Monday, December 12

Battling Hammers earn a point at Anfield

Liverpool 2 West Ham 2

Well, we'd have taken a point before the game. Watched this one from the Twelve Pins at Finsbury Park, which despite the Arsenal links has decent screens and a nice pint of Adnams Mosaic pale ale. A very mixed game for Darren Randolph, who spilled a routine cross to gift Origi the equaliser, but then produced one of the saves of the season to tip over Henderson's piledriver that was destined for the top corner. 

It looked like another thrashing as Mane burst down the left and crossed for Lallana to swivel and score after five minutes. But West Ham certainly showed a lot of character and were definitely playing for Slaven. Noble, Obiang and even Ayew did a lot of midfield scuffling and Antonio's burst forward, forcing a save from Karius, was a sign of intent. 

West Ham equalised when Obiang was brought down and Payet scored direct from the free kick. It was a fine free kick but having got a palm to the ball Karius should have done better. Great celebration from Dimitri who gave the corner flag a salute. It got better as Nordtveit's hopeful punt spun off a Liverpool player, confusing Matip, as Antonio ran behind him to prod post the hesitant Karius. Payet almost gave away a penalty in his own box jus before the interval, but it was a sign that he was working for the cause. 

Randolph's spill gifted Liverpool the equaliser after 48 minutes, but the Hammers' custodian  then redeemed himself with that superb save from Henderson. It was a fine defensive performance from the Hammers, with Reid and Ogbonna outstanding, while even Nordtveit grew into the game and started to look reasonably solid at right back. Big Andy came on and got a  bloodied face going for a cross with Karius while Antonio was tireless when switched to right midfield. A decent cameo from sub Fernandes too. 

Didn't expect to get anything from this and West Ham are now out of the bottom three. It certainly had Matt and Lisa dancing in the streets of La Palma, where they had been on a romantic mini-break watching the final of the Copa Pepe Gonzalez (won by Atletico Paso) and they celebrated our draw with bottles of Dimitri, a Tenerife craft beer and some Ronnie Biggs brown ale. Meanwhile Nigel texts from Status Quo's last ever London electric gig to say he's relieved we're no longer going down down deeper and down.

A point at Klopp's Kop should ensure we go into the Burnley and Hull games with much more confidence. Irons!

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