Liverpool surrendered a one-goal lead for a second successive Premier League game following their 1-1 draw against West Ham United.
After a strong start from the hosts, that saw Javier Hernandez – twice – and Aaron Cresswell go close, Liverpool took the lead in the 22nd minute, as Adam Lallana found James Milner, who was in an offside position, before crossing to Sadio Mane, who turned and curled the ball past Lukasz Fabianski.
Their lead would only six minutes however, as the Hammers were back on level terms with a well worked free-kick from Felipe Anderson, that was finished off by Michail Antonio, whose shot flew past Alisson and into the bottom right corner of the net.
It could’ve been worse for the Reds heading into the interval when Anderson found Declan Rice from another free-kick in the 42nd minute, but the midfielder headed over from a great position.
The second half was bereft of clear cut chances for both sides, with Mark Noble spurning the best one in the 30 minutes following the restart when he fired over from inside the area, following some fine from Anderson in the build-up.
Despite Liverpool’s play in the final third failing to click throughout the game, substitute Divock Origi wasted a golden opportunity in added time, when he fired straight at Fabianski in the final moments of the game.
WEST HAM UNITED
Key Talking Point
Manuel Pellegrini’s side were certainly deserving of their point against the title-chasing Liverpool come the final whistle, with the hosts causing the visitors a number of problems, especially in the first period.
The Hammers started the game on the front foot, and could’ve taken the lead by the time Sadio Mane struck in the 22nd minute, and to their credit rallied well to equalise with one of several well worked set-pieces they created.
Manchester United and Arsenal have lost at the London Stadium this season, while Chelsea have also dropped points there, highlighting how difficult an away trip West Ham currently are.
Starting XI: Fabianski (6); Fredericks (5), Diop (6), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (6); Rice (6), Noble (7); Antonio (7), Snodgrass (7), Anderson (8); Hernandez (6).
Substitutes: Obiang (5), Carroll (5), Masuaku (N/A).
Felipe Anderson was the best player on the pitch at the London Stadium, as the Brazilian caused a number of problems for Liverpool with both his dribbling and quality from set-pieces, as his pass for Michail Antonio’s equaliser perfectly exemplified.
— Dominic Booth (@DomBooth19) February 4, 2019
Making his first Premier League start since the beginning of September, Ryan Fredericks certainly looked off the pace on a few occasions, with the full-back mistiming several tackles and misplacing a number of his passes, although did show signs of improvement after half-time.
Key Talking Point
Following Manchester City’s win on Sunday, Liverpool knew the importance of matching their result at the London Stadium; although it proved to be another frustrating game for those connected with the Reds.
Second best for the vast majority of the game, Liverpool were fortunate to enter half time on level terms, while their performance over the entirety of the game could be best described as insipid, and lacking creativity.
The pressure is well and truly on now for Klopp’s side, who could find themselves second by the time they kick off for the game this weekend.
Starting XI: Alisson (5); Milner (6), Matip (5), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (6); Lallana (6), Fabinho (6), Keita (5); Salah (6), Firmino (6), Mane (7).
Substitutes: Shaqiri (5), Origi (5).
Few players truly stood out for Liverpool, however Sadio Mane took his goal extremely well, turning and shooting in almost one motion in what was the Reds best moment of the entire game.
There were several candidates for this award, however, Joel Matip narrowly edges it for a nervy display throughout, as the centre back was given a difficult evening against West Ham’s attackers, with his lack of pace and mobility highlighted on several occasions.
I’ve seen giraffes that have had half their spine half eaten by a pride of lions function better Joel Matip.
— Paul Burke (@PaulBurkeLFC) February 4, 2019
Next for West Ham is a short away trip across London to play Crystal Palace this Saturday.
Liverpool meanwhile will be hoping to end a run of two successive draws when they host Bournemouth and get their title challenge back in track.