Anfield Agony For Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 25 Feb 2018 13:36:00
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In sixteen years as a Premier League manager, David Moyes has never won at Anfield and that record continued on Saturday afternoon, as West Ham United's recent purple patch at the ground ended with a 4-1 defeat.

Two changes were made to the side that beat Watford in East London last time out, as Patrice Evra made his full debut for the club, while Manuel Lanzini was thrown straight back into the starting line-up after he had recovered from a hamstring injury with Michail Antonio and Javier Hernández dropping to the bench.

Liverpool were unbeaten in front of their home fans in the league going into the game and they obviously wanted to preserve that record. They were nearly in front inside three minutes but Mohamed Salah's effort was diverted onto the post by Adrián.

The Hammers were chasing only a third success on the road this campaign and had Jürgen Klopp's side worried on 16 minutes but unfortunately for the ever loyal travelling support, Marko Arnautovic's beautifully engineered lob hit the crossbar, despite the former Stoke City winger getting goal side of Joël Matip.

West Ham kept going but it was inevitable that the pressure from the hosts would eventually pay off and after a succession of corner kicks, the Reds opened the scoring on 29 minutes when Emre Can's thunderous header hit the back of the net.

The visitors weren't about to give up though as they wanted to try and get another result from a place that had served them so well in recent years. The ever reliable Arnautovic had another great chance on 42 minutes but unfortunately, goalkeeper Loris Karius made a great save to prevent him from equalising.

Despite going into the break behind, the Irons still had belief that they could cause another big Anfield upset.

That optimism soon disappeared as Klopp's men were on top from the restart.

They increased their advantage just six minutes in when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain did well to withstand the pressure from Cheikhou Kouyaté and set up Salah for the prolific striker to beat Adrián to add another goal to his tally for the season.

The home side were in total control by this point and added a third soon after and it was thanks to Oxlade-Chamberlain again. This time he pounced on an error from João Mário and although Adrián came out to try and retrieve the ball, Roberto Firmino managed to get past him and roll it into the empty net on 56 minutes.

A minute later, Moyes decided to bring an end to Lanzini's afternoon, as he was obviously thinking ahead to next weekend's key game against Swansea City and replaced him with Antonio. West Ham certainly reaped the benefits of that decision, as 70 seconds later he had given them a glimmer of hope when he was put through by Kouyaté and slipped the ball past Karius.

Sadio Mané went close to putting the visitors out of sight on 70 minutes when he only had Adrián to beat but fortunately for those in the away end, his effort came back off the post.

It wasn't long before the Senegalese striker did get his name on the scoresheet however, as seven minutes later he made amends to clinch the points for the home side and send the visiting players and fans back to the East End with nothing to show for their efforts.

Moyes made a double change on 83 minutes, with Hernández and Declan Rice taking the places of Arnautovic and Mário but it was too late to get anything out of the game.

It could be said that the trip to Merseyside was a free hit but next weekend, the pressure is back on, as the Hammers go to Wales in the hope that they can get something from The Liberty Stadium.

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