Sunday 25 Feb
Updated Sunday 25 Feb 22:30

Moyes: I felt we could have made more of our chances at Liverpool

David Moyes at Anfield


David Moyes felt his players did not make the most of their attacking opportunities in Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League defeat at Liverpool.

Goals from Emre Can, Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane condemned West Ham United to just their second top-flight loss of the calendar year and third in 13 matches overall, but it could have been different if the visitors had taken their chances at Anfield.

Marko Arnautovic was twice denied by home goalkeeper Loris Karius before half-time, while the Austrian also carried the ball into a number of dangerous positions as the Hammers took the game to the Reds in the opening 45 minutes.

Moyes felt his in-form No7 should have been more selfish and gone for goal himself, rather that looked for his teammates in the final third, only to see those attacks fizzle out.

“Marko has been really good, I’ve got to say, he’s been great,” said the manager, when asked to assess Arnautovic’s contribution. “We’re demanding of him that his effort is big and he keeps his running stats up, which have been very good and physically, he does that job for the team.

“His ability is not in question and he is capable of doing anything on the ball. On Saturday, he got away a couple of times and I wanted him to go on his own, but he waited for support and laid a couple of balls off instead of going on his own against players I thought he had a chance to stand them up and take them on.

“He’s doing a good job for us, he’s a real threat, we like him a lot and we’re really pleased with his work.”


Marko Arnautovic carried the biggest threat for the Hammers at Liverpool on Saturday
Marko Arnautovic carried the biggest threat for the Hammers at Liverpool on Saturday


As it turned out, Moyes was left to rue his team’s inability to turn first-half purpose into goals as Liverpool turned on the style in the second half.

The hosts’ famed front three all scored, leaving the Scot without a win at Anfield in 15 visits as a manager and lamenting what might have been had his players been as clinical as Salah, Firmino and Sane were after the break.

“Maybe before, you might have had a [Fernando] Torres with [Steven] Gerrard behind him, you now have three forward players. I think the system they play is a very compact front three and it does have weaknesses that, if you have a strong enough team, you can exploit.

“With three in their midfield, it means you can get into wide areas and maybe cause them some problems because there’s maybe not quite so much protection, but we didn’t have a chance to get into those areas as much as we’d have liked.

“I thought we still carried a threat, particularly in the first half and could have perhaps made more of our chances.

“For a lot of teams, they make it very difficult because they put a lot of pressure on you and are in good positions to press, especially their midfield three and their front three. If you can exploit them, it will be at the back because of their system.

“But I do think their front three are a real handful on their day and, at the moment, Salah is the one you feel can make the difference and the things he does are what you need to try and stop overall.”