Reds Frustrated As Hammers Hold Firm

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By Arun Nair – (@Nair_39)

Liverpool’s European hopes were dealt a severe blow as they were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham. Despite dominating possession for considerable spells, the Reds were left frustrated by their inability to break down a resilient Hammers side, leading to crucial points dropped in the race for places in continental competition next season.

The draw leaves Liverpool in seventh, three points behind rivals Everton having played a game more, while West Ham eased their relegation fears with the point moving them seven points clear of the bottom three.

An immaculately observed minute’s silence was held before the game and players wore black armbands to mark the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy on 15 April.

The home side enjoyed plenty of possession in the first period, but chances were few and far between as the Reds struggled to penetrate the Hammers’ spirited rearguard, with James Collins marshalling the normally irrepressible Luis Suarez to great effect.

However, it was West Ham who had the better of the sporadic chances in the first half, Mohammed Diame wriggling past several Liverpool defenders before blazing wastefully over the bar, before Daniel Agger intervened to block Carlton Cole’s strike after Lucas had squandered possession just outside his own area.

Suarez forced a low save from Jussi Jaaskelainen as the Reds applied pressure, pushing for the opener, but the Hammers remained resolute to go into the break level.

The home side increased the tempo and the pressure in the second half, with Steven Gerrard coming to the fore. The skipper burst into the box only to see his cross diverted away by Guy Demel with Daniel Sturridge, on as a first half substitute, threatening to pounce, before having his goalbound shot blocked by James Tomkins after Suarez had wreaked havoc in the West Ham area.

The Uruguayan was beginning to evade the shackles of the Hammers centre backs, and after swerving past Tomkins with ease, fired a low strike from a seemingly improbable angle narrowly wide, after which Sturridge turned in Jordan Henderson’s cross-cum-shot only to be denied by the linesman’s raised flag.

Liverpool were adamant that they should have been awarded a penalty after Gerrard was sent tumbling by Tomkins’ sliding challenge but referee Anthony Taylor waved away the Reds’ appeals, before Agger’s deflected effort from range flew narrowly wide of Jaaskelainen’s goal.

The Reds continued to probe for what would surely be the winner, but West Ham came close to snatching all three points when substitute Jack Collison headed goalwards only for Lucas to clear off the line with Pepe Reina beaten, before Jaaskelainen denied Suarez at the death, saving the striker’s low near post shot as the Hammers stood firm to earn a deserved point.


  1. Another good review Arun.

    I havent been able to see the game yet, but I was able to listen to the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half. Was this a game that screamed for a “Plan B” with an Andy Carroll, or did we revert to our poor shooting that killed us in the earlier part of the season?

    I cant beleive we didnt get 3 points from this game, and close up on Everton for 6th…

    Question, why only one sub used in the first half for Downing, then in the 71st minute for Hendo? How did Assaidi loook? Why not bring on Suso or Jonjo with 10-12 minutes to play? I’m guessing I wont hear from BR, so any thoughts anyone?


    1. Thanks Karl a NorCal Red
      The team were generally below par, even Suarez, who gave the ball away several times. He was not alone though. Poor decision making in key areas cost us, which is why we weren’t able to penetrate West Ham’s defence.
      I’m not sure Andy Carroll would have helped us though, as that would be playing into their hands somewhat considering that their well-equipped to deal with aerial threat. We were pretty wasteful with the limited chances created, but they were mostly half-chances at best.

      Downing was subbed due to illness rather than injury.

      Assaidi looked pretty sluggish when he came on, to be fair to him he has barely played in recent weeks/months, and this was only his fourth Premier League appearance.

  2. Why does Brendan insist we were brilliant when its clear we were anything but – He is talking nonsensense and to make matters worse thinks Downing is worth keeping – Brendans job is likely to be on the line if he keeps talking rubbish – 30 points behind Man U and drawn at home for the ninth time this season ?????????

  3. what can we expect for next season? To be able to score against this kind of team. we can do it keeping suarez and we need another goalscorer sturridge can go to reading or wigan or Qpr

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