Liverpool 4 – 1 West Ham United
Liverpool’s attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all found the net as the Hammers fell to a 4-1 defeat at Anfield on Saturday.
Salah, Firmino and Mane have been winning plaudits all season and they showed exactly what they are capable of, taking the game away from the Hammers after the break.
Emre Can’s first half header got the goalscoring underway, and although Michail Antonio briefly gave the visitors hope by making it 3-1 just before the hour, Liverpool reasserted their authority when Mane rounded off the scoring near the end.
The Reds went within a whisker of taking the lead as early as the third minute when Salah’s touch took him away from James Collins inside the area and his low shot was touched onto the post superbly by Adrian.
With six minutes on the clock the Hammers fans sang as one in memory of Bobby Moore, on the 25th anniversary of his passing.
Nine minutes later, Marko Arnautovic so nearly gave the visitors the lead when he found himself one-on-one with Joel Matip and opted to take the shot on early, striking the crossbar with a deft lob.
So much has been said of Liverpool’s three-pronged attack this season, so the Hammers would have been bitterly disappointed to fall behind to a simple goal from a corner, Emre Can rising to nod home from Salah’s delivery. Adrian’s protests that he had been blocked by James Milner fell on deaf ears and the hosts led.
West Ham’s threat had been sporadic, but they did look dangerous when they got Arnautovic on the ball and he forced a save from Loris Karius three minutes before the break when his long range shot swerved in the air and needed tipping over.
The Hammers would have felt they were still in the game at the break, but Liverpool took it away from them with a two-goal blast inside the first twelve minutes of the second period.
First, Salah rolled into the bottom corner after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s persistence took him away from Cheikhou Kouyate’s attempts to tackle him, then Firmino made it 3-0, racing onto Emre Can’s ball over the top, beating Adrian to the pass and slotting home.
David Moyes introduced Michail Antonio from the bench in response, and his first involvement was to cut the deficit, beating Karius after he was sent through by Kouyate’s raking pass.
Liverpool kept on coming though and Sadio Mane should have made it 4-1 with 20 minutes left, but he could only hit the post with just Adrian to beat.
Seven minutes later he made amends, forcing home after Andrew Robertson crossed low from the left to round off the home side's win.
Liverpool: Karius, Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson, Can, Milner (c), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane (Moreno 87), Salah (Solanke 87), Firmino (Lallana 82)
Subs: Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson
Goals: Can 29, Salah 51, Firmino 56, Mane 77
West Ham United: Adrian, Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra, Noble (c), Kouyate, Mario (Rice 83), Lanzini (Antonio 57), Arnautovic (Chicharito 83)
Subs: Hart, Reid, Hugill, Byram
Goal: Antonio 59
Booked: Collins, Kouyate
Referee: Stuart Attwell