Friday 28 October 2016

Disastrous start to 2016 for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp as West Ham jump to fifth

Andy Sims

Published 02/01/2016 | 14:57

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Upton Park
Reuters / Toby Melville
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp at Upton Park Reuters / Toby Melville

Liverpool reject Andy Carroll ended the Reds' recent revival as West Ham secured a deserved 2-0 win at Upton Park.

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Carroll, who was let go by former Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers after just 18 months on Merseyside, scored with a trademark header to sink his old club.

West Ham were already leading through Michail Antonio's early goal when, nine minutes after half-time, Mark Noble floated in a cross and Carroll powered the ball home.

The goal clearly meant a lot to the striker as he celebrated wildly, with the Hammers registering back-to-back wins while ending Liverpool's run of two straight victories.

Liverpool were hugely disappointing and, with just one shoot on target all game, rarely looked capable of getting back into the match after Antonio fired the hosts ahead.

Antonio's first goal for the club, against Southampton last Monday, had more than a touch of fortune about it after a clearance hit him on the head and flew into the net.

But there was no doubt about his second of the season as the winger thumped in a close-range header from Enner Valencia's cross after 10 minutes.

Manuel Lanzini, back in the West Ham side after a spell out injured, showed what they have been missing recently with a vicious, swerving shot which crashed back off the inside of Simon Mignolet's post.

Unfortunately the Argentinian midfielder, who had been the game's most influential player, limped off just before half-time with what looked like a recurrence of his thigh injury.

West Ham continued to cause Liverpool problems, though, with Aaron Cresswell's deflected shot forcing Mignolet to save at his near post.

Liverpool, by contrast, were dismal in attack in the first half, and yet they were inches away from going in level at half-time after Emre Can's curler from the edge of the area clipped the crossbar.

The visitors emerged for the second half early, presumably with a flea in their ear from frustrated boss Jurgen Klopp.

They attacked with more purpose and Philippe Coutinho fizzed a shot over before Alberto Moreno's low cross found Christian Benteke, only for the striker to miss his kick in front of goal.

But just as Liverpool threatened to get back into the game Carroll snatched it away from them, rising above Nathaniel Clyne to powerfully nod Noble's cross past Mignolet and into the back of the net.

Carroll could have piled on the misery with another header from Cresswell's cross but Mignolet made a fine save.

Liverpool almost pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining but Lucas' header was cleared off the line by Mark Noble.

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