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"We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we're building for what I think is the modern NBA." —Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer: “Difficult” Blake Griffin trade moves Clippers toward modern NBA
"We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we're building for what I think is the modern NBA." —Steve Ballmer
"We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we're building for what I think is the modern NBA." —Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer: “Difficult” Blake Griffin trade moves Clippers toward modern NBA
"We have to add some pieces obviously, but I think we're building for what I think is the modern NBA." —Steve Ballmer
Shareef O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, has decommitted from Arizona.
Shareef O’Neal decommits from Arizona
Shareef O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, has decommitted from Arizona.
Shareef O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, has decommitted from Arizona.
Shareef O’Neal decommits from Arizona
Shareef O'Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal, has decommitted from Arizona.
FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, LSU's Tim Quarterman watches the final moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. A balance sheet said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
College basketball darkened again by new allegations
FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, LSU's Tim Quarterman watches the final moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. A balance sheet said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, LSU's Tim Quarterman watches the final moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. A balance sheet said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, LSU's Tim Quarterman watches the final moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. A balance sheet said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
FILE - In this March 12, 2016, file photo, LSU's Tim Quarterman watches the final moments of the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Bank records and other expense reports that are part of a federal probe into college basketball list a wide range of impermissible payments from agents to at least two dozen players or their relatives, according to documents obtained by Yahoo Sports. A balance sheet said Tim Quarterman, now playing for the Agua Caliente Clippers of the NBA G League, received at least $16,000 while a junior at LSU. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says he would scrap the NBA's one-and-done rule.
Kevin Durant no fan of one-and-done, says he would have come straight to NBA
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says he would scrap the NBA's one-and-done rule.
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says he would scrap the NBA's one-and-done rule.
Kevin Durant no fan of one-and-done, says he would have come straight to NBA
Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant says he would scrap the NBA's one-and-done rule.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Liverpool 4 West Ham 1: Hosts up to second after Mo Salah scores yet again
There was a chill wind emanating from Merseyside and heading ominously towards Manchester as Mohamed Salah continued his goal binge and Liverpool moved into second. Jose Mourinho’s United players may be feeling and fighting it at Old Trafford when facing Chelsea on Sunday as they now find themselves behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the table. Liverpool’s win over West Ham took them to their highest league position since August, but it was the ease and panache with which they did it that left the starkest impression. David Moyes’ side was shredded during one of those second-half sprees when Anfield fixtures resemble NBA matches. For the briefest period it looked like Moyes’ attack may benefit as much as his defence suffered from Liverpool’s freestyle football, notably when West Ham substitute Michail Antonio pounced on sloppiness in the home rearguard to reduce a three-goal deficit before the hour. But since the addition of Virgil van Dijk there are signs Klopp’s side’s vigour no longer comes with recurring levels of charity. They eased through the gears, scoring four when a little more ruthlessness might effortlessly have given them double. Naturally, Salah scored again. They might start printing guarantees of the Egyptian finding the net on the Anfield match tickets. He has 31 for the season already, the most by any Liverpool player in a campaign since Luis Suarez was at Anfield. The Uruguayan did it over the course of a season, not by February. It is time to start checking the records for 40-goal campaigns. Emre Can celebrates scores Liverpool's first against West Ham Credit: Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images Salah should have had a hat-trick. He hit a post and missed a sitter before scoring his side’s second on 51 minutes. Only goalkeeper Adrian prevented him adding to the tally after his goal. Those with a taste for irony might ask how many the attacker will get when his finishing improves. “I am happy I saw a lot of things we did on the training ground,” said Klopp, who is only ill at ease these days when asked to laud Salah because of a desire to ensure those around the African receive the same applause. “In football it is all about doing the right thing in the moment. I like Mo’s desire for goals. But flexibility depends on all the players. If you only have one, it doesn’t help. If you see immediately Roberto [Firmino] is defending each moment for Mo. Sadio Mane is the same. Mo is obviously doing well but Sadio could have scored one or two times more and Roberto deserved his goal. Mo is a boy who is full of greed to score goals.” Given the difficulties facing obstinate opponents, Klopp’s upbeat demeanour was understandable. He has been targeting second since Manchester City disappeared over the horizon, but it is not just Champions League qualification at stake. Whoever gets closest is likely to be a realistic challenger to Pep Guardiola next year. Those who feared Liverpool would lose their creativity when Philippe Coutinho left will find little supporting evidence from nine goals in the last two games. Salah continues to score for fun Credit: PA Klopp played down the significance – psychological or otherwise – of going above his rivals this weekend, but collecting the points when at least one of those nearest to him will drop them matters. “I don’t think United and Chelsea think too much about us but they know before the match day that we are around,” said the German. “If Man United wins then we were second for a few hours but to get the points is important. We have no time to rest, no time to waste one point. All the other top clubs are flying, so we need to fly as well.” Liverpool went ahead on 21 minutes via a routine set-piece goal they rarely score. Salah was the provider with a corner, Emre Can’s header unchallenged. This followed an encouraging period for the visitors, even though Mane and Van Dijk had squandered early chances. Marko Arnautovic was troubling Joel Matip, and almost scored a spectacular opener after 15 minutes. He chipped Loris Karius from the edge of the penalty area, but the German just managed to fingertip the effort on to the bar. It was another sign of the goalkeeper’s growing confidence. “I was hoping that the goalline technology would say it was over the line. It was not to be,” said Moyes. Liverpool cut loose after the break, the excellent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain teeing up Salah before Adrian’s error enabled Firmino to tap in a third. After an end-to-end passing move which began with Karius, Andy Robertson’s cross fed Mane on 77 minutes to end any hope of a West Ham revival. Sadio Mane completes the scoring with a clever chip Credit: Getty Images Without a recognised striker, Moyes was depending on his runners. Antonio’s introduction momentarily helped as there was tidiness without penetration until then, although the caution in the visitors’ line-up was also evident with Patrice Evra’s inclusion – his first appearance for West Ham. That stirred the blood of the Kop, who reminded him of his Manchester United past – and role in Suarez’s notorious suspension in 2011 – at each opportunity. “I thought we played quite well in the first half and we were maybe a bit unfortunate not to go a goal ahead,” said Moyes. “Although Liverpool had chances too I was happy in the first half, but certainly not the second. “It is really difficult to deal with them. We worked most of the way to try and find a way we could contain them best as we could. There were parts when we did. Today was the first day we gave away some individual mistakes that led to goals.” West Ham still have more to do to ensure an encouraging spell under Moyes leads to safety, but this was an occasion when even Arctic temperatures could not stop Liverpool’s front players lighting their usual fires. It was once said at Anfield “first is first, second is nothing” but times have changed. To be runners-up this season would the next domestic barometer of progress for Klopp. That ambition is now approaching a pivotal stage. “It is really intense for all the teams involved and we play United in two weeks,” said Klopp. The forthcoming trip to Old Trafford may determine who is the best of the rest behind City. 4:52PM Full time Liverpool move up to second after a comprehensive victory over West Ham who made chances in the first half but were cut apart by Liverpool's dynamism in the second. 4:50PM 90 min Liverpool simply stroke the ball around. Collins makes a good defensive header at the near post. We'll have three more minutes but we've seen enough. 4:44PM 86 min Lallana skates through the box on the right and fires a riser over the bar. Double Liverpool substitution - Moreno and Solanke on for Salah and Mane. 4:41PM 84 min West Ham double sub: Chicharito for Arnautovic, Rice for Joao Mario. Hernandez should tell Moyes to go boil his head. 4-1 down and sent on with six minutes left? 4:40PM 83 min Liverpool sub - Lallana replaces Firmino. 4:38PM 82 min Robertson actually wanted the ball back off Mane and was headed beyond Zabaleta again. 4:38PM 80 min Robertson again plays in mane but this time further out and with many more blue shirts ahead of him. From 22 yards he spins and drags a shot wide of the left post. 4:36PM 78 min Made by Robertson's express run up the left. He gets behind Zabaleta again and takes the pass from Firmino in his stride. He looks up and picks out Mane's diagonal run to the near post and the man who just missed a sitter, stabs the ball over Adrian and into the roof of the net. Liverpool 4 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 77 min) 4:34PM Goal! Liverpool 4-1 West Ham (Mane) A minute after missing a sitter, Mane scores Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images 4:33PM 74 min Mane, one on one with the keeper, after Cresswell's error plays him onside. Terrific reverse pass from Oxlade-Chamberlin to make the chance. He has all the time he needs, all the time in the world, but can't use it wisely and steers a left-foot shot on to the foot of the left post. Post: Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Sadio Mané, 73 min) 4:31PM 72 min Noble ends the long attacking phase with an important interception as he whips it off Oxlade-Chamberlain's toes in the box. 4:30PM 71 min Pass and move. Liverpool hog possession as they progress forward incrementally. 4:28PM 68 min West Ham are defending well now and Arnautovic has run his socks off and even gets back to turn away Alexander-Arnold's cross. Liverpool keep probing patiently. 4:25PM 66 min Evra draws a free-kick 30 yards out, left of centre. Cresswell stands it up to the far post where Arnautovic tries to loop a header over the back-pedalling Karius but succeeds only in planting it on to the roof of the net. 4:22PM 65 min Antonio, under instruction from Moyes but far too late, is yelling at his team-mates to move 10 metres or so further forward and stop sitting so deep. 4:21PM 63 min West Ham saved by Adrian's sharp stop at Firmino's feet and Cresswell's header when Firmino crosses the rebound and Salah leaps to meet it by the penalty spot. Cresswell got there first but only just. 4:20PM 61 min The substitute scores with his second touch having come in for Lanzini at 3-0. Found by a cute Kouyate pass he pulls Van Dijk wide and the keeper tries to narrow the angle. Arnautovic is yelling for him to square it but Antonio cuffs a shot inside the far post instead. Nice finish. Liverpool 3 - 1 West Ham (Michail Antonio, 59 min) 4:18PM Goal! Liverpool 3-1 West Ham (Antonio) Antonio strikes within a minute of coming on Credit: Rob Newell/CameraSport via Getty Images 4:17PM 59 min Adrian's clearance caught in the wind and didn't make it much over halfway. Joao Mario did nothing to stop Can who lifted a pass over the West Ham centre-backs. Adrian ran out to intercept but missed it and Firmino jogged past and swept a controlled shot into an open net with a no-look insouciance that delighted Mane. Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham (Roberto Firmino, 57 min) 4:15PM Goal! Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Firmino) Firmino has a tap-in Credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images 4:15PM 57 min Good save from Adrian after Liverpool carve West Ham open on the right again. Fine pass from Firmino but Sane can;t lift it over the keeper. 4:13PM 55 min Alexander-Arnold rolls a pass down the inside-right channel for Oxlade-Chamberlain's run. Perfectly weighted. O-C veers right and bends his shot into the side-netting. 4:11PM 53 min Made by Oxlade-Chamberlain's mazy run but the perfect throughball was actually an accident as he tripped and just hit it as he fell. Salah opened his body and rolled it, left-footed, into the bottom right corner. That's goal No31. Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 51 min) Mohamed Salah now has 31 goals in 37 appearances this season - an identical record on both fronts as Luis Suarez in 2013/14.— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) February 24, 2018 4:09PM GOAL!! Liverpool 2-0 West Ham (Salah) Salah makes it 2-0 Credit: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images 4:07PM 49 min Good tackle from Evra stops Alexander-Arnold's surge up the right but the left-back gets up gingerly and limps for a while. 4:05PM 47 min It looks taters at Anfield. Klopp has his coat zipped up to cover his nose. And winces when Kouyate clouts Van Dijk with a careless arm as they leap for a header. Liverpool free kick in their own half. 4:03PM 46 min James Milner, after a couple of heavy knocks, is fit to kick off and Liverpool start attacking the Kop. 3:52PM First half shot maps Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal Liverpool vs West Ham shots on goal And take a look at this vibrant Milner-Robertson axis: Average touch positions (half time) 3:49PM Half time West Ham have created a couple of chances and Arnautovic is playing very well but Liverpool look so dangerous. Milner has been at the heart of numerous attacking moves and the front three's movement is so difficult to contain. 3:47PM 45+1 min Liverpool free-kick 20 yards out when Milner is too quick for Zabaleta and runs across him in pursuit of a push pass. That was painful, on the ankle. Salah takes the free-kick but hits the well-constructed wall. 3:45PM 44 min From West Ham's corner Liverpool break at pace and flood forward. Collins ends the attack with a cynical but necessary hack at Oxlade-Chamberlain. A stonebonker of a booking but it could have ended in red because of Collins' pointless yapping. What did he have to complain about? Nish. 3:44PM 43 min Arnautovic stings Karius's palms with a swerving right-foot shot from 20 yards that the keeper dives up and to his left to slap over the bar. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 42 min) 3:43PM 41 min Zabaleta has some space in his own half on the right and arcs a long pass infield down the inside-right channel. Arnautovic has a hell of a job to control the dipping ball and understandably can't time his attempted hook-volley finish. Van Dijk tracked him well. 3:41PM 40 min Can brings down the lively Joao Mario as he storms through the centre circle with acres of unoccupied turf ahead of him. Free kick but too deep for West ham to trouble Liverpool. 3:39PM 37 min Alexander-Arnold hits a glorious early cross from the right that bounces through the box a la Barnes-Wallis. All it needed was a touch but I think clipping it so early even surprised Sadio Mane more than the West Ham defence. 3:37PM 35 min Liverpool fans sing the Luis Suarez song at Patrice Evra. Most knowledgeable fans in football etc. Can hyper-extends his knee when going up for a header and landing awkwardly. After treatment he seems OK. 3:35PM 33 min West Ham are creaking now - a pair of chances within 60 seconds, the first for Can who made it for himself with a six-pack turn on a wide circle but bends his shot wide. Then Robertson sends a wonderful cross to the back post where Salah should score but eyebrows it wide. 3:32PM 31 min Adrian made an error from the corner by saving Alexander-Arnold's shot and tipping it behind though it was heading wide. From the second corner on the Liverpool right, Can rises at the back post to steer a header into the inside of the side-netting. Nice finish but where was the marking? Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham (Emre Can, 29 min) 3:30PM Goal!! Liverpool 1-0 West Ham (Can) Emre Can heads in Liverpool's first Credit: PETER POWELL/REUTERS 3:30PM 29 min From a Milner corner that West Ham head clear, Robertson hangs up a swirling left-foot cross headed towards the back post. It starts to dip out of the sun and Adrian has to tip it over. 3:28PM 27 min Cresswell bends in the free-kick from the touchline, Arnautovic mistimes his run and gets ahead of the ball but the defensive header ends up at Lanzini's feet who scuffs his shot 12 yards out from a tight angle on the left straight at Karius. 3:27PM 25 min West Ham move it up the left gradually and Evra is fouled by Firmino 20 yards inside the Liverpool half. 3:25PM 23 min Salah comes off the right wing to try to flick in a Robertson cross but Evra held his line and up went the flag for offside. The cross only parted his hair in any case. 3:23PM 21 min James Milner is block-tackled firmly by Mark Noble who had to go for the ball to stop Milner shooting from 18 yards. Noble gets to the ball before Milner but does send the Liverpool midfielder flying and he stays down after a heavy fall. On comes the spongeman who eventually restores him to the vertical. 3:21PM 20 min Mane should score from a near post header after Firmino's fine run and cross from the right but steers it waywardly. 3:20PM 18 min Another West Ham chance caused by hesitancy in the Liverpool defence. Lanzini is given an age to trap the ball, hold it and lay up Arnautovic who switches the ball across the box for Zabaleta to shoot just wide. Miss: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Pablo Zabaleta, 16 min) 3:18PM 15 min Arnautovic chips Karius, who gets a fingertip on it that takes it flush on to the crossbar. He outran a plodding Matip to make the chance. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Marko Arnautovic, 15 min) 3:15PM 14 min Joao Mario and Zabaleta try to do the same number on Robertson but the Liverpool left-back doesn't give him enough room round the back to get the cross in by the corner flag. 3:14PM 11 min Zabaleta is being targeted by Milner and Robertson, the former trying to find the pass to let the left-back get behind him but this time Zabaleta blocks the ball and thwarts the attempt. It comes back to Salah who scoops an attempt at Adrian 3:11PM 9 min Evra's every touch is being booed. For Manchester United not Suarez reasons I hope but suspect it's the latter as much, wholly undeservedly. Robertson hits a near-post cross that Zabaleta hooks clear. 3:09PM 7 min From which Van Dijk beasts Ogbonna who mistimed his jump, only to head it tamely towards Adrian's chest. Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Virgil van Dijk, 7 min) 3:08PM 6 min Liverpool, comfortable in possession in their own half as the Hammers drop off, begin probing up the right patiently and then Salah plays a gorgeous return pass to Alexander-Arnold, injecting pace into the move, and the right-back drives to the byline and tries to hang a cross up for Firmino. West Ham clear it behind for a corner. 3:06PM 4 min Salah and Firmino tear a whole through the West Ham defence, pulling Ogbonna out of position and allowing Firmino to pull a pass back from the left perfectly into Salah's path. He stuns the pass to make the angle then drills a left-foot shot on to the inside of the right post but the ball doesn't cross the line and bounces fortunately for West Ham. The graphic says saved but I'm not sure he touched it: Attempt Saved: Liverpool 0 - 0 West Ham (Mohamed Salah, 3 min) 3:03PM 2 min Van Dijk makes an error in judgment, rushing to intercept a pass up the left made for Arnautovic but was quick enough to recover when he didn't get there first, turning and winning the ball back before rolling it back to Karius. 3:01PM 1 min After a bit of Rodgers and Hammerstein, we're off at Anfield. Joao Mario kicks off for Yer Actual and the visitors knock it back to hit it long up to Arnautovic who is penalised for buffeting Van Dijk as they battled for the header. 2:48PM The teams in black and white Liverpool Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Can, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane. Substitutes Mignolet, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Moreno, Lallana, Solanke. West Ham United Adrian; Zabaleta, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Evra; Joao Mario, Kouyate, Noble, Lanzini; Arnautovic. Substitutes Reid, Hugill, Hernandez, Byram, Hart, Antonio, Rice. Referee Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire) 2:13PM Liverpool three Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren don't 'make way' - they've been ill. 2:10PM West Ham team news Evra makes his debut and Manu starts on his return from injury �� pic.twitter.com/tDoLiaLPDQ— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 Blimey, Moyes has dropped Chicharito and gone for the Craig Levein 3-7-0 formation. Patrice Evra makes his Premier League return. 2:08PM Liverpool team news �� TEAM NEWS �� Today's #LFC side to face the Hammers... https://t.co/vJhxx1f6uipic.twitter.com/de60Zn71a5— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 24, 2018 Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Can return: Wijnaldum, Henderson and Lovren make way. 2:05PM Good afternoon Today marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Bobby Moore and in a kind gesture, West Ham have given each travelling fan to Anfield today a shirt to commemorate their greatest player. A Bobby Moore t-shirt for every away fan today. Send us your pictures of you wearing them at Anfield!#RememberingBobbypic.twitter.com/niujVzlr2y— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) February 24, 2018 The Hammers won there in 2011, 2015 and came away with a draw last season but David Moyes' record against them is only five wins in 30 matches with 16 defeats. Liverpool have Salah, Mane and Firmino in top form, Mane back to his best in Oporto, Andrew Robertson tearing it up at left back and the underrated Ginio Wijnaldum melding it together. It looks like a tough trip for West Ham but I think they have been playing in a more coherent style away from home without getting the results to match in January apart from the trip to Huddersfield.
Kentucky has an official response after freshman Kevin Knox was among players mentioned in a recent report about potential ties to an NBA agent.
Kentucky responds to recent reports from FBI investigation
Kentucky has an official response after freshman Kevin Knox was among players mentioned in a recent report about potential ties to an NBA agent.
Kentucky has an official response after freshman Kevin Knox was among players mentioned in a recent report about potential ties to an NBA agent.
Kentucky responds to recent reports from FBI investigation
Kentucky has an official response after freshman Kevin Knox was among players mentioned in a recent report about potential ties to an NBA agent.
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
Antetokounmpo guides Bucks to OT win
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
Antetokounmpo guides Bucks to OT win
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
Antetokounmpo guides Bucks to OT win
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped their recent poor run against Toronto, securing a hard-fought 122-119 overtime win in the NBA on Friday.
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Antetokounmpo goes coast to coast for big slam
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Antetokounmpo goes coast to coast for big slam
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
Antetokounmpo goes coast to coast for big slam
Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo quickly turned defence into attack to complete an emphatic dunk in the Bucks' NBA game against the Toronto Raptors on Friday.
US boxer Floyd Mayweather (2-R) watches the action during the NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
US boxer Floyd Mayweather (2-R) watches the action during the NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
US boxer Floyd Mayweather (2-R) watches the action during the NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (R) in action against Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (L) in the first half of their NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (R) in action against Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (L) in the first half of their NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (R) in action against Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (L) in the first half of their NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. EFE
<p>Patty Mills was one of San Antonio&#39;s most effective players against Denver in the NBA.</p>
Patty Mills was one of San Antonio's most effective players against Denver in the NBA.

Patty Mills was one of San Antonio's most effective players against Denver in the NBA.

Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Top 10: Feb. 23rd
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Top 10: Feb. 23rd
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Top 10: Feb. 23rd
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
Top 10: Feb. 23rd
Buckle up for the Top 10 plays on a busy Friday in the NBA.
<p>On Friday, the ongoing college basketball scandal that became public when the FBI released its preliminary findings from a multi-year investigation in September of last year took a major turn. <a href="http://facebook.com" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Yahoo! Sports" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Yahoo! Sports</a> published documents from that FBI probe that detailed the expenditures of disgraced former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and the agency he ran, ASM Sports. Dawkins was arrested on three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering conspiracy. </p><p>Included in those documents are expense reports and balance sheets that detail what appear to be a number of illegal bribes, benefits and/or payments to some of the biggest programs and most prominent current and former players in the sport. </p><p>Here is a list of each player that has been implicated in this widespread investigation, the details and repercussions of which will certainly become more clear as time goes on. All of this information was made available by Yahoo Sports&#39; release of the documents. Also included are whether the player will continue to play. </p><p>It&#39;s important to note that none of these players have yet been punished by the NCAA. </p><p>A list of programs implicated, as well as what action the programs have taken in response, can be found <a href="https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/29/what-we-know-about-each-school-fbi-investigation" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:here" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">here</a>. </p><p>This piece will continue to be updated as more information comes in. </p><h3>Miles Bridges, Michigan State</h3><p>According to the documents, Bridges&#39;s mother had lunch with Miller and/or his associates at a place called Redwood Lodge, a meal that cost the agency $70.05. It is not clear whether the agency paid for Bridge&#39;s mother&#39;s meal. Additionally, Miller&#39;s agency allegedly gave Bridges&#39; mother a $400 cash advance. </p><p>Michigan State says it has investigated the matter and submitted its findings to the NCAA, and that Bridges has been cleared to play going forward. Bridges is Michigan State&#39;s leading scorer at more than 17 points per game and is a candidate for Big Ten Player of the year. </p><h3>Wendell Carter, Duke</h3><p>Carter had lunch and/or met with Dawkins, per the records. Carter&#39;s mother also allegedly had lunch with Dawkins when Carter was a junior in high school. The lunch is listed on the expense sheet as costing $106.36, but it is not clear whether Carter&#39;s mother paid for her own meal or not. </p><p>Shortly after the publication of the Yahoo! piece, Duke released a statement saying the university reviewed the matter and did not expect Carter&#39;s eligibility to be affected. Carter, a freshman, is averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a team-high 2.2 blocks for the Blue Devils. </p><h3>Collin Sexton, Alabama</h3><p>Like Bridges and Carter, Sexton&#39;s mention in the documents is in connection to a meal his family members allegedly had with Dawkins. As is the case with those two players, it is not clear whether Sexton&#39;s family member paid for his/her meal or not. </p><p>Alabama has said that Sexton will continue to play unless anything changes. The freshman is the team&#39;s leading scorer at 18.4 points per game. </p><h3>Kevin Knox, Kentucky</h3><p>Knox is another player whose family member(s) allegedly had lunch with Dawkins, and it is also not clear whether they paid for their share of the meal. Kentucky said Knox&#39;s elgibility has not been affected by the Yahoo! piece. </p><h3>Chimezie Metu, USC</h3><p>Metu and/or his adviser Johnnie Parker allegedly received $2,000 from the ASM agency. USC said it launched an immediate investigation after the release of the documents and has determined that Metu is eligible to play, but that if more information comes in, the university will act accordingly. </p><p>Metu, a junior, leads the Trojans in scoring (16.0 points per game) and rebounding (7.2). </p><h3>Bennie Boatwright, USC</h3><p>Boatwright and/or his father received $2,000 in a loan or payment, according to the documents. USC has said it will look into Boatwright&#39;s eligibility, but he will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury regardless. </p><h3>Eric Davis, Texas</h3><p>Davis allegedly received a $1,500 loan or payment from the agency. Texas will hold out Davis as it continues to investigate the matter. </p><p>Davis, a junior, is averaging 8.8 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Longhorns. </p><h3>Malik Pope, San Diego State</h3><p>According to the documents, Pope received a payment of $1,400 from ASM Sports. San Diego State announced it will hold Pope out of competition while it looks into the matter. </p><p>The senior is averaging 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Aztecs. </p><h3>DeAndre Ayton, Arizona</h3><p>Ayton wasn&#39;t mentioned in the Yahoo! piece, but he was in an ESPN report that claimed the FBI has conversations in which Arizona coach Sean Miller had multiple conversations with Dawkins regarding a $100,000 payment to secure Ayton&#39;s commitment. Ayton will continue to play unless additional information changes the status quo. </p><p>Ayton, a projected top-five pick and a contender for national player of the year, is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds. </p><h3>Brian Bowen, Louisville</h3><p>Bowen is referred to as &quot;Player-10&quot; in the suit filed against James Gatto, Adidas&#39; former global sports marketing director for basketball. Gatto allegedly funneled $100,000 to Bowen&#39;s family—with the knowledge of &quot;Coach-3,&quot; believed to be Rick Pitino—to get Bowen to commit to Louisville in May 2017. </p><p>Bowen enrolled at Louisville in August but was suspended when the suit was filed. He has since transferred from Louisville to South Carolina and, barring any punishments from the NCAA, he will be eligible to play for the Gamecocks in January 2019. </p>
Every Current Player Implicated in the FBI's College Basketball Probe

On Friday, the ongoing college basketball scandal that became public when the FBI released its preliminary findings from a multi-year investigation in September of last year took a major turn. Yahoo! Sports published documents from that FBI probe that detailed the expenditures of disgraced former NBA agent Andy Miller, his former associate Christian Dawkins and the agency he ran, ASM Sports. Dawkins was arrested on three counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Included in those documents are expense reports and balance sheets that detail what appear to be a number of illegal bribes, benefits and/or payments to some of the biggest programs and most prominent current and former players in the sport.

Here is a list of each player that has been implicated in this widespread investigation, the details and repercussions of which will certainly become more clear as time goes on. All of this information was made available by Yahoo Sports' release of the documents. Also included are whether the player will continue to play.

It's important to note that none of these players have yet been punished by the NCAA.

A list of programs implicated, as well as what action the programs have taken in response, can be found here.

This piece will continue to be updated as more information comes in.

Miles Bridges, Michigan State

According to the documents, Bridges's mother had lunch with Miller and/or his associates at a place called Redwood Lodge, a meal that cost the agency $70.05. It is not clear whether the agency paid for Bridge's mother's meal. Additionally, Miller's agency allegedly gave Bridges' mother a $400 cash advance.

Michigan State says it has investigated the matter and submitted its findings to the NCAA, and that Bridges has been cleared to play going forward. Bridges is Michigan State's leading scorer at more than 17 points per game and is a candidate for Big Ten Player of the year.

Wendell Carter, Duke

Carter had lunch and/or met with Dawkins, per the records. Carter's mother also allegedly had lunch with Dawkins when Carter was a junior in high school. The lunch is listed on the expense sheet as costing $106.36, but it is not clear whether Carter's mother paid for her own meal or not.

Shortly after the publication of the Yahoo! piece, Duke released a statement saying the university reviewed the matter and did not expect Carter's eligibility to be affected. Carter, a freshman, is averaging 14.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and a team-high 2.2 blocks for the Blue Devils.

Collin Sexton, Alabama

Like Bridges and Carter, Sexton's mention in the documents is in connection to a meal his family members allegedly had with Dawkins. As is the case with those two players, it is not clear whether Sexton's family member paid for his/her meal or not.

Alabama has said that Sexton will continue to play unless anything changes. The freshman is the team's leading scorer at 18.4 points per game.

Kevin Knox, Kentucky

Knox is another player whose family member(s) allegedly had lunch with Dawkins, and it is also not clear whether they paid for their share of the meal. Kentucky said Knox's elgibility has not been affected by the Yahoo! piece.

Chimezie Metu, USC

Metu and/or his adviser Johnnie Parker allegedly received $2,000 from the ASM agency. USC said it launched an immediate investigation after the release of the documents and has determined that Metu is eligible to play, but that if more information comes in, the university will act accordingly.

Metu, a junior, leads the Trojans in scoring (16.0 points per game) and rebounding (7.2).

Bennie Boatwright, USC

Boatwright and/or his father received $2,000 in a loan or payment, according to the documents. USC has said it will look into Boatwright's eligibility, but he will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury regardless.

Eric Davis, Texas

Davis allegedly received a $1,500 loan or payment from the agency. Texas will hold out Davis as it continues to investigate the matter.

Davis, a junior, is averaging 8.8 points and 2.4 rebounds for the Longhorns.

Malik Pope, San Diego State

According to the documents, Pope received a payment of $1,400 from ASM Sports. San Diego State announced it will hold Pope out of competition while it looks into the matter.

The senior is averaging 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Aztecs.

DeAndre Ayton, Arizona

Ayton wasn't mentioned in the Yahoo! piece, but he was in an ESPN report that claimed the FBI has conversations in which Arizona coach Sean Miller had multiple conversations with Dawkins regarding a $100,000 payment to secure Ayton's commitment. Ayton will continue to play unless additional information changes the status quo.

Ayton, a projected top-five pick and a contender for national player of the year, is averaging 19.6 points and 10.9 rebounds.

Brian Bowen, Louisville

Bowen is referred to as "Player-10" in the suit filed against James Gatto, Adidas' former global sports marketing director for basketball. Gatto allegedly funneled $100,000 to Bowen's family—with the knowledge of "Coach-3," believed to be Rick Pitino—to get Bowen to commit to Louisville in May 2017.

Bowen enrolled at Louisville in August but was suspended when the suit was filed. He has since transferred from Louisville to South Carolina and, barring any punishments from the NCAA, he will be eligible to play for the Gamecocks in January 2019.

Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) reacts after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) reacts after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; General view of the shoes of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; General view of the shoes of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) reacts after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) reacts after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) is helped off the court by teammates after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) is helped off the court by teammates after an apparent injury during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) dribbles the ball during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball on a fast break as Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets
Feb 23, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles the ball on a fast break as Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler (23) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Get up to date on all of Friday&#39;s action in the NBA with the Fast Break.
The Fast Break: Feb. 23
Get up to date on all of Friday's action in the NBA with the Fast Break.

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