Pablo Fornals: These nights are for the West Ham United family
After scoring his third – and possibly fourth – goals against Liverpool in five appearances against them for West Ham United, Pablo Fornals dedicated the victory to the Claret and Blue Army who backed them all the way.
The Spaniard appeared to have opened the scoring inside four minutes when his arching corner kick looked to have sailed past visiting goalkeeper Alisson Becker – under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna – and directly in at the far post, although official sources later recorded it as an own-goal by the Brazilian.
Trent Alexander-Arnold equalised for Liverpool shortly before half-time but there was no mistaking the identity of West Ham’s second goalscorer.
Kick-started by a brilliant break from Jarrod Bowen, the effervescent Fornals collected the No20’s through ball and prodded the ball beyond Alisson with a quarter of the game remaining.
Minutes later, Kurt Zouma’s first West Ham United goal – another set-piece header – rendered Divock Origi’s late goal for Liverpool merely a consolation, bringing to an end the Reds’ long unbeaten run in the top-flight.
If teams want to be ahead of us, they need to come here and fight against us
What’s more, West Ham’s first win over Liverpool since January 2016 saw Fornals and the Irons leapfrog their visitors up to third in the Premier League table, ahead of the upcoming November international break.
Speaking at the full-time whistle, Fornals paid tribute to the almost 60,000-strong Claret and Blue Army - in which you can next take your place on 1 December, against Brighton & Hove Albion - who greeted the result with sheer euphoria.
“Obviously, we didn’t need to win because we were not favourites in any case,” Fornals reasoned. “But if teams want to be ahead of us, they need to come here and fight against us.
“That’s us, that’s how we are playing this season, and it’s the thing that’s brought us here.
“I like this day, in our Stadium, with our crowd. I’m really happy. These nights are really important for the West Ham family.
"We played against a really great team, a team close to us [in the table], and we needed to pass them. What a day to be a West Ham supporter, a West Ham player, being in this family.
"We’re just eleven games in – but fighting for each game as we did today, why can we not still dream, as we dreamt last season?"
Fornals also staked his claim for the opening goal, adding: “I don’t know how many goals I scored because for me, the first one was mine! I’m going to count it.
"It was great team performance. We know we are really dangerous from set-pieces.
"I think it’s logical [that it was my goal]. Alisson doesn’t want to [take it]… but that doesn’t matter, it’s not Pablo Fornals’ goal, it’s West Ham’s goal.
“It’s 3-2 – so that’s the most important thing."