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    Liverpool 4-1 West Ham United Match Report

    Liverpool threw the gauntlet down to their rivals in the battle for a top-four place by romping to a comprehensive victory over relegation-threatened West Ham.

    Jurgen Klopp's side had to show patience in the first-half before taking the lead but they went on to produce a masterclass of free-flowing attacking football with the all-important end product.

    Both teams contributed to an exciting opening quarter-of-an-hour, with Mohamed Salah hitting the post for The Reds from a low strike inside the penalty area before the visitors responded when Marko Arnautovic clipped the crossbar with a delicate lob.

    Liverpool began to take a stranglehold on the match as it approached the 30-minute mark by forcing a series of corners, which eventually led to them taking a deserved lead through Emre Can.

    Andrew Robertson's lofted cross needed to be tipped over by Adrian in the West Ham goal as it headed towards the top-corner, while Trent Alexander-Arnold forced a smart low save from the Spanish goalkeeper at his near-post.

    However, a third consecutive corner was finally headed home by German international Can from three yards after Salah's pinpoint cross had created the opportunity to score Liverpool's 100th goal of the campaign.

    The home side could have doubled their advantage just minutes later when Salah headed over the bar from Robertson's measured cross, while they also came close to conceding as an Arnautovic strike required a full-stretch save from Loris Karius.

    It only took Liverpool six minutes to find the all-important second goal upon the resumption, with Salah producing a delicate finish to beat Adrian after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's marauding run and pass had created the opportunity.

    Sadio Mane should then have scored Liverpool's third of the afternoon when he fired the ball straight at Adrian, when through on goal, but there was little the West Ham stopper could do a minute later to deny Roberto Firmino.

    The in-form Liverpool striker was found by an exquisite pass from Can and he duly rounded the onrushing Spaniard before stroking into an empty net from 10 yards for his 22nd goal of the season.

    West Ham contributed to a high-quality encounter themselves and scored a deserved consolation goal shortly before the hour-mark when Michail Antonio slotted past Karius after being found by Cheikhou Kouyate's defence-splitting pass.

    The Hammers' response seemed to stir Liverpool back into life, with Salah coming close to scoring his 32nd goal of the campaign as he struck the ball straight at Adrian following Oxlade-Chamberlain's clever pass.

    Firmino was next to try his luck when he was denied by a smothering save by Adrian, while Mane unleashed a pile-driver from 20 yards, seconds later, that required some immaculate handling from the Spaniard.

    Having been thwarted by Adrian on several occasions, Mane finally looked to have beaten his nemesis but he looked on in frustration as his effort struck the outside of the post after he was picked-out by another deft Oxlade-Chamberlain pass.

    The Senegalese international, however, provided the finishing touches to a dazzling end-to-end move in the closing minutes when he slotted home Robertson's cross from inside the six-yard box.

    The thoroughly-deserved three points were enough to temporarily move Jurgen Klopp's side up to second-place in the Premier League table, although they were dislodged by Manchester United following a 2-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

    The Reds must now switch their attentions to the visit of Newcastle on Saturday when they renew acquaintances with former manager Rafa Benitez, whose 15th-place side are in desperate need of the points themselves.

    West Ham, meanwhile, drop a place in the table to 13th ahead of a relegation six-pointer at Swansea this weekend, with the 18th-place Swans remaining only three points behind David Moyes' team despite suffering a 4-1 loss to Brighton.
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool 4-1 West Ham United Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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