Parker Starts The Party For West Ham
Gutting to see Kelly pull up, wish him a speedy recovery...
An inspired performance from West Ham saw Liverpool fall to a rather embarrassing defeat yesterday as the Hammers put three past Pepe Reina whilst the Reds could only muster one return goal. No arguments i feel, we just have to own up to the fact that West Ham were the better team.
A side consisting of Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez, Martin Kelly and Danny Wilson (two of which were injury doubts) meant that Liverpool had some fresh legs and a strong eleven on display.
An early effort for Liverpool got us off on the right foot after Raul Meireles got himself into a decent position heading into the Hammers area. A headed attempt which needed a lot of effort just to reach in the first place was sent just wide.
This early positive wasn't going to set the theme for Liverpool though as West Ham quickly began to gain a hold.
I mentioned in my match preview that in order for West Ham to be successful their star man Parker would need to be on song, of course, just our luck, he was at the top of his game yesterday.
20 minutes in and the hard work from the home side was rewarded after a cheeky little finish from outside the area saw Scott Parker put his team ahead. There was little Pepe Reina could do but the pressure from the defence in the build up could have been a lot more intense.
I was quite surprised at the defence as a whole yesterday really, Martin Kelly was perhaps the best of the bunch and even he had his moments. When he pulled up grabbing his hamstring, that left the defence in even more disarray.
Danny Wilson has barely played for the Reds but i still think it's fair to say his 90 minutes today could have been better. The only way the lad can build though is with starts so that's fair enough. As for the likes of Carragher, Skrtel and Glen Johnson, well they have no excuses. The only reason Glen misses out on most of the criticism is because he later converted.
Shortly after the first goal of the game Liverpool came close with a strike from Dirk Kuyt outside of the area. Hitting the side netting meant the Reds were still in search of a goal.
New signing Demba Ba was set to make things worse for Dalglish's boys just before the half time whistle. A fantastic header sent Upton Park crazy as Avram Grant's side increased their lead.
David Ngog came on in the second half for Raul Meireles. Joe Cole was also back out after replacing the injured Martin Kelly in the first half. Both substitutes appear to be in a stage at the moment where they need to prove their worth. Ngog, although he's still top goalscorer has been on a poor run of form lately and Joe Cole, despite his clear effort has also been unfortunate. So that was two men on the pitch at least with some sort of point to prove.
Steven Gerrard however who has nothing to prove was below par yesterday. Aside from that effort outside the box taken first time he just didn't seem right. Of course he's back from injury but that Gerrard heart was missing. No doubt that will be rectified in time for Sunday though.
Liverpool finally managed to get on the score sheet just after 80 minutes. Luis Suarez was unlucky beforehand after leaving the West Ham defence for dead, a great save from Rob Green prevented the Uruguayan from scoring his second but he would redeem himself with a lovely assist.
Some more tom foolery in the box saw Suarez head in one direction and end up facing the other within a split second. The turn was superb and a cross through to an awaiting Glen Johnson allowed the England international to convert and grab Liverpool a goal.
With minutes left on the clock there was finally some belief on the pitch that we could get something out of this. A free kick gave us some hope after Suarez was fouled but the Gerrard attempt to put the ball in the box was poor.
West Ham deserve credit for their efforts throughout the 90 minutes and their third goal in extra time just backed up the fact that they were simply the better team. A strong run from Carlton Cole past a flailing Martin Skrtel was finished with a rather tame shot. Reina beaten at his near post meant that the Hammers had secured 3 points.
There's not really much we can say after that really, it's not ideal and it was bloody shite! But, it's not disastrous, we're still in 6th and although that would usually be seen as the worst we've played this season, after enduring the Hodgson half i think it's safe to say we've seen worse.
A massive clash with bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday will surely liven the taste buds and what better way to forget about this defeat than with a win here?!
Bloody gutted as I'm at work for this match, they have TVs but they have little or no sound, it's not the same!