|Image via beinsports.com|
Christian Benteke led the line for Liverpool and he quickly came under fire from pundits and fans alike during the game. I said as soon as we were interested in Benteke that there was no point buying him because we didn't have the right players to work for him, to add insult to injury his price tag was £32.5 million, I knew it wouldn't take long before fans turned and blamed him for all our issues but the fact is, it's not all his fault.
Our team on Saturday just felt completely disjointed. The flashes from Coutinho and Firmino are predictable at times and sides like West Ham just aren't falling for it. At the moment they are nothing more than one trick ponies. Both of these players are also relatively selfish in their nature, which isn't a bad thing of course but goes no way to helping a lone Christian Benteke. The missing Jordan Henderson for me made matters worse because the captain is often the only player even thinking about finding Benteke.
The first goal of the game came after just 10 minutes via a header from Antonio. To add salt to the wounds the goal began from the other end of the pitch where Moreno had been left in a heap, the break from West Ham allowed Valencia to put a cross in and saw Antonio put his side into the lead. It was definitely a foul on Moreno but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that in the grand scheme of things a correct decision from the referee would have helped Liverpool.
It wouldn't, we were terrible. A shot from Lanzini shortly after the goal luckily crashed off the post as Simon Mignolet had already given up on even trying to save the effort, confident it was going wide. Add to this a further melee of efforts including a shot from Cresswell which was fortunately saved and it was clear that the Hammers were in control.
The Reds saw one effort from Emre Can hit the bar but other than that the first half definitely belonged to the Bilic's side. Jurgen Klopp watched on in visible frustration, as each game goes by he seems to be realising that this team is clearly not capable of stringing together consistent performances and it really is guess work as to which Liverpool will show up for him.
At 55 minutes Andy Carroll had found the back of the net against his old side. A classic Carroll goal resulted in him heading home after a lovely cross from Mark Noble. Ironically, West Ham were exploiting the exact method that the Reds should have been utilising.
Things improved slightly for Liverpool as the second half went on. A corner ball flicked on by Emre Can allowed Lucas a rare chance at goal but his header was blocked by Mark Noble on the post. This was followed by another header late on from Joe Allen but he sent his effort just wide.
Joe Allen for me is another symbol of the problem at Liverpool at present, looking at our bench in the first half the only player capable of making a difference really was Adam Lallana. Brad Smith definitely made an impression when entering play but it is both unfair and unwise to place so much reliance on a youthful bench in my opinion.
Clearly Jurgen Klopp needs to be able to purchase some new players and really mould this side into a team of his own because at the moment, sticking together some of Brendan Rodgers' mismatched cast offs just isn't quite going to cut it.
Next up for Liverpool is Stoke in the League Cup Semi Final first leg.