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    Liverpool 0-3 West Ham Match Report

    West Ham recorded their first victory over Liverpool at Anfield for 52 years to turn the form book upside down and send the home side crashing back down to earth in the process.

    It was a 3-0 win that saw Philippe Coutinho and Mark Noble sent-off to leave both teams a man light in the second half, but the damage had already been done by that stage through goals by Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble.

    More worrying for Liverpool, the defensive troubles that have plagued them for the past couple of seasons were in full evidence as they were ruthlessly exposed by a magnificent Hammers side who rounded off the win through Diafra Sakho.

    The away team got off to the best possible start after only three minutes, with Manuel Lanzini poking home Aaron Cresswell's left-footed cross from 8 yards after some poor Liverpool defending.

    Martin Skrtel headed Dimitri Payet's right-footed cross into the path of Cresswell, while Joe Gomez was left flat-footed by Lanzini as he got ahead of the Liverpool youngster to give his side an early lead.

    Liverpool offered a swift response, with home debutant Roberto Firmino curling a thunderbolt from 25 yards past a sprawling Darren Randolph, only to see his effort hit the outside of the post

    It was an early glimpse of the talent that Liverpool fans will come to enjoy this season from a man who offered the kind of outlet that Raheem Sterling has provided for the past three seasons.

    A minute later, West Ham were perhaps lucky not to concede a penalty when Winston Reid laid a hand on Christian Benteke that floored the striker, as he chested the ball away from goal, but referee Kevin Friend deemed the contact to be fair.

    After 29 minutes, West Ham doubled their lead when Lanzini dispossessed Dejan Lovren on the right-wing and his cross ricocheted into the path of Noble, who coolly slotted the ball into the corner for his second goal in as many games.

    It was another defensive calamity by Liverpool, with Lovren having plenty of time to clear the ball and then Nathaniel Clyne blasting the resulting cross against Lucas Leiva to send it into the path of Noble, just inside the penalty area.

    Liverpool's hopes of an early revival in the second half were dashed when Philippe Coutinho was sent off when he mistimed a tackle on Payet, having been bewitched by the kind of pirouette that would have been befitting of the Brazilian himself.

    It was a second bookable offence after he failed to retreat 10 yards from a free-kick late in the first half, leaving Liverpool without the player who has scored seven goals since the turn of the year.

    Liverpool still offered a threat with 10 men, nearly pulling a goal back when substitute Danny Ings, making his Reds debut, diverted a Alberto Moreno cross into the path of James Milner, who pulled a shot wide from 20 yards.

    Things nearly got worse for Liverpool in the last 15 minutes, when Cresswell weaved past Gomez on the left wing before unleashing a left-footed shot from a tight angle that was pushed wide by Simon Mignolet at his near post.

    West Ham offered the home side a way back in the game when Mark Noble was harshly dismissed for a lunge on Danny Ings, which was interpreted as being reckless by Kevin Friend, although he cleanly won the ball.

    Noble was initially confused by the incident as referee Friend had already blown his whistle for a foul by James Milner, from which the West Ham midfielder had overran the ball, with Ings looking to win the ball on the edge of the penalty area.

    Liverpool nearly created a grandstand finish with seven minutes left, when Benteke headed a Milner corner across goal into the path of Lovren, who stabbed the ball wide with his right foot from 3 yards.

    It was the kind of incident that summed up Liverpool's afternoon and as West Ham stood firm to some late pressure, they set the seal on the win two minutes into injury time through Diafra Sakho.

    Alberto Moreno deflected an attempted pass by Cheikhou Kouyate into the path of Sakho, who went past the Spanish full-back and placed a left-footed shot into the right-hand corner, beating the outstretched hand of Mignolet.

    The afternoon will act as a reality check for Liverpool, who had previously looked to be putting the poor finish to last season behind them with a solid start to this campaign, with seven points from a possible nine.

    The performance was unrecognisable from the one which drew 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium last Monday, and the solid defensive foundations which frustrated Arsenal were replaced by moments of indecision regular misplaced passes.

    Most of the players will now turn their attention to international duty, ahead of the trip to Old Trafford in two weeks time, where huge improvements will be needed if they are to take something from the game.

    For West Ham, it was another perfect away performance by Slaven Bilic's team, who were ruthless in the way they exposed Liverpool's frailties and took the match away from Liverpool's grasp after just 30 minutes.

    Liverpool could find no answer to penetrate a well-organised defence, who had looked shaky in both their previous matches, where they conceded a total of six goals in the home defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth.

    They will now be looking to find the consistency that has eluded them so far this season but in Manuel Lanzini and Dimitri Payet, they may have found two midfield gems who will cause opposing defenders many sleepless nights this season.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 0-3 West Ham Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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