West Ham United 2-0 Liverpool

Barclays Premier League 
West Ham United 2-0 Liverpool 

Two thumping headers in either half saw West Ham United record a famous league double over Liverpool, their first since 1963.  

After their heroics at Anfield back in August, Slaven Bilic’s men had the bit between their teeth at the Boleyn Ground, making it six points in a week and extending their unbeaten run to seven. 

Michail Antonio got the ball rolling as early as the tenth minute, powering home from Enner Valencia’s inviting centre. 

Manuel Lanzini struck the frame of the goal for the hosts, before Emre Can did likewise at the other end. But Andy Carroll, on his 150th Barclays Premier League appearance, towered above Liverpool defenders to double the Hammers’ lead in emphatic fashion.        

West Ham’s starting XI had a more familiar look about it with Aaron Cresswell restored to left-back and Lanzini making his first start in a month. 

But Jordan Ibe gave the Hammers a scare inside five minutes. The visitors moved it neatly around the box and the 20-year-old, from the right-edge of the area, angled a drive which flashed just wide of Adrian’s far post. 

West Ham’s riposte went one better, with a goal that started and finished with Antonio. 

The winger turned on the after burners to dispossess Alberto Moreno deep in Hammers territory. Moreno cried foul, vociferously, but referee Bobby Madley decided otherwise. Over to Cheikhou Kouyate, who made ground down the right, and a lot of it, before laying it off to Valencia. 

The diminutive Ecuadorian then swung the perfect ball into the middle and there was Antonio to crash a bullet header beyond a well-beaten Simon Mignolet.      

Bilic’s men grew in confidence and so nearly snaffled a second. Lanzini’s drive moved considerably in the air, so much so that Mignolet was a mere bystander as the shot bounced back off the frame of the goal. 

Seconds later and Cresswell’s low cross had Antonio on the move. He darted across the near post but his header drifted beyond the far.    

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Bilic’s men. Lanzini, sadly, was in some discomfort and trundled off to be replaced by Pedro Obiang after 39 minutes.   

The hosts, meanwhile, continued to press for a second. Antonio, as is his way, muscled his way into the box and when it fell to Valencia, the No11 waited a fraction too long and then slashed at his eventual effort.  

Into first-half stoppage it went and Liverpool were a whisker away from levelling matters. Roberto Firmino fed Can and the German, 18 yards out, duly curled a side-footer against the angle of post and bar.       

Philippe Coutinho, relatively quiet until now, dropped a shoulder and tried his luck soon after the restart. It had far too much air, thankfully, and Adrian watched it sail comfortably over.  

Christian Benteke’s opportunity was a significantly better one. Moreno scampered in behind and squared for the Belgian, who, with his right foot, made a mess of it.  

Carroll made no such mistake, gobbling up his chance with glee on 55 minutes. Captain Mark Noble delivered with whip and pace from the right and Carroll climbed high and with conviction to power an unstoppable header into the far corner. How the big No9 enjoys scoring in front of the Bobby Moore Stand!  

Jurgen Klopp’s response? A double change. On came Adam Lallana and Brad Smith, while Dimitri Payet’s return was a sight for sore eyes for all those of a Claret and Blue persuasion. The Frenchman replaced Valencia after 65 minutes.      

It should have been three. Cresswell hung up a cross from the left and Mignolet had to be at his very best to deny Carroll a second from six yards. Even then, it fell to Antonio, whose bundled it goalwards, only for Liverpool’s stopper to come to a rescue a second time. 

As the clock ticked down, Lucas Leiva saw a header cleared off the line by Noble, before Coutinho’s strike from the edge of the box cannoned into the chest of Carroll. Kouyate saw a late drive palmed away, while Joe Allen nodded wide at the far post, but this was very much West Ham's day!  

West Ham United: Adrian, Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Kouyate, Lanzini (Obiang 39), Noble (c), Antonio (Jenkinson 86), Valencia (Payet 65), Carroll
Subs: Randolph (GK), Song, Zarate, Jelavic 

Goals: Antonio 10, Carroll 55  

Booked: Lanzini   

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Lovren, Sakho (Allen 81), Moreno (Smith 61), Lucas, Can, Ibe, Firmino (Lallana 61), Coutinho, Benteke 
Subs:  Bogdan (GK), Toure, Brannagan, Randall

Booked: Lucas 

Referee: Bobby Madley