West Ham 1 – 3 LiverpoolJanuary 31, 2021
Mohamed Salah produced two moments of magic as Liverpool’s recovery continued with a 3-1 win at West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Egyptian ended his six-game goal drought in the league by cutting in from the right and curling a trademark shot inside the far post on 57 minutes, after Liverpool had struggled in the final third up to that point.
He then doubled his tally and Liverpool’s advantage with a sublime touch and finish to convert a counter-attack 11 minutes later, before Gini Wijnaldum capped the win five minutes from time, tucking in from close range after neat play from subs Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Craig Dawson grabbed a late consolation (87), finishing smartly from a corner, but Liverpool – inspired by the brilliant Salah – are now up to third in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
West Ham – who saw their six-game winning streak across all competitions come to an end – are now five points behind the Reds in fifth.
West Ham: Fabianski (6), Cresswell (7), Coufal (7), Dawson (7), Ogbonna (6), Soucek (6), Rice (6), Fornals (6), Bowen (6), Benrahma (5), Antonio (5).
Subs: Yarmolenko (6), Noble (6), Fredericks (6)
Liverpool: Alisson (6), Alexander-Arnold (7), Henderson (7), Phillips (7), Robertson (6), Milner (6), Thiago (7), Wijnaldum (6), Salah (9), Shaqiri (7), Origi (6).
Subs: Jones (7), Firmino (7), Oxlade-Chamberlain (7)
Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
How it happened
After five league games without a win, Liverpool returned to form in their 3-1 victory over Tottenham on Thursday but struggled to find their cutting edge during the first-half at the London Stadium.
Divock Origi – in for the injured Sadio Mane – sent a shot off target from a tight angle before Gini Wijnaldum blasted over soon after and Salah nodded wide 22 minutes in.
West Ham were yet to have a shot by that point but Pablo Fornals then forced Andy Robertson to head away his deflected goal bound shot before Craig Dawson pulled off a similarly crucial intervention at the other end, throwing his body in front of Xherdan Shaqiri’s drive.
Nat Phillips, stepping in at centre back with Joel Matip and Fabinho added to Liverpool’s injury list, headed away a dangerous free-kick before Michail Antonio met another high cross to warm Alisson’s hands with the first effort on target of the match on 40 minutes.
- West Ham named an unchanged side from the XI which beat Crystal Palace in midweek.
- Divock Origi came in for the injured Sadio Mane, while Nat Phillips came in at centre-back alongside Jordan Henderson.
It was Liverpool who finished the half on the front foot, though, with Origi steering a fine Thiago Alcantara pass wide of the near post before Salah struck down Lukasz Fabianski’s throat on the stroke of half-time.
Liverpool picked up that momentum from the restart with Aaron Cresswell making a superb block to deny Salah from close range before Origi fired into the side-netting and Salah flicked a header on to Fabianski from a long Henderson pass.
Antonio then passed up a fantastic chance, shooting wide from just inside the box after James Milner was caught wrong-footed – and West Ham were made to pay.
Milner was subbed off after that incident and cameras caught him having a long exchange with boss Jurgen Klopp about why he had been removed – but the pair were celebrating on the touchline seconds later when Milner’s replacement Curtis Jones fed Salah break the deadlock.
Salah’s left-foot strike ended his six-game Premier League goal drought and took him to 20 goals in all competitions for the fourth consecutive season, a feat not achieved at Liverpool since Ian Rush in the 1980s.
He increased that tally further on 68 minutes when Liverpool broke away from a West Ham corner. Trent Alexander-Arnold sent a long ball forward for Shaqiri and his lobbed pass into the box was beautifully controlled and then finished with two slick touches by Salah.
Substitutes Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain played a neat one-two on the edge of the box before setting Wijnaldum up for Liverpool’s third to make sure of the points, and although West Ham belatedly made their strength at set-pieces count with Dawson’s close range finish, Liverpool made it back-to-back away wins for the first time in the Premier League this season to move back into title contention.
West Ham are away to Aston Villa on Wednesday at 8.15pm, while Liverpool host Brighton on Wednesday at 8.15pm.