Mane Returns As Liverpool Crush West Ham

Nov 05, 2017, 01:11
Mane Returns As Liverpool Crush West Ham

Manuel Lanzini had briefly dragged West Ham into the game at 2-1, but they finished being booed off for the second home match in a row.

Asked after Saturday's defeat if he still had West Ham's backing, Bilic told BT Sport: "It's hard for me to talk about that now".

In contrast to Bilic's woes, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has silenced his critics for the moment thanks to the Reds' third successive win in all competitions.

"I don't know. There are two situations".

Liverpool made the most of their escape and opened the scoring with a lethal counter-attack in the 21st minute. Mane played to the left and Roberto Firmino led the line, which resulted in Salah playing as number 10, theoretically bridging the gap between midfield and attack.

Liverpool put the game beyond the Hammers in the 75th minute after Salah was picked out by Mane.

Bilic and his players were jeered by furious West Ham fans and it would be little surprise if the Croatian was dismissed during the forthcoming global break.

This saw Liverpool defending deeper and Klopp's midfield of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum, Emre Can and the returning Sadio Mane holding firm and breaking quickly. Two early goals from set-pieces, though, meant Liverpool didn't need to prove themselves unsafe in open play.

There have been occasions when West Ham have been genuinely terrible under Bilic.

The Hammers dropped to 17th, with just a point separating them from the relegation zone. But aside from that somewhat fortunate chance, there was otherwise nothing to shout about here. Lanzini floated around on the periphery, forced to spend too long on the left rather than in the centre where he can only play when West Ham have possession.

He turned Winston Reid inside-out on the halfway line, leaving the Kiwi mesmerised, and fed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who got his first Premier League goal for the Reds at the second time of asking, with Joe Hart saving his initial effort.

West Ham barely had time to process what had happened, before inexplicably conceding another.

When Ayew's cross looped into the Liverpool area, Joe Gomez misjudged the ball's flight, allowing Lanzini to deftly control before firing past Mignolet.

And speaking after Liverpool's victory at the London Stadium, Oxlade-Chamberlain vowed to continue to improve.

Michael Cox is the editor of zonalmarking.net and a contributor to ESPN FC.

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