Liverpool 3 West Ham 2


An action packed tea-time down at Upton Park this evening and a concerning one nonetheless, okay so the crucial 3 points are bagged and for now that's all that matters but i couldn't help but focus on some of the flaws in today's game.

Benitez fielded a team with only one change, Mascherano in for Riera and had pushed Yossi further up field to create a 4-2-3-1 formation. Two minutes into play our first defensive mistake, Jamie Carragher a man usually known for his reliability is left day-dreaming, far too slow in reacting and as a result we are robbed of possession via a certain Hines who later turns out to have a great match for the home side. Nobody is perfect but Carragher really had no excuses this time.

Ten minutes in and Liverpool have themselves a penalty claim only to be shunned by the referee who disagreed that a cross whipped in from Torres appeared to hit the arm of a West Ham player. Shortly after a lively Fernando Torres with a brilliant solo effort leaves the earlier penalty claim looming and the Red's get on the score sheet. Great awareness from Insua who feeds the ball through to the Spaniard, the number 9 then drifts past Tomkins with ease, shoots from a tight angle and it's the perfect finish.

During the next few minutes of the game West Ham lose two players to injury (Upson & Behrami) and are forced to use two subs. Gabbidon and Kovac were the replacements brought on by Zola.

Just short of the half hour mark and we find ourselves faced with a silly mistake by our trusty number 23, Carra in what can only be described as sheer frustration brings down Hines in the box resulting in a penalty for West Ham. Hines simply outpaced Carragher and he didn't take to this kindly, what with his earlier mistake this all piled together and resulted in a silly decision from the vice-captain. Diamanti nets the penalty for the Hammers.

The penalty decision resulted in a yellow card for Carragher the first in a string of many during a match that can only be described as physical. Skrtel also got himself in the referee's notebook with a silly tackle. It was a frustrating day for the unusually sloppy centre-backs.

41 minutes and up steps Kuyt, a close range finish from a brilliant Steven Gerrard header that was goal bound already but Kuyt's little clip ensured it got home. Within three minutes of Kuyt bringing back the lead Carlton Cole scores from an in sweeping West Ham corner. The key word here being corner, i've never felt so concerned when the opposition is rewarded with a corner, as the matches go by my confidence weakens and today's performance from the defence has only had a negative effect on this mind set of mine. I can only hope this is not a lasting problem and that it is sorted out as soon as possible.

Second half; we start again with action at both ends shots from Johnson, Parker & Benayoun all being registered within the first ten minutes or so. At 60 minutes on the dot the manager decides it is time for a change and right at the start of his almost famous first substitution slot he brings off Dirk Kuyt for the fresh legs of Ryan Babel. This move was a good one as from this point onwards Liverpool were always looking the most likely to score.

74 minutes, the substitute Ryan Babel produces a brilliant cross which is met by the head of Torres, a smashing header straight into the back of the net. Torres producing a confident and demanding leap after jumping up between two defenders. Fabio Aurelio and Alberto Riera are brought on in the dying minutes and the Reds seal the three points.

Overall i am pleased with the result but not with the performance, defensive errors and frustration seemed to cause a big problem within the teams performance today. Despite this i feel we showed desire, we were never down and out, the confidence was still there and we fought for the 3 points. This is an aspect which i sometimes felt we lacked last season in games against the likes of Stoke etc. A scrappy win but after all you know what they say "If you can win when your not playing your best...".

Match Stats

Shots On Target: Liverpool = 5 /// West Ham = 3
Shots Off Target: Liverpool = 4 /// West Ham = 5
Tackles: Liverpool = 33 /// West Ham = 23
Corners: Liverpool = 4 /// West Ham = 4
Offside: Liverpool = 2 /// West Ham = 2
Successful Passing Rate = Liverpool = 82% /// West Ham = 82%

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