Hammers extend unbeaten run at Anfield
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 12 Dec 2016 10:59:00
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West Ham United had dropped into the relegation zone before Sunday's game at Liverpool, but a 2-2 draw at Anfield meant they moved out of the bottom three and started a vital week in the best way possible.

Aaron Cresswell and Michail Antonio returned from injury and were straight back into the starting line-up, as four changes were made from last weekend's 5-1 home reverse at the hands of Arsenal, as Havard Nordtvieit and Andre Ayew also came in.

Andy Carroll was desperate to start against his former club but again found himself on the bench.

In the opening stages, the Hammers were struggling to get a touch of the ball and were made to pay with just five minutes gone, as good link-up play between Sadio Mane and Divock Origi set up Adam Lallana to place the ball past Darren Randolph, giving his side the perfect reaction to their 4-3 defeat at AFC Bournemouth last weekend.

After that early shock, West Ham started to pile on the pressure and went close on a number of occasions, as both Manuel Lanzini and Antonio were denied shortly after, but the travelling support were given a boost as Dimitri Payet equalised with one of his trademark freekicks which Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius really should have done better with.

The home side were mindful of what happened in their last match but Slaven Bilic's side were dreaming of another Anfield victory.

The leveller clearly rocked Jürgen Klopp's team and the East Londoners were looking to take advantage and they so nearly did, but Creswell missed with a long-range effort before the hosts went up the other end and tried to restore their lead but Roberto Firmino failed to test Randolph, as his effort was dragged wide.

On 39 minutes, West Ham went in front when Antonio added to his tally for the season but this time, he scored with his feet as he latched on to Nordtveit's pass and finished past Karius, meaning West Ham lead at Anfield again.

Liverpool were desperate to try and equalise but were unable to find the breakthrough going into the break.

The home side could not believe their luck at the start of the second-half, as they were back on level terms barely three minutes in. Randolph couldn't hold onto the ball from a cross and Origi benefited.

Just after the hour, Bilic made his first change, as Carroll replaced Ayew and six minutes later, he changed personnel again, as Fernandes entered the fray in place of Lanzini.

Randolph certainly made up for his earlier error on 70 minutes, as he produced a quite stupendous save from Reds'skipper Jordan Henderson.

Klopp's men had a number of chances to clinch all three points but the Hammers were determined to hold on to what they had and stood firm.

West Ham were happy to extend their unbeaten run at Anfield but now head into two crucial home games against two of the newly-promoted clubs with Burnley first up on Wednesday night.

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