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Reds Column I

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: West Ham United vs Liverpool

A delightful brace from Mohamed Salah helped Liverpool Fc (The Reds) to move up to Third in the Table with an superb 1-3 win over the hosts West Ham United Fc in the Premier League.

Due to a minor muscle injury, Sadio Mané was absent prior to the clash with the hosts West Ham United Fc (The Hammers). However, The Reds remains hopeful that Mané’s latest injury would only be a short term issue.

In the midst of a busy run of Fixtures, Jürgen Klopp opted to rotate using his available resources by making 3 changes from the side that beat the hosts Tottenham Hotspur Fc (Spurs) last week.

Nathaniel Phillips was named in the starting line-up as the young Defender replaced the injured Joël Matip to partner alongside Makeshift Defender Jordan Henderson at the heart of the Defence.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi were named instead of the injured Mané and Roberto Firmino.

Alisson Becker continued in Goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson being the Full Backs. The rest of the Players that faced the hosts Spurs retained their spots.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner continued to form the Midfield triumvirate.

The real cause for concern was aside from Mohamed Salah, the Reds lacked the threat from other Goalscorers this season with the Players that were named on the pitch.

Like most Defensive minded sides, the Hammers defended in numbers and hope to break on the counter as the Reds probed with intent.

In the 8th minute, Origi’s left footed shot was off target and missed his shot to the left of the post after a neat assist from Shaqiri.

A lot of tidy touches came from the likes of Thiago and Shaqiri during the First Half but lacked creating a real goal scoring chance.

Salah’s header was wide to the right of the post following an assist from Thiago’s cross in the 23rd minute.

The Hammers looked to score from their limited opportunities as Declan Rice’s resulting rebound shot was blocked in the 24th minute following an assist from Saïd Benrahma.

The Reds had to remain patient in search of Goals as the Hammers stoutly defended during the First Half.

A long pass from Henderson was met by Salah but the ball slipped to Shaqiri who then hammered the ball but was blocked by Craig Pawson in the 27th minute.

In the 42nd minute, Michail Antonio’s header was saved by Alisson after an assist from Benrahma.

Thiago provided an eye of the needle through ball to Origi but the Belgian slotted the ball wide of the net in the 44th minute.

With both sides unable to break the deadlock, the First Half ended at 0-0.

The Reds continued their dominance in the Second Half and looked to score Goals.

Salah’s shot was blocked by Aaron Cresswell in the 49th minute following an assist from Origi.

Salah was again on the thick of the action as another Henderson’s long cross was headed by the Egyptian but headed the ball straight to  Łukasz Fabiański in the 53rd minute.

With the view of bringing more pace in to the game and prevent injuries to key Players, Curtis Jones was brought on to replace James Milner in the 57th minute.

Shortly afterward, the Reds broke deadlock after an assist from Curtis Jones was curled brilliantly by Salah in to the top left corner of the net after the Egyptian dribbled past the Hammers Defenders.

A swift counter attack that was triggered by Alexander-Arnold through a diagonal pass to Shaqiri in the 68th minute. The Swiss International provided the perfect cross to Salah and the Egyptian then takes one touch to control, then dinked the ball over Fabiański to make 0-2 for the Reds.

Roberto Firmino was then brought on to replace Shaqiri in the 69th minute.

In search of his Hattrick, Salah blazed his shot high and wide after a neat assist from Wijnaldum in the 75th minute.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Origi in the 80th minute as the Reds looked to seal off the game.

After a back heel pass Oxlade-Chamberlain was met by Firmino, the Brazilian then provided a neat assist to Wijnaldum in the 84th minute. The Dutchman then tapped the ball in to the net to make it 0-3 for the Reds.

An unmarked Craig Dawson scored the consolation Goal for the Hammers following a corner kick situation.

The Reds went on to seal the game 1-3 as they moved to the Third of the Table in the Premier League.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-1-2 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 6: Decent handling and swept up whenever needed but like the Spurs away Game, did not had much to do. The Brazilian could not do much about the Goal from the unmarked Dawson.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: Calm in defence and was instrumental in setting up 2 of the Reds Goals.

Nathaniel Phillips – 7: Never felt under pressure and brilliantly dealt especially the aerial threat from Antonio.

Jordan Henderson – 8: Besides being a vocal presence, the Captain kept things tidy and simple.

Andrew Robertson – 7: Headed the ball off the line during the First Half and was in good positions going forward but the deliveries were not up to the mark.

Midfield:

James Milner – 7: Got the team really on the front foot and shielded whenever needed. Was unhappy to be subbed but instantly celebrated with Klopp, when the Reds scored the First Goal soon after.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 7: Scored the third Goal for the Reds. Made plenty of interceptions and quick passes.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: Solid performance with range of passes with one of them almost resulting in an assist but Origi almost scored. 

Forwards:

Xherdan Shaqiri – 7: Played the near perfect ploy being behind Origi and Salah. Provided the perfect cross that resulted in the Second Goal. The Swiss International rarely put a foot wrong.

Divock Origi – 6: Could not make his physical presence count. The Belgian had few shots were off target.

Mohamed Salah – 9: After a somewhat sedate start, scored the brace during the Second Half that ended his mini Goal drought. Always was on the thick of the action.

Substitutes:

Curtis Jones – 6: Replaced Milner. The youngster provided the assist that resulted in the opening Goal but Salah did his part to wriggle past the Hammers defenders before curling his effort. However, the youngster did what the Gaffer ordered which was to provide the pace and keep the Reds moving forward.

Roberto Firmino – N/A: Brought on to replace Shaqiri. Provided the assist that resulted in the third Goal for the Reds following the interplay between the Brazilian and Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact but was played a crucial role in setting up the third Goal.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 7: The Coach for his part had to deal with more unexpected injuries and rotated the squad brilliantly.

The 4-3-1-2 Formation shows Klopp’s tactical flexibility and that somewhat caught the Hammers off guard as the Reds switched from their usual 4-3-3.

The Burnley Home Loss now feels like a distant memory. The Reds are slowly regaining their old swagger of scoring Goals to kill off the games but keeping clean sheets with wins eludes them.

Tougher fixtures await them but the Reds are firmly back on the right track.

With that being said, Klopp might finally get his wish granted to bolster a backline that is in dire need of reinforcement before the Winter Transfer Window 2021 closes.

Unable to spend huge amounts of money, the left footed defender Ben Davis has been viewed as the viable option to strengthen a threadbare backline.

The deal became easier to negotiate as Davies is into the final 6 months of his contract with Preston North End Fc and the Reds will look to swiftly conclude the Deal.

In search of other available Centre Back Players before the Winter Transfer Window 2021 closes, Davis might not likely become the only Winter Transfer 2021 Signing.

 

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