West Ham United 0-3 Liverpool FT

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Liverpool
Boleyn Ground
Saturday 9 May
Referee: Alan Wiley

Match report

Full-time - West Ham United 0-3 Liverpool

93 mins - Kuyt's low shot does not trouble Green, but Liverpool are finishing the stronger of the two sides. Into the final minute and Tomkins concedes a corner. Lucas trots over to take the kick short to Mascherano and ball breaks out for a goal-kick. Green hits the ball upfield and referee Wiley blows for full-time. Despite the scoreline, the home supporters give the Hammers a decent reception. They did not play that badly, instead Liverpool simply took their chances when they were presented and now sit back on top of the Premier League table. For West Ham, it may be a case of having to win both of their remaining fixtures to secure seventh place at a UEFA Europa League spot.

92 mins - Gerrard comes close to a hat-trick, but his shot is deflected into the side-netting by Upson.

90 mins - Into the final minute and the home fans are in fine voice, to their credit. There will be at least three minutes of added-time.

88 mins - Liverpool's supporters have had a good day and celebrate with a traditional chorus of You'll Never Walk Alone as the clock runs down.

86 mins - Tomkins makes an uncharacteristic mistake in heading the ball straight to Gerrard, but central defensive partner Upson makes up for it by making a superbly timed challenge.

84 mins - GOAL! More bad luck for Robert Green. Gerrard finds Kuyt wide on the right, he crosses to the back post where Babel is unmarked. The Dutchman heads at goal and the ball hits the goalkeeper, only to bounce back into Babel's path and he lashes into the net from close-range.

83 mins - There are now five Academy graduates on the pitch. Sears, Collison, Noble, Payne and Tomkins are all in action.

82 mins - Liverpool make their final change, bringing on full-back Andrea Dossena for Benayoun.

81 mins - Payne goes on a run down the right wing, producing a couple of step-overs along the way, but his low cross is cut out.

80 mins - Boa Morte gets a good reception as he is replaced by Payne for the final ten minutes.

79 mins - Josh Payne is going to come on for his second Premier League appearance.

78 mins - Tristan has the ball in the net, but the assistant referee's flag has long since been raised for offside.

77 mins - Boa Morte is brought down again. Mascherano receives a yellow card for the challenge.

75 mins - Benayoun brings down former team-mate Noble and is quick to apologise. Noble clips the ball into the box and Carragher does superbly to head the ball clear.

72 mins - Torres' afternoon is over. He heads for the touchline to be replaced by Ryan Babel.

71 mins - More good play from Noble nearly finds a way through but Skrtel is alert and hooks the ball clear from inside the Liverpool six yard box.

70 mins - Di Michele is replaced by Freddie Sears.

69 mins - Super play from Noble. He skips past Lucas before delaying his pass long enough to allow Ilunga in behind the Liverpool back-four. The DR Congo man pulls the ball into the path of Di Michele, but the Italian can only hook his shot wide of the near post from a tight angle. Good move, though.

68 mins - Savio, Jonathan Spector and Payne are all warming up on the touchline. Will any of them be called upon during the final 20 minutes.

65 mins - Benayoun feigns to shoot at least twice before pulling the trigger, sending the ball just wide of the post from 20 yards.

64 mins - Collison's clever reverse pass sends Ilunga clear. He cuts inside one challenge but over-runs the ball slightly and Liverpool clear. Seconds later, Collison tries an ambitious pass with the outside of his boot that skips just in front of a sliding Tristan.

60 mins - Boa Morte wins yet another free-kick down the right flank, the latest for being barged over by Skrtel. Noble crosses and Arbeloa heads clear to Collison, whose shot is blocked. Liverpool race clear on a three-man counter-attack. Gerrard feeds Kuyt but Green makes a good save low to his left to divert the ball behind. West Ham deal with the resulting corner.

59 mins - Stanislas is the man to make way for fellow Academy graduate Collison. The Wales international receives a big cheer when his name is read out.

58 mins - Gerrard stings Green's palms with a low shot after Torres had dummied Kuyt's low cross. Collison is now ready to come on.

57 mins - It looks like Jack Collison will be entering the fray soon.

56 mins - Upson's new shirt has no number or name on it.

54 mins - Liverpool come close-ish to a third goal. Kuyt bursts on to Benayoun's ball and, eventually, crosses for Torres, who heads on to the roof of Green's net from ten yards. Meanwhile, Aurelio is withdrawn in place of 20-year-old Argentine Emiliano Insua.

53 mins - Boa Morte, who has been lively, wins another free-kick. Noble takes it short to Stanislas, whose shot is deflected behind for a corner by Mascherano.

51 mins - West Ham are down to ten-man for the time being as Upson receives some running repairs on the sideline. It looks like he needs a new shirt as his old one was bloodied. The England defender gets a few whistles as he also changes his shorts. Liverpool nearly take advantage as Kuyt crosses deep to the far post, but Benayoun can only direct his half-volley over the crossbar.

50 mins - Gerrard is human, after all. Kuyt crosses to the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielder's control is poor and the ball skips through to Green. Boa Morte launches a one-man counter-attack and is blocked off by Aurelio, who is booked for the challenge. Noble delivers the resulting free-kick, but Tristan can only head over.

48 mins - Boa Morte tries to pick out Noble's run, but he underhits his pass. Good idea, but poor execution. Today's attendance is 34,951, nearly a full-house!

46 mins - And we're off and running again...

Liverpool are the first of the two teams back out on to the pitch. Mascherano exchanges a handshake with former team-mate Freddie Sears, who has been out warming-up during the interval. A minute or so later, West Ham join their opponents on the playing surface and we're nearly ready to go again. Can the Hammers salvage something?

Half-time - West Ham United 0-2 Liverpool

48 mins - Torres nearly makes it 3-0. Tomkins heads back towards Green but Torres challenges Upson and the goalkeeper for the ball and wins the header. The ball loops towards the net, only to bounce a yard wide.

47 mins - West Ham may be 2-0 down but they have far from been out-classed here. An early goal after the break could see them get something out of this game yet. Liverpool have had only a handful of chances, but they have taken them and, as things stand, will go back to the top of the table at full-time.

45 mins - There will be three added minutes.

44 mins - Di Michele gets clear of the Liverpool back-four and bears down on goal with Carragher in hot pursuit. He knocks the ball past the goalkeeper and appears to lose his footing as it rolls wide. Wiley thinks the forward has dived and books him. Replays suggest he simply fell over.

43 mins - Boa Morte is penalised for a foul on Aurelio. Kovac expresses his displeasure to referee Wiley and follows the Portuguese winger into his notebook.

41 mins - Credit to the Hammers for giving it a go. Tristan forces a corner off Skrtel. Noble takes and Upson gets his head on the ball, only for it to bounce harmlessly wide.

40 mins - Noble launches another free-kick into the Liverpool penalty area. Tomkins rises highest but can only direct his header wide of the post.

38 mins - GOAL! Poor old Robert Green. The England goalkeeper dives full-length to his right to keep out Gerrard's penalty, only for the ball to spin across the six yard box for the midfielder to slot into the net from two yards.

37 mins - Penalty! Boa Morte is penalised for bringing down Torres and referee Wiley points to the spot. Boa Morte is booked for his troubles. Gerrard will take the kick...

36 mins - A bit of controversy as Lucas appears to bring down Boa Morte, but nothing is given.

34 mins - Noble does superbly to hold off Gerrard, leaving the goalscorer on his backside before launching a fine cross-field pass to Neill. The Under-21 man is having a good game so far, regardless of the scoreline.

33 mins - Tristan tries a clever reverse pass over the Reds back-four to Stanislas, but the ball is too powerfully hit and Reina collects. Liverpool have had 56 per cent of the possession so far, but that number is coming down all the time as the Hammers strive to find an equaliser before the break.

30 mins - Steve Clarke and manager Zola are in deep conversation in the dugout. West Ham are more than holding their own but lack a cutting edge. What can the duo do to change that? The answer, for now, is to send Walter Lopez, Jack Collison and Josh Payne for a trot along the touchline.

27 mins - Tristan gives the ball away and Gerrard plays in Benayoun, only for Tomkins to make a superb tackle inside the West Ham penalty area. Top defending that. West Ham break, but Tristan's long-range shot doesn't have the power to trouble Reina.

26 mins - Noble, who has made a bright start, wins a free-kick down the left after being held back by Arbeloa. Noble himself takes and Kovac heads over from close-range. That was a decent chance.

25 mins - Good play from Kovac and Noble releases Stanislas down the left, but the winger's cross is overhit and bounces out for a throw-in.

21 mins - Neill is penalised for a foul on Torres just outside the penalty area. Tomkins appeared to win the ball from the striker, but referee Wiley pointed at Neill as the perpetrator, much to the captain's annoyance. The free-kick is 25 yards from goal. Aurelio rolls the ball to Gerrard, who launches it into the Bobby Moore Stand.

20 mins - West Ham are back in this game, but they just cannot create a clear-cut opening to trouble Reina. As I say that, Liverpool take advantage of a loose Neill pass to threaten, but Upson clears the danger.

17 mins - Torres is sent clear again but James Tomkins defends superbly to hold the Spaniard up and the ball is eventually cleared to safety.

15 mins - Liverpool force their first corner as Ilunga challenges Kuyt. Gerrard takes, Green punches clear, Aurelio fires the ball back into the penalty area where Skrtel feeds Torres, but the striker's shot is way too high.

13 mins - West Ham nearly do just that. Noble clips the ball into the area where Diego Tristan flicks on with his head, forcing Reina into a diving save low to his left. Encouraging signs.

12 mins - It would be fair to say that Liverpool are controlling the game. The Reds appear content to keep the ball at the back and knock it around in a bid to draw West Ham out. To the Hammers' credit, they are holding firm and seeing a fair amount of the ball themselves. It is just a matter of doing something with it in the final third.

10 mins - Looking at Liverpool's formation, it looks like Gerrard has licence to roam wherever he pleases. Kuyt has also been keen to get up and join Torres.

7 mins - A bit of respite for the home side as Martin Skrtel brings down David Di Michele on the halfway line. The Hammers work the ball forward deep into Liverpool territory before Benayoun is able to clear. Boa Morte gets round Aurelio soon afterwards, but his cross is gathered easily by Reina.

6 mins - Gerrard sets Torres clear down the right, but Upson does well to muscle his way back and nick the ball off the Spaniard before clearing for a throw-in.

4 mins - Gerrard nearly returns the favour for Torres, but Green is out smartly to gather the ball on the slide.

2 mins - GOAL! From their first attack, Liverpool striker Torres plays in Gerrard, who beats the West Ham offside trap before rounding Robert Green and slotting the ball into the empty net. Not the best of starts for the home side. Replays show Gerrard was being played onside by Lucas Neill. The goal was timed at 77 seconds.

1 min - Liverpool get us underway. 

5.30pm - Benayoun and Mascherano both receive a round of applause as the two teams are read out. The cheers are much louder for the home team, though, as you might expect. There is a slight delay as we wait for the go-ahead to kick-off, probably something to do with the game being screened live by Setanta Sports. Anyway, we're nearly ready to go now. West Ham will attack towards the Centenary Stand.

5.27pm - Here come the two teams! The floodlights are on here at the Boleyn Ground as West Ham and Liverpool enter the pitch to the strains of 'Bubbles'. Liverpool are in their change kit of dark green shirts, black shorts and dark green socks. There is a good atmosphere in the stadium this evening. No need for any cardboard 'clappers' at the Boleyn!

5.25pm - Five minutes to go until kick-off and the Boleyn Ground pitch has received one last soaking from the sprinklers, making the surface nice and slick for two teams who like to pass the ball. West Ham won this fixture 1-0 last season thanks to Mark Noble's 93rd minute penalty. More of the same would be very welcome as the Hammers bid for a place in Europe for the first time in three seasons. It will not be easy for Zola's men, though, as Liverpool have been beaten just once in their last eleven matches, scoring 35 goals in the process.

5.20pm - Today's referee is Alan Wiley, the same man who took control of the 2006 FA Cup final between the same two sides. If today's game is half as entertaining, we're in for a cracker. Liverpool have three survivors from that day, Steven Gerrard, Jose Reina and Jamie Carragher. Yossi Benayoun, who played for West Ham that afternoon, starts today for Liverpool. Manager Zola has confirmed that Carlton Cole, who returned to full training on Friday, will be in contention for a place in the West Ham squad for next Saturday's trip to Everton.

5.15pm - More good news for Hammers fans is the presence of England striker Dean Ashton at today's game. Manager Zola has confirmed that the 25-year-old is hoping to be back in action in time for the start of pre-season training in early July. West Ham are now having a bit of shooting practice, with Lastuvka and Kurucz taking turns in goal. Diego Tristan sends in a beauty that hits both posts before bouncing to safety. Let's hope the Spaniard has better luck once the action gets underway.

5.10pm - A few big names are in the press box today working for various radio stations and newspapers. Ex-Arsenal man Ray Parlour is here, as is former Charlton Athletic defender Steve Brown. Jack Collison and Josh Payne, who have come through the Academy ranks together, are enjoying a passing drill on what looks to be a fantastic playing surface here at the Boleyn Ground. The tannoy is blasting out a tune by West Ham-supporting band The Rifles, who are also here to watch today's game.

5.05pm - Liverpool's players are having a game of keep-ball but Fernando Torres does not look interested. Instead, the Spain striker is going through a series of stretches on his own. After a while, however, he joins in with his team-mates. At the other end of the pitch, West Ham's players are doing likewise. Interestingly, both teams in the West Ham game are wearing different coloured bibs - red and green - while Liverpool have opted for the one-bib option, with one team just playing in their club training tops.

5pm - While West Ham fight for a European place, the picture at the bottom end of the table is just as cloudy. Defeat for Hull City at home to Stoke City combined with a home win for West Bromwich Albion over Wigan Athletic have made things even more interesting in the battle to stay up. Newcastle United and Middlesbrough - who meet on Monday evening - and West Brom now all have 31 points, with Hull on 34 and Sunderland, who drew 0-0 at Bolton Wanderers today, on 36. Meanwhile, Liverpool's players are out on the pitch for their warm-up.

4.55pm - The results from the 3pm kick-offs around the Premier League are in. Tottenham Hotspur have drawn 1-1 at Everton, drawing them level on 48 points with West Ham but above Gianfranco Zola's team on goals scored. The really bad news has come from Craven Cottage, where Fulham have beaten Aston Villa 3-1 to climb into seventh place on 50 points. So, the Hammers will start today's match in ninth place, but a victory over Liverpool will put them back above both Spurs and Fulham into seventh with two matches remaining. West Ham's other rivals for a UEFA Europa League place, Manchester City, travel the short distance to Old Trafford to take on leaders Manchester United tomorrow. For the Reds, a win tonight will take them above United on goal difference.

4.50pm - Welcome to the Boleyn Ground for this afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash between West Ham United and Liverpool. The stands are slowly filling up, while Hammers' goalkeepers Robert Green, Jan Lastuvka and Peter Kurucz are being put through their paces by Ludek Miklosko. The rest of the squad emerge from the tunnel for their pre-match warm-up to a gentle round of applause.

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola named an unchanged side from the one that secured a 1-0 victory at Stoke City a week ago. On the bench, the only change saw the return of Savio in place of Zavon Hines.

For Liverpool, Fernando Torres returned to the starting lineup after missing last week's 3-0 win over Newcastle United with a hamstring injury, while former Hammers Javier Mascherano and Yossi Benayoun were also in Rafael Benitez's team.

West Ham United: Green, Neill, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Boa Morte (Payne 80), Kovac, Noble, Stanislas (Collison 59), Di Michele (Sears 70), Tristan
Subs: Lastuvka, Spector, Lopez, Savio

Liverpool: Reina, Arbeloa, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio (Insua 54), Lucas, Mascherano, Benayoun (Dossena 82), Kuyt, Gerrard, Torres (Babel 72)
Subs: Cavalieri, Hyypia, Degen, Ngog