Going into the game, as a West Ham fan you’d take the point and run. But looking back on yesterday’s match and how it played out, you can only feel robbed. The referee and the linesmen had absolute shockers. The first main one leading to the first goal of the match and one which very nearly gave Liverpool all three points right at the death.
The West Ham line up was pretty predictable with what we had available. Arnautovic failed a late fitness test while Fabianski and Cresswell passed theirs, this forced a change at the top end of the pitch with Chicharito playing as the loan striker.
The game started off brightly as we had the first real chance of the game as Cresswell, Anderson, Noble and Chicharito combined to create a chance which really should have been taken and put away, instead it went just wide of the post. We continued to play our football, creating chances, and counter attacking with pace and purpose. we really looked up for it.
Then Liverpool took the lead, and at first site it’s a well worked goal. But then you check the replay and it’s clearly evident why the goal should have been overturned. Milner was clearly offside and offside by a large margin right in front of the linesmen who failed to flag it. Liverpool have been getting quite fortunate when it comes to referee decisions this season and this looked no different, which to viewers and fans of other football clubs, their getting quite fed up of its constant reoccurrence. I found myself preparing for a dodgy penalty decision to be given Liverpool’s way, which it thankfully didn’t.
Then straight away we responded! with a classic move straight out of the training ground. A nice one-two between Anderson and Snodgrass, which was then slipped behind the Liverpool defence for Antonio to run on to and finish. A brilliantly well worked goal.
Set-pieces seemed to be really unsettling the Liverpool defence. they were failing to pick up their markers. And every time we got a dangerous free-kick in a decent area, we had fresh new ideas for each free kick, which shows the work put into it beforehand.
The next big chance of the game came through Declan Rice, again from a free-kick. Rice ran onto a free header after Anderson caught the Liverpool defence off-guard with a brilliant whip into a dangerous position. Rice sent the header whiskers wide hitting the back-pole of the goal. Chances like that have to be taken, as in football they can come back to bite you. Especially against teams like Liverpool.
Going into half-time 1-1 flattered Liverpool. Although they dominated most of the possession, they really failed to do anything with it. West Ham played the better football, created the better chances, and we really should have found ourselves 1-0 up at the break, or 2 or 3-0 up if the chances were taken.
One thing I’d like to mention is Antonio’s comments regarding complacency. And to be honest its quite disrespectful to the fans who pay a lot of money to watch the team home and away, it highlights a clear distinct lack of effort and a cocky and poor mentality.
A prime example of this is both of the games against Wimbledon. The first time we got lucky, and you would have thought the second time they would have learnt their lesson. And if they don’t turn up and give it their all, they’ll get beat. and they did.
Antonio also mentioned the mentality of playing against the top 6 in the premier league, and it’s all well and good turning up for the big games, but for clubs like West Ham, the big games are against those around us and those below us. And by being complacent against those teams for me is disrespectful to the fans, but also other teams.
The second half was sort of the same as the first. Liverpool again dominating the possession but again failing to create any real clear-cut chances, there was one or two where Salah cut back and onto his left foot, but it was comfortably saved. There were a few instances from a Liverpool Corner where their players would throw themselves to the floor looking for a penalty, but again luckily it wasn’t given.
We had our moments too. Anderson leading the main charge. The man is honestly magical, he’s runs past people with ease. And as I saw someone say on twitter, “He could nutmeg a mermaid.” He created another goal scoring opportunity and this time for Noble. As he cut in and laid it off, which Noble then snatched at slicing it over the bar. Noble’s face after says it all, he knows that was the chance and he should do better.
The last main bit of controversy came in the 92nd minute when Keita chipped the ball over the defence for Divock Origi. Origi missed the chance hitting it straight at the keeper. However, despite the chance being missed, it should be talked about. Again, the linesman in line with the backline failed to flag him offside. Questions need to be asked, if Divock Origi scores that, its daylight robbery.
Overall, you have to respect the point now, hopefully it’s the end of the poor form we were in and hopefully the players train hard, don’t get complacent and go out again against Crystal Palace and get a result.