05252017

Liverpool score four at West Ham to move third

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge has not scored a Premier League goal since his last start against Sunderland on 2 January

Liverpool beat West Ham at London Stadium to move back into third place as striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal since January.

Philippe Coutinho’s sublime pass on the half-hour mark cut open the Hammers defence and picked out an unmarked Sturridge who went around goalkeeper Adrian before slotting home.

The Brazilian then scored two of his own after the break before Divock Origi fired in a fourth to complete the Liverpool procession.

Victory against Middlesbrough on the final day of the season will guarantee Liverpool a Champions League place in 2017-18.

There were chances for both sides in a frenetic opening but as both teams settled in the London sun, it was Liverpool’s Brazilian magician who turned up the gears and once again orchestrated a Liverpool victory.

Sturridge, starting for the first time since January, christened his return with a goal as Liverpool dominated possession throughout.

West Ham endured a testing afternoon with Andre Ayew missing the easiest of chances at 1-0, before being left frustrated by some calamitous defending and a refereeing decision.

It was an unhappy end to their first season at London Stadium as the home supporters flooded the exits before the final whistle and left the players to do their lap of honour in front of empty seats.

Red hot Liverpool

After a stumble last week against Southampton – a game devoid of chances – the Liverpool attack were back at full throttle in the capital on Sunday.

The Reds began the day in fourth, having been leapfrogged by Manchester City, knowing two wins would guarantee third place.

And with the pressure firmly on, Jurgen Klopp’s side produced one of their most commanding performances of the season in a wholly one-sided affair.

Coutinho, playing in a slightly position, was the master of it all with an assist for the opener and two goals of his own.

The playmaker produced an exquisite pass from behind the halfway line for the opener as Sturridge evaded the offside trap and rolled home a tidy finish.

And after the break it was the Brazilian who once again turned up the heat.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s thunderbolt pinged back off the bar and Coutinho was the first to pounce before driving home to after a quick Liverpool counter-attack.

The Hammers woes were compounded when goalkeeper Adrian flapped at a high ball and Origi drilled in a fourth.

Philippe Coutinho<!–

Coutinho controlled the game from the Liverpool midfield with 78 total touches and 58 passes

Hammers’ unhappy home

West Ham’s final home game of the season was a microcosm of their first campaign at London Stadium – one which began full of hope but ultimately ended in frustration.

Having effectively ended London rivals Tottenham’s title change last week, their supporters could have been forgiven for expecting another performance.

And the home side started the better as Sam Bryam fired a free shot wide from inside the area.

Having fallen behind, the Hammers should have been level at the break – but Ayew from a corner drilled the ball against the base of the post from two yards, before repeating the feat with the rebound.

The Hammers were further frustrated at Liverpool’s third goal – Wijnaldum appeared to catch Winston Reid with his elbow earlier in the move – but play continued with Reid down and Liverpool scored seconds later.

West Ham have clocked up seven home victories at their new home – just two less than in their final season at Upton Park.

But they’ve now suffered eight home defeats, compared to just three in 2015-16 season.

London Stadium<!–

West Ham moved to the London Stadium in 2016 after 112 years at Upton Park

Sturridge to stay?

Hampered by a string of injuries, Sturridge has struggled for form this season and has seen himself fall down Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order.

But after a substitute appearance against Southampton, he was handed a first start since January and was clinical in front of goal.

The 27-year-old – who has made just 19 Premier League appearances in 2016-17 and scored three goals – has been linked with a move away from Anfield this summer.

He remained quiet about his Liverpool future following the game, but insisted he does not have any worries about next season.

Man of the Match – Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho<!–

Philippe Coutinho was in a world of his own against West Ham as the Hammers defenders could only watch in awe from a distance as the Brazilian ran riot

‘A very difficult season’ – manager reaction

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West Ham need time to adjust to London Stadium – Bilic

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “It was a very difficult season, a very long one. We had many, many obstacles. We needed time to adjust to the stadium but we knew we would.

“We had too many injuries throughout the season, that’s why I would like to give credit to the players.

“I think we will benefit long term from this season and from the knowledge and experience.”

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Liverpool scored beautiful goals – Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “It was a fantastic game but difficult. At the end it was amazing but the start was not that good.

“We scored some really nice goals but in the first half West Ham had big, big chances – especially to equalise before half-time.

“It was really unlucky for West Ham, but it was really lucky from our position. West Ham have not had too much luck this season.

On the final game of the season against Middlesbrough, Klopp added: “Middlesbrough have nothing to lose but we have everything to lose.

“The first thing the boys said in the dressing room – and I didn’t have to tell them – was ‘one more game’.

“If we win we deserve to be in the Champions League. If not we don’t deserve it.”

Liverpool love the capital – stats you need to know

  • Liverpool have now won at 52 different grounds in the Premier League, more than any other side in the competition (Arsenal and Manchester United next on 50).
  • West Ham suffered their joint-worst home defeat in the Premier League, losing by a four-goal margin for the third time this season (also 1-5 v Arsenal and 0-4 v Manchester City).
  • The Reds have won four of five four Premier League games in London this season (drew one), going unbeaten in the capital across an entire league season for the first time since in 1988-89.
  • This is the first time since 1998-99 that the Hammers have conceded four or more goals in four different home games in a single league season.
  • Philippe Coutinho was directly involved in three goals in a single game for Liverpool for the first time (two goals and one assist).
  • All three of Philippe Coutinho’s Premier League braces have come in London (also v Chelsea in Oct 2015 and Arsenal in Aug 2016).
  • Liverpool’s 11 shots on target were the most that West Ham have faced in a Premier League game this season and the most since November 2015 (v Tottenham, 12).

What’s next?

West Ham finish their season away at Burnley at 15:00 BST on Sunday, 21 May while Liverpool host Middlesbrough needing three points to guarantee Champions League football in 2017-18.

Live Text

Match ends, West Ham United 0, Liverpool 4.

Second Half ends, West Ham United 0, Liverpool 4.

Substitution, Liverpool. Marko Grujic replaces Adam Lallana.

Substitution, Liverpool. Ben Woodburn replaces Philippe Coutinho.

Offside, Liverpool. Philippe Coutinho tries a through ball, but James Milner is caught offside.

Substitution, Liverpool. Lucas Leiva replaces Daniel Sturridge.

Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Winston Reid (West Ham United).

Attempt missed. Robert Snodgrass (West Ham United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Sofiane Feghouli with a cross.

Attempt missed. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

Attempt saved. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt missed. Divock Origi (Liverpool) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Adam Lallana.

Substitution, West Ham United. Robert Snodgrass replaces André Ayew.

Goal! West Ham United 0, Liverpool 4. Divock Origi (Liverpool) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Attempt missed. Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

Attempt saved. Adam Lallana (Liverpool) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Daniel Sturridge.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Divock Origi (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Winston Reid (West Ham United).

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Simon Mignolet.

Attempt saved. Ashley Fletcher (West Ham United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by James Collins.

Foul by Divock Origi (Liverpool).

James Collins (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Divock Origi (Liverpool) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by James Milner.

James Collins (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card.

Goal! West Ham United 0, Liverpool 3. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Georginio Wijnaldum following a fast break.

Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by James Milner.

Attempt blocked. Sofiane Feghouli (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Emre Can (Liverpool).

Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal! West Ham United 0, Liverpool 2. Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box.

Foul by Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool).

André Ayew (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution, West Ham United. Ashley Fletcher replaces José Fonte.

What Next?

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