Liverpool recorded their second resounding victory of the week by beating a beleaguered West Ham United side 4-1 at Anfield. Having scored a sensational four goals against Norwich City in midweek, Luis Suarez was again heavily involved in proceedings.
It was the forward’s shot that led to Guy Demel bundling the ball into his own net for the first of the match’s three own goals before another scrappy goal, this time from Mamadou Sakho, doubled Liverpool’s lead the other side of half time. An own goal from Martin Skrtel temporarily reduced the home side’s arrears before a Suarez header and his shot which gained a crucial deflection off of Joey O’Brien made the points safe.
It was a fine day all-round for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. With Chelsea and Manchester City both dropping points, Liverpool have gone back up to second place in the Premier League standings as the Merseysiders have impressively put behind them last weekend’s disappointing reversal to Hull City.
In contrast, there remain few positives for Sam Allardyce, who also saw his captain Kevin Nolan sent off for a terrible challenge on Jordan Henderson. Having lost to Crystal Palace on Tuesday, this was another sobering defeat. Only goal difference now keeps West Ham out of the relegation zone, following Palace’s picking up of another three points on Saturday. While Liverpool are coping admirably without Daniel Sturridge, the return of former Reds striker Andy Carroll cannot come soon enough for West Ham.
The main reason for Liverpool flourishing remains Suarez, who now has extra scrutiny on him as England watches with trepidation to see the damage that the Uruguayan could inflict on the nation he now calls home in next summer’s World Cup.
Suarez came close to adding to his collection of memorable goals early on with an inventive chip from the edge of the box, before he helped put his side in front. His powerful shot couldn’t be grasped by Jaaskelainen and Demel was unable to react quickly enough to prevent the ball diverting off of him and into the net.
By that point West Ham’s scoring woes had again been laid bare when Modibo Maiga’s header was tipped over by Simon Mignolet. Liverpool were having no such issues at the other end. Two minutes after half time, a typically dangerous Steven Gerrard delivery from a free-kick was met with an ungainly mishit volley at the back post by Mamadou Sakho to send the ball back across goal and James Collins couldn’t keep the ball from crossing the line, despite his acrobatic efforts.
West Ham did finally get on the score-sheet, with a big helping hand from Liverpool, in the 66th minute. Matt Jarvis headed the ball back across goal from a deep cross and Skrtel, trying to cut the ball out, could only turn it past Mignolet.
But Liverpool were not about to be pegged back. The best goal of the contest came with Glen Johnson’s perfect cross from the right being met by the head of Suarez to reestablish Liverpool’s two-goal advantage and all-but seal the win.
The three points were put beyond doubt when Suarez produced some typically quick footwork on the edge of the box and fired in a shot that was uncharacteristically heading off target before it struck the back of O’Brien and went in off of the crossbar.