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Liverpool 1 West Ham 0 (Mar 5 2022)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

The reaction to this has been a bit odd. Ok, it was only 1-0 and West Ham had a couple of great chances that thankfully they didn’t take, but there was absolutely nothing extraordinary about this. Throughout a season, even the very best teams will have some games like this and it doesn’t serve as any reflection of their level, it’s just football. 

 

It’s hard winning Premier League games. Just because we often make it look easy doesn’t mean it is. Sometimes for any number of reasons games can end up on a bit of a knife edge, like this one. We haven’t had many of them to be fair. City have had a few and when they have, there’s usually been some kind of VAR controversy helping them along the way. When they win 1-0 it’s seen as a sign of how relentless they are (“this is what champions do” etc), yet when we show any kind of vulnerability - real or perceived - it seems to be viewed in a completely different way.

 

West Ham did alright. They’re a tough team to play against and they’re one of only two sides to beat us this season. They defended well and posed the occasional threat on the break. They created one big chance in each half but they fluffed them both. We were the better side throughout though and we were quite wasteful ourselves. On another day we get the second goal and go on to win comfortably. Nothing to see here, just the kind of fairly standard, uninspiring win that the top sides pull off as a matter of routine.

 

If you’d told me ten minutes into this that we’d only be 1-0 up and relying on West Ham missing an absolute sitter I’d never have believed it given the way we started. We were brilliant early on and should have gone ahead after a minute. West Ham were caught offside and Trent grabbed the ball, put it down and then quick as a flash he played a perfect ball down the channel to set Mo clear on goal. It was so good from him.

 

Mo raced clear into the box and we all awaited the inevitable, but surprisingly he hit his shot straight at Fabianksi. Disappointing, as he usually buries those. Not only that, but a goal so early may have opened the floodgates. We had other chances too and everything pointed to us scoring three or four and running out comfortable winners. 

 

 

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I think I might be the only one of this opinion but I thought Diaz's selfishness was similar to Mo's in this game.

 

He has huge levels of ability and I think he'll be an amazing signing for us but he chose a few shots from distance at the wrong moments and also should have played a simple pass to put Mo in after his big bursting run through the middle instead of trying to take on the last 2 defenders. 

 

I think it's probably just a case of feeling he needs to make an impact but it was just an observation I had.

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Good, scrappy win I thought. It just wasn't running for us up front.

 

 This ' we were lucky not to concede a few' narrative comes mainly from the nature of most of our games. We dominate possession, trying to pick our way through a nine man defence and whenever we get a chance which is  saved or blocked the opposition defence is rightly praised.  But most of the chances we give away are on the break and therefore better quality and,when we scramble back to cover, the narrative is we got away with one instead ot our defence (or offside line) being praised.  We're gambling that if we can create ten chances we'll score more than the opposition will from the two clear chances we'll give away. Mostly the gamble pays off but we'll have uncomfortable moments in almost every game. 

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Yep a few scares...more scary for me a times of late is Allison...I think he is really good one on on one, has a habit of just doing enough, that first half chance in particular, slowed it down. On the flip side, I think he is gone a little more nonchalant with the ball at his feet at times, I much prefer Kelleher in this respect...just not good for the old ticker!

 

Keita, yep did ok...but one Spring now and again will never make a Summer...

 

Mane, he seems to be ok down the middle, because let's face it Diaz is an absolute Monster on the ball. If he can clip a few inches inside the post instead of out then this guy has it all. The call on Mo was the correct one, I would certainly rest him via Inter as Brighton and Arse away he will be required!

 

More Arsenal than Arsenal...that about sums United up...I know people rave about how shit Maguire is, no doubt, but that sloth Pogba is one of the laziest players I have ever seen. 

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These kinda streaky wins were the results I was missing when we were dropping leads to 2 goal leads to Brighton and conceding 3 goals to Brentford. We just looked like we could not hold onto our leads at that period.

 

While you look at the loss to Leicester as your most irritating moment those two results are what really irritates me so I'm very happy to see us go into a game where we got into a lead and just held on.

 

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"The funny thing is I thought most of the lads played well... Individually we were decent but collectively it didn’t really click..."

 

That's what I was thinking after the game. Thought we were pretty poor but couldn't single out too many "culprits". That said, I thought Mo was woeful. 

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Agree that if those 2 chances in the first 3 minutes had gone in, the impression of this game would be totally different. Mo just had one of those games and it got to the stage he was trying too hard.

 

Weirdly, west ham's best chances came from direct attacks rather than set pieces or corners.

 

Boottom line if you dont conceed, you arent losing. We scored the one that counted. To be honest, although the goal was right in front of me, it all happened so quick, I thought they may have been an offside.

 

It seemed to me like Trent had almost lost control of the ball and had little opportunity to regain control and play the ball, instead opting to do the best he could and get it in the crowded danger area. Fortunately sadio steered into the net with no little skill.

 

West Ham didnt seem to appeal much for offside but when the kick off was delayed, I thought fuck sake's! You just dont know how these go in the ground so was relieved when Moss signalled it was good.

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Sadio should have been well offside but Dawson ran in with him instead of holding the line. I thought that was terrible for such an experienced player.

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Games like this will always happen and ,as someone said, when City do it then it's what champions do but we are just lucky bastards. Thought we really missed Thiago in mf and we need to find a younger version of him at the end of this season.

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3 hours ago, Nolongerathletic said:

Yep a few scares...more scary for me a times of late is Allison...I think he is really good one on on one, has a habit of just doing enough, that first half chance in particular, slowed it down. On the flip side, I think he is gone a little more nonchalant with the ball at his feet at times, I much prefer Kelleher in this respect...just not good for the old ticker!

What you said about Alisson isnt controversial at all, regarding his dallying on the ball. He has been doing it for ages. Quite often, he waits just an extra couple seconds too long before releasing his pass. His kicking of the ball is good but it can be erratic We have conceded big chances and goals to opponents because of it. Kelleher is better with the ball at his feet. Not by a mile but by enough to not give us heart attacks!!

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We need more end product from Diaz, it is fair to say. 1 goal in 6 starts isnt great. However, I also love his work ethic and defensive contributions.

 

I think it was with the Antonio chance which Keita intercepted, you can see Diaz sprinting at full speed from the centre circle to get back into the box to help out. Just a typical example of his all round game.

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2 hours ago, Supremolad said:

What you said about Alisson isnt controversial at all, regarding his dallying on the ball. He has been doing it for ages. Quite often, he waits just an extra couple seconds too long before releasing his pass. His kicking of the ball is good but it can be erratic We have conceded big chances and goals to opponents because of it. Kelleher is better with the ball at his feet. Not by a mile but by enough to not give us heart attacks!!

I’d even go as far as to say he’s been dilly dallying. Please cut it out, big man.

Can’t disagree with any of the points in that report. Not that I have any particular need to I suppose. 

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"We’re now relying on others to take points off City"

 

Not true... if we win all our games the worst that can happen is we lose on goal difference. It's 99% in our hands.

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