LONDON: Liverpool’s lack of defensive organisation was badly exposed as their club record-equalling run of 25 games was brought to a sudden halt at West Ham.
Twice goalkeeper Alisson and his team-mates were at fault on corners in a 3-2 defeat at the London Stadium, a first beating for Jurgen Klopp’s men in any competition since last April.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was upset with referee Craig Pawson for not ruling that Alisson had been fouled on the first goal and also later for not sending off Aaron Cresswell for a tough challenge on Jordan Henderson.
Klopp said: “The end of our unbeaten run is the least of my problems. Any run will end at some point. The way it happene is difficult to take but that’s how footabll is. If you don’t use your chances then it’s up to refereeing decisions.”
West Ham manager David Moyes said: “We didn’t play well in the first half but we changed things around at halftime and played much better in the second half. It was a terrific effort by the players and victory was thoroughly deserved. We could have scored a couple more in the second half.”
Hammers enjoyed the perfect start. Pablo Fornals swung in a corner, Angelo Ogbonna jumped in front of Alisson and the ball skimmed off the goalkeeper’s left glove and into the net.
Ogbonna had to be substituted after suffering a bad cut in a clash with Diogo Jota which had West Ham demanding a red card in vain. Jota remained at the heart of the action shortly afterwards by heading a good chance over the bar.
Liverpool maintained their pressure and equalised after a free kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold. He tapped the ball to Mo Salah who stopped it so that the rightback could curl his first goal of the season beyond the wall and keeper Lukasz Fabianski.
In fact Alexander-Arnold had been playing more like a right winger than a rightback. But when he did make a mistake shortly before halftime he was rescued by a fine saving tackle from Virgil van Dijk on Jarrod Bowen. West Ham claimed a penalty in vain.
The second half started with end-to-end action. Craig Dawson headed against the top of Alisson’s crossbar from another Fornals corner then Mane had a shot blocked at close range by Fabianski.
West Ham regained the lead in the 67th minute while Liverpool were waiting to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Thiago Alcantara. Bowen seized possession in midfield, burst through a jungle of players and fed the onrunning Fornals to shoot home.
Liverpool’s need to press for an equaliser presented West Ham with counter-attacking opportunities. Fornals and Antonio both threatened before the Hammers took the lead with a Kurt Zouma header to yet another corner. It was the former Chelsea and Everton man’s first goal for West Ham.
Klopp sent on Divock Origi to try to rescue the game and the Belgian repaid his manager almost immediately by scoring after a delicate piece of ball juggling just inside the penalty box.
Mane headed wide across the face of goal in stoppage time but West Ham hung on for their first win over Liverpool in any competition since 2016 and in David Moyes’s 1,001st match as a manager.