top of page
  • Julian Taylor at Anfield

Rampant Liverpool expose jaded Hammers with a five goal cup rampage at Anfield




Liverpool 5 West Ham United 1


Julian Taylor at Anfield


West Ham's last win at Liverpool was in 1963 - one of football's most bizarre and embarrassing statistics - and there was never any potential of this blemish ending at Anfield. Another humiliation, this time in the shape of a 5-1 filleting.


Goals from Dominik Szoboszlai, a brace from Curtis Jones, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah helped ease Jurgen Klopp's men into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup, with the Hammers departing sullenly.


West Ham can only reflect on their scant offerings in this brazenly one-sided, rain-lashed contest; a ponderous, punch drunk performance which was far less than the sum of the normal individual talents this team has to offer.


These days, is difficult to decipher out which version of David Moyes's team will turn up on any day or night.


In recent weeks, there have been notable wins over Tottenham and Wolves. All well and good.


Then again, there was the colourless 5-0 capitulation against Fulham ten days ago which drew widespread exasperation of Moyes and his team. Is this more a reflection of the squad's character domestically? Liverpool could have easily racked up more goals which really does seem at odds against an opponent who won last season's Europa Conference League.


Europe, on the other hand, has seen progress, with a victory over Freiburg confirming top spot in the Hammers' Europa League group. But here we had a big cup tie, at Anfield - yet this was an outfit completely shorn of confidence and ambition. Liverpool were barely tested in any department and the 5-1 score line did not flatter the Reds whatsover.


West Ham's loyal legions were badly let down on Merseyside. Rarely have a team been so comprehensively outplayed as the east Londoners were, especially in the opening period. A fine consolation by Jarrod Bowen was meaningless.


Much was made of Moyes's personal record at Anfield, where, astonishingly, he had not won as a manager with any previous club, or the Hammers, in 20 attempts.


Hoodoo


West Ham, too, had historically felt the weight of responsibility on the red half of Merseyside, having lost 17 out of 22 games, with the remaining five drawn. A Carabao Cup tie, with Wembley and other London clubs, Fulham and Chelsea, in the mix, was in theory as good an incentive as any to break an achingly lingering hoodoo.


The Hammers, backed by thousands of travelling supporters, found Liverpool in fiery early mood. Harvey Elliott sped past a couple of challenges in the eighth minute, but the midfielder pulled his left foot shot a yard wide of Alphonse Areloa's goal. It was a warning which needed heeding.


Elliott was again involved a few minutes later, when, having picked up possession from a positive run forward by Darwin Nunez, curled a shot inches wide. With the Reds firmly in control, the first half had established an ominous air for a nervy West Ham, who were all careless in distribution and forced deep.


For all the Hammers' attacking options, in the shape of Bowen, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals, Liverpool centre pin Virgil van Dijk and keeper Caoimhin Kelleher were barely troubled for extensive spells.


Therefore, it was no surprise whatsoever when a dominant Liverpool did, indeed, take the lead in the 28th minute.


With the visiting defenders inexplicably standing off him, Szoboszlai had time to compose himself before crashing a right foot shot from around 25 yards out which nestled perfectly into the corner of Areola's net. A thunderbolt which capped an utterly one-sided first period.


Liverpool forward Gakpo - who was unmarked by absentee West ham defenders - should have doubled the lead on the stroke of half time only for his header to nip wide of the post. The only question Reds fans were asking themselves was how their side were only a single goal ahead at the break.


Refresh


Time for West Ham to refresh and at least assert themselves?


Moyes had the option of bringing on James Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paqueta and Danny Ings who were all surprising substitutes. While the Hammers manager may have Saturday's Premier League game against Manchester United in mind, it still seemed strange not to have included Ward-Prowse from the beginning of a cup quarter final. This is just one question supporters will have on a night of missed opportunity.


In fact, any shred of possibility which remained for West Ham was extinguished with a well-taken Liverpool move for the second goal of the evening.


Once again the visitors failed to track their zesty opponents - Darwin Nunez cleverly funnelled the ball into the path of the onrushing Jones, who, from an acute angle, outfoxed Areola by slipping the ball under the keeper's legs: a metaphor for the ease of which Liverpool were exploiting a diffident West Ham.


Gakpo was next - rifling home a third goal from 20 yards out in the 71st minute - the forward made it look so easy, particularly with Angelo Ogbonna standing off and providing him with ample room to tee himself up.


In 77 minutes, against all available evidence, Bowen scored a consolation, a superbly taken right foot shot after getting the better of Jarell Quansah. How West Ham could have done with such positivity much earlier.


Zip


With less than ten minutes to go, West Ham utterly jaded and losing possession, Salah made it 4-1 on the breakaway, the Egyptian tucking the ball past helpless Areola. Jones quickly followed up with his second of the night - a zip through West Ham's defence and a cool finish. Liverpool were officially playing with the conceivable verve of a team with cup glory on their minds.


For the hapless Hammers, United are next up at the London Stadium. If Moyes is not unduly worried about the manner of this showing then he really should be. Dismissing this as a peripheral cup tie and not an overall priority for the season is unacceptable in any wider debate. It was that forgettable, that dismal.


Hammers: Areola, Johnson, Coufal, Fornals, Kudus, Mavropanos, Alvarez, Bowen, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Soucek

תגובות


Join our mailing list

bottom of page