Liverpool Win to Climb back to the Top of the Table
by Nick D
Apr 06, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
Liverpool managed to secure all three points after a hard fought match against West Ham United. Liverpool go back to top spot after a 2-1 win away from home. Two penalties by captain Steven Gerrard ensured Liverpool go back to the top of the ladder ahead of their big clash against Manchester City next week.
Gerrard celebrates with his team mates after defeating West Ham United 2-1
West Ham knew that after recent results they had a bit of breathing room sitting 10 points clear of the relegation zone. So Allardyce's instructions were clear lets have a go at the in form Liverpool side. The match started in exactly that fashion with an open approach by both teams. The first 15 minutes were tightly fought as both teams battled it out for control of the game. Carroll was lurking about in the forward line and you could sense that he wanted to impress against his old side. Downing too was looking to break down the left wing at every opportunity as he too wanted to show what his old side have been missing out on. Liverpool though defended well and limited any clear chances for West Ham's forwards.
Andy Carroll looking to impress against his former team
It took about 20 minutes in for the game to settle as Liverpool slowly began to control the midfield and hold the possession. Patiently they built there attack and it was Suarez who would have the best chance so far. Liverpool won a throw near the left corner flag, Sterling took it quickly finding Suarez. The League's leading goal scorer then broke into the box and cut back up the box. He then saw that the keeper was slightly off his line and tried a curling shot. The keeper threw himself at the ball but it was just out of his grasp but he was saved by the crossbar as the ball rebounded back into play. Next Liverpool would break on the counter after a West Ham corner kick. Suarez took a brilliant first touch then found Sterling with the long ball. The youngster broke into the box down the left side and fired a shot at the goal. The angle though was too acute and the shot went straight into the keeper's hands.
Raheem Sterling's recent form has been more than impressive for Liverpool
As the game wore on West Ham slowly got themselves back into the game and started pressuring the Liverpool defence. Downing was making Johnson work hard as he challenged every ball and looked to get a cross in at every opportunity. Carroll too was rising well and Skrtel had to be on his toes to keep the tall striker from making good contact with the ball. Though it was Liverpool who countered well and the eventual pressure by Suarez and Sturridge would lead to Liverpool getting the opening goal. Gerrard's long pass found Suarez in a one on one situation against Tomkins. As Suarez got into the box he tried to chip the ball past the defender and Tomkins stuck his arm out giving the ref no choice but to award the penalty. Liverpool's captain stepped up and slotted the ball into the back of the net with only minutes left till halftime.
Steven Gerrard scores from the penalty spot to give Liverpool the lead
Though just before the halftime whistle a moment of controversy saw West Ham get the equalising goal. West Ham won a corner in injury time and as the ball was played in high and towards the 6 yard box, Mignolet would rise and catch it. The same time though Carroll would leap at the ball but he would lead with his arm and knock the ball out of the keeper's hands. The ball fell to Demel who knocked it into the goal. A clear foul by the striker but after consultation with the linesman the ref awarded the goal despite the protests of the Liverpool players. Halftime and the scoreline was one goal a piece.
Guy Demel would get the equaliser moments before the halftime whistle after a controversial decision by the ref saw the goal count
The second half Rodgers decided to change it up bringing on Lucas to replace Coutinho, to strengthen Liverpool's midfield and limit the possession for West Ham's midfielders. The match once again started openly as the Hammers came out playing with confidence after getting that late equaliser. West Ham attacked down the wings and almost took the lead in the 60th minute after Carroll rose well at the far post only to see his header smack into the crossbar. A close call for the Reds as they struggled to get into their usual passing rhythm. Liverpool though still had the most dangerous partnership upfront and West Ham needed to ensure that the SAS were always covered. A nice link up between the two saw Sturridge get into space just outside the top of the box. Though his shot wasn't accurate as he went for power and blasted it over the crossbar. Then just as West Ham were looking the more likely to score the goalkeeper Adrian would bring down Flanagan inside the box and give away the penalty. Once again Gerrard stepped up and this time struck the spot kick with power to fire Liverpool back in the lead with 20 minutes left to play.
Adrian's protests go to no avail as he earns a yellow card and gives away the second penalty of the game
Liverpool now found their step back and looked to increase their lead as the game wound down. Lucas linked up well with Suarez but the Uruguayan mis-kicked his shot from inside the box and the keeper had an easy save to make. Liverpool now also needed to keep possession and look to catch West Ham with the through ball as they looked to find a way back into this game. Though West Ham were lucky to be still in it as Suarez should have given Liverpool a two goal advantage in the 86th minute as he got to a through ball and was one on one with the keeper. Adrian did really well to come off his line and get a vital touch on the ball to keep his side in with a chance. The final minutes saw Liverpool absorb a lot of pressure as West Ham pushed forward looking to equalise, though the Reds would hold on and earn a very vital three points.
Ciao for now Readers