Hammers Lose Heavily as Wait Goes On
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 08 Dec 2013 12:50:00
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Last season West Ham United managed goalless draw at Anfield but normal service was resumed as the wait went on, as the Hammers lost 4-1 to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

Just like Tuesday night four changes were again made to the starting line-up as Guy Demel, George McCartney, Matt Jarvis and Modibo Maiga were all restored and Joey O'Brien and Carlton Cole were dropped to the bench. Razvan Rat and Ravel Morrison were left out of the squad altogether due to their respective injuries and suspensions. Also amongst the substitutes was Alou Diarra, who featured in Sam Allardyce's matchday squad for the first time since picking up a knee injury in the Capital One Cup tie at home to Cheltenham Town in August, while Matthew Taylor also made the bench after recovering from the injury he picked up against Burnley in October.

Both teams had chances in what seemed to be a very open first 20 minutes. The visitors could have grabbed an early advantage when good play involving James Collins and Jarvis resulted in a headed opportunity for Maiga but the chance was superbly saved by Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

West Ham were giving it all they'd got, but just before the half-time break their resistance was broken as club captain Kevin Nolan appealed in vain for a foul, former Hammer Glen Johnson then played the ball to Luis Suarez who had his shot initially saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen but the Finn parried out to Demel, who could do nothing but watch the ball go into the net to give the home side a fortunate breakthrough.

That should have given the Hammers a chance to regroup during during the break, but Allardyce had to make a change as Stuart Downing had picked up an injury and was replaced by Joe Cole. The change didn't have any impact, as no sooner had the second-half got underway they fell further behind. On 47 minutes the home side were awarded a freekick for a foul by James Tomkins on Suarez. Steven Gerard took the set-piece and Demel couldn't get touch on the ball. Mamadou Sakho then mis-kicked and, when Collins tried to clear, he could only hit the ball into the crossbar. It eventually went in to have the home fans cheering again.

The East Londoners were thankful to Collins minutes later however as he was involved in a challenge with Gerard after Mark Noble and Tomkins were involved in a slight miscommunication, which Suarez benefited from. The Liverpool skipper appeared to come off worse and had to be replaced by Lucas Leva. In the meantime, Big Sam made a change of his own, as O'Brien came on to replace Tomkins after he seem to have picked up an injury.

On 66 minutes, the Hammers gave themselves hope when excellent buildup play between Demel, Jarvis and the skipper resulted in the midfielder playing the ball across goal and diverting in off the boot of Martin Skrtel.

Liverpool were piling on the pressure and they made it pay on 81 minutes, as Suarez continued his hot streak when he latched onto a superb cross from Johnson and powerfully headed past Jaaskelainen to claim his first goal against West Ham and give Brendan Rodgers' side more breathing space.

A minute later, Nolan made matters worse for West Ham as he received a straight red card for putting his studs into the calf of Jordan Henderson. The referee's decision means that he will now miss his team's next three games.

Two minutes later, however, the misery was compounded for the visitors as Suarez tried some clever moves before his shot was deflected in off O'Brien's shoulder giving Jaaskelainen no chance. Whilst the celebrations took place, Big Sam decided to replace Jarvis with Taylor.

The match could have ended just like it did on Wednesday night for Liverpool but West Ham the Irons got a huge slice of luck as Collins got away with scoring yet another own goal when Suarez had sent the ball across the box.

A terrible afternoon ended for the visitors when the final whistle blew after three minutes of stoppage time had been added. West Ham will look to start next week as they began this one with another home win as Sunderland come to Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.

Before then though, they will find out where and who their FA Cup run will begin against when the draw is made later today at 4:10pm this site will have all the details as soon as the draw is made.

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