London – West Ham United validated its place in the Premier League by outmuscling Liverpool for a memorable 3-2 victory at a rocking London Stadium on Sunday.
High-flying West Ham’s victory ended Liverpool’s club-record 25-match unbeaten run, in all competitions, and lifted the club into third place in the table.
A match that already looked like a dangerous fixture for Liverpool to a bad turn from the start when ‘keeper Allison, who had a difficult afternoon, knocked a cross into his own goal after four minutes.
Liverpool didn’t have may chances to find its usual fluency, the evened the score thanks to a moment of magic from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool fans expecting their team to find another gear in the second half were disappointed as it was West Ham that took control of the match.
Craig Dawson hit the bar for West Ham early in the second half, as Liverpool wobbled at the back, before Pablo Fornals restored West Ham’s lead in the 66th minute and Kurt Zouma rose to head in West Ham’s third in the 74th minute.
Substitute Divock Origi gave Liverpool a lifeline with a shot on the turn in the 82nd minute and Sadio Mane should have evened the score in stoppage time. West Ham, however, hung on for a victory that was celebrated into the night by the home fans.
West Ham improved to 23 points from 11 matches after its fourth consecutive league win, with Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side one point behind in fourth place. West Ham heads into the international break just three points behind first-place Chelsea.
It was a joyous day for Hammers boss David Moyes, who had not tasted a league win over Liverpool in 11 years, losing 10 and drawing four during that period as manager of Everton, Manchester United, Sunderland and West Ham.
“I want us to challenge the teams in the top four, I do not know who they will be, but I want us to challenge,” Moyes said.
“This result shows that we’re really in with a good chance of challenging.”
It was a day to forget for Liverpool, which has dropped five points in its last two league games.
The game was only four minutes old when Alisson made his blunder on a Fornals corner while under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna. He hoped for a reprieve via a VAR review, but the goal was allowed to stand.
Klopp was perplexed by the decision.
“The first they score is a foul on the goalkeeper, the arm goes into Alisson’s arm so how can he catch it? That makes no sense,” he said.
Liverpool was lucky not to be down to 10 men after Diogo Jota caught Ogbonna with his elbow, forcing the West Ham player off, although Klopp suggested West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell got away with a reckless challenge on Jordan Henderson.
Liverpool got back into the match when Alexander-Arnold played a short free kick to Mohamed Salah, who stopped it for the English defender to curl a shot past Lukasz Fabianski and temporarily silence the home fans.
Fabianski made a crucial save on Mane’s volley after the break, and West Ham went back ahead minutes later as Fornals went clean through and beat Alisson with a low shot that the Brazilian stopper had a chance to save.
When Zouma headed in shortly after for his first West Ham goal it felt like the roof was coming off the former Olympic Stadium.
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