Liverpool 1-0 West Ham: Jurgen Klopp’s men shot from the blocks as they took a well-deserved lead but they were by no means at their best and had to dig deep to prevent a late Hammers attack
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Sadio Mane fired Liverpool into a hard-fought win over West Ham to keep the pressure on Manchester City in the title race.
The winger’s first-half goal made the difference as Jurgen Klopp’s men secured a crucial three points against the Hammers.
Liverpool came blasting from the blocks as Mane’s goal gave the hosts a well-deserved lead.
but west ham didn’t come to Anfield just to level the numbers as they had ten shots in the opening 45 minutes and were unhappily level at half-time.
The game fizzled out after the break until a late surge from David Moyes’ side in the last ten minutes, but Liverpool used their experience to decide the game.
Here are the talking points from the First League Collision.
Trento reaches new heights
Liverpool dominated in the opening stages and unsurprisingly Trent Alexander-Arnold was right in the middle.
The right-back set up Sadio Mane with a brilliant assist for the Reds’ opener, his 16th in all competitions this season.
That beats his best tally to date from 2018/19 and 2019/20 and it’s only March so there’s a good chance he’ll hit the 20-assist mark – a ridiculous feat considering he’s a defender.
He almost got his 17th assist shortly after Manes’ goal, but West Ham saved Luis Diaz’s attempt from the line.
And moments later it was Alexander-Arnold’s turn to clear the ball off the line as he ran back to stop Pablo Fornal’s lob that went past Alisson.
He is indispensable for Liverpool.
Konate’s winning streak continues
Ibrahima Konate has been called up in Liverpool’s starting XI after coming on as an extra-time substitute in their Carabao Cup win Chelsea last weekend.
First-team chances have been hard to come by for the defender but he has looked impressive in his 18 appearances in all competitions.
Liverpool are unbeaten with Konate in the side and that impressive steak continues against West Ham.
He had his hands full with Mikhail Antonio but managed his physical presence expertly throughout the 90 minutes.
He was also the only player to feature in every matchday squad for Liverpool this season as Kostas Tsimikas missed out against West Ham.
No rice big problem
Declan Rice was also absent from the matchday squad due to illness – a major blow for West Ham.
David Moyes said before kick-off the Hammers would do their best to finish without the midfielder but conceded he would be a “huge failure”.
He said: “No, I think we play quite a bit without Declan at different times, so we’ll do it again. We had a period last season when we were without Declan – he was injured while playing for England and he missed five games towards the end of last season so we’re going to move on.”
“Well, he’s a big miss, we’d say, but not a big rejig-no.”
And it’s fair to say that visitors could have used Rice in the middle of the park.
Liverpool’s front three were able to get close to West Ham’s defense with ease, particularly in the first half, and they sorely missed Rice, who is usually so good at protecting defences.
Jarrod Bowen was substituted off against the Reds with a horrific looking injury as the second half began.
The winger was treated for a long time before two physiotherapists helped him.
It hasn’t been looking for the Englishman, who is having a phenomenal season for the Hammers.
Bowen’s absence clearly affected West Ham from that point and they didn’t look nearly as dangerous until a late attack.
And they will fear the worst for the rest of the season as Bowen could be out for an extended period.
Liverpool keeps the title dream alive
Far from being a classic performance from Liverpool, it was a crucial three points as they finished off Pep Guardiola’s men.
They are now three points behind City who will play Manchester United on Super Sunday.
Liverpool will have a game on their hands after this one, so there’s a feeling the momentum is starting to shift.
It looked like City would walk away with the title a few weeks ago, but it’s certainly a game as we move into the business end of the season.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/liverpool-west-ham-sadio-mane-26395922 Sadio Mane fires Liverpool past West Ham to put pressure on Man City - 5 talking points