Liverpool lost 2-0 away to West Ham today in a performance which rivalled the Watford and Newcastle debacles as our worst of the season.
Goals from Michael Antonio and Andy Carroll sealed the points for Slaven Bilic’s men, and if it wasn’t for Simon Mignolet, the scoreline would have been crueller.
Klopp made two changes from the side that defeated Sunderland last time out, with Jordon Ibe replacing Adam Lallana in a tactical switch and Lucas coming in for the injured Jordan Henderson – taking his captain’s armband as well.
Andy Carroll led the line for the Hammers, with the excellent Dmitri Payet on the bench. Reported Liverpool target Manuel Lanzini also started.
Ibe had the first chance of the game, firing just wide from outside of the area after excellent work outside the Hammers’ box from Emre Can. Bar that though, we were struggling to get into the game, in blustery Upton Park conditions.
On nine minutes, West Ham took the lead. Alberto Moreno was fouled right up on the opposition byline, but it wasn’t given and the Irons broke, crossing from the right where a hurt Moreno should’ve been standing, and finding Michael Antonio, who nodded in. A really unfortunate decision for the Reds.
The goal totally changed the direction of the game, and West Ham took control. Lanzini slammed a shot against the post and Carroll was looking dangerous in the air. Enner Valencia also had a one-on-one and in truth, we were hanging on 25 minutes into the game.
As happens all too often, Liverpool were getting overrun by a mid-table side. New year, same old problems.
We had two handball penalty shouts before the end of the half, but both would’ve been very harsh on the home side, and we went in at the break 1-0 down – after Emre Can curled one against the post. The German midfielder was easily Liverpool’s best player on the afternoon, and in truth, deserved much better from his team-mates.
In the second, West Ham immediately went defensive and it was one way traffic. Coutinho curled over the ball and the so far awful Christian Benteke, who’d not been making the requited attacking runs, messed up from eight yards out when he should have scored.
But it was the Hammers that scored next, with Mark Noble crossing for Carroll, who nodded past Mignolet. Clyne was marking him, but got nowhere near our former £35m striker, who celebrated with glee.
Adam Lallana was then brought on for Roberto Firmino on the hour mark, and Brad Smith strangely replaced Alberto Moreno, but Liverpool were looking lifeless.
Klopp looked angry and disappointed on the touchline, and you can be sure his players received a rollocking of epic proportions for their ‘performance’ today.
He then had his keeper to thank though, with Carroll’s close-range header kept out by Mignolet, who also held on to the follow up effort.
Benteke confirmed his stinker with a horrible volleyed effort, which summed up his and our afternoon.
Liverpool obviously rallied late on, with Noble clearing off the line and Joe Allen missing a header which he also should have scored. But we didn’t deserve anything from this match, which was so poor that it could convince Klopp to enter the transfer market.