things can always happen, but first half they didn’t happen and second half much too often.
On Alexander-Arnold reaching a new personal best of 16 assists in a season, the Liverpool manager said
So, when you see him playing I think we help him a little bit with positioning and stuff like this. We try to bring him into positions, formation-wise, where he can be that influential but of course it’s all about him and his skill-set and his quality and his right foot and his overview.
What’s next for Liverpool?
Next up for Liverpool comes the Champions League tie against Inter Milan in the next week. Having already won the away tie 2-0 against the Nerrazzuri, Klopp’s men will surely be going into the tie with confidence to book a spot in the competition’s Quarterfinals.