Hammers End Hoodoo In Style
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 30 Aug 2015 12:27:00
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Finally, West Ham fans can stop the talk of 1963, as their team continued their unbeaten run on the road, as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on Liverpool, as they beat them 3-0 at Anfield on Saturday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic made two changes to the side that suffered the home defeat to AFC Bournemouth last weekend, as James Tomkins filled in at right back for the suspended Carl Jenkinson. 

There was a space in midfield due to the departure of Kevin Nolan on Thursday, so Manuel Lanzini came in for his first Premier League start. Mark Noble took the captain's armband and led the team out onto the pitch.

The visitors were keen to make amends for the last two performances and had Liverpool on the back foot from the start.

They went in front as early as the third minute. The day got better for Lanzini when he celebrated his first Premier League goal. Aaron Cresswell crossed the ball into the box and found the Argentine, who fired the ball past Simon Mignolet.

After a slow start, the home side began to pile the pressure on. Just six minutes later, the Hammers survived an almighty scare when Roberto Firmino beat Darren Randolph but the ball came back off the post.

The East Londoners could have added to their lead on 12 minutes, when Cheikou Kouyate broke and sent Diafra Sakho racing away but he was halted by an excellent block from Martin Skrtel.

On 15 minutes, Lanzini was close to finding a second, but the effort dribbled wide of the post.

The visitors were really taking control of the game and on 26 minutes, after Dimitri Payet had played Kouyate through his shot took a deflection and fell to Cresswell, whose effort again went wide.

The Irons had plenty of chances to double their lead but couldn't make any of them count until 29 minutes, when Dejan Lovren made a crucial error which was seized upon by Lanzini, who set up Noble to slot into the net. What a start for the new captain!

Noble nearly grabbed another goal on 36 minutes when a great team move involving Winston Reid and Sakho set him up, but this time he wasn't so lucky as the ball went wide.

The new skipper was involved in the thick of the action again, as on 38 minutes, he went into referee Kevin Friend's book for a late challenge on Emre Can.

Four minutes of stoppage time were signalled at the end of the half and West Ham seemed content to hold on to what they had.

The half-time whistle blew and both teams went down the tunnel with the home side knowing they had work to do if they were to find a way back into the game.

During the break, the Reds made a change replacing Can with Alberto Moreno and the Spaniard was involved straight away, as he stopped the run of Kouyate by making a last-ditch interception.

West Ham were given a boost on 52 minutes when Philippe Coutinho was given a second yellow card and sent to the dressing room for what Friend perceived to be a foul on Payet and Liverpool were down to ten men.

Despite a spell of Liverpool pressure, the Hammers weathered the storm and had another chance of their own on 75 minutes when Creswell nearly found a third goal, but saw his effort well saved by Mignolet.

A minute later, Payet's corner found Reid, who rose highest and could have made it three, only to see his header fall just past the post.

After being booked in the first half, Noble was given a straight red for sliding in late on Liverpool substitute Danny Ings. Replays showed that the midfielder had clearly got a touch to the ball first.

With ten minutes of normal time remaining, Bilic made his first change, as Reece Oxford replaced Lanzini and seven minutes later, Matt Jarvis came on in place of the impressive Payet.

Two minutes into the allotted seven added on for stoppages, West Ham made the points safe, as Sakho produced a great run to get into the box and beat Mignolet to send the travelling fans into dreamland.

That was Sakho's final contribution as Josh Cullen replaced him. The youngster was another making his league debut for the club.

There was little time for him to make an impact though, as the final whistle blew and the Hammers had picked up a second consecutive away win at a place they normally find it difficult to collect anything from. The result also meant that Brendan Rodgers side had conceded their first league goals of the campaign.

Now all they need to do is get their home form up and running and make it back-to-back wins when Newcastle United visit Upton Park on September 14 after the International break.


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