The Hammers have a better goal differential (+4 to +1) than the Reds. They’ve been effective on counters and up the flanks, meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson will be working hard all day. Center-backs Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips, getting his surprise first Premier League start, have their work cut out of them.
Why Phillips over Rhys Williams? Phillips isn’t on the UCL roster. Jurgen Klopp is saving Williams for a Tuesday match.
Liverpool are fresh of an uninspiring midweek Champions League win. Will they show up sharper today?
It’s been a listless first half. The Reds are lucky to go in 1-1 at the break.
Liverpool come alive in the second half but again have VAR go inexplicably against them. But the decision almost gives the Reds more determination, as they go full steam. Diogo Jota, who was unfairly denied by VAR, buries a great Shaq ball to give the Reds a 2-1 win.
Liverpool starting XI vs West Ham
Liverpool Player Ratings vs West Ham
Jurgen Klopp () –
Goes with this interesting line-up and they’re just not clicking. Klopp needs to go ahead and sit Bobby. And find someone to spark this group.
Makes the right subs at the 70th minute, bringing on Jota and Shaq. Changes the match immediately and helps guide Liverpool to the win.
Alisson (7) –
Nothing he could do on the opener. One good save towards end of first half. Decent save on Fornals in the 50th minute.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6) –
Making his 100th appearance for the Reds. Starting to look like his old self after a solid Champions League showing. Or was starting too. Free-kicks off. Service off. Everything off. Comes on stronger in the second half as he goes on the front-foot more.
Nathaniel Phillips (7) –
Everyone was expecting to see Rhys Williams here, but Klopp goes with the surprise start for Phillips.
He’s actually been the best of the backline in the first half. Aware and well-positioned. Legit best defender of the day.
Joe Gomez (5.5) –
If Gomez is the future of the club at center-back, he’s going to need to step up from here on out.
Which he…does not!
Inexcusably poor clearance goes right to Fornals and leads to West Ham’s opener. Steadies himself as game goes on.
Andy Robertson (6) –
Active but ineffective evening.
Jordan Henderson (6.5) –
First half is mostly hard work. Second half he’s more on his front foot. Gets the hockey assist on the go-ahead goal.
Gini Wijnaldum (7) –
Working hard. Some good turns. Confident on ball. Did the hard work that set up the go-ahead goal.
Curtis Jones (5) –
Has Klopp’s trust as he gets another start. Surprising Klopp doesn’t figure out a way to get Jota in for a start. Comes alive before getting pulled in the second half but another so-so showing. Might not be ready.
Sadio Mane (6) –
About as quiet of a half I can remember from Mane in some time. Looks more like himself in the second half.
Roberto Firmino (4) –
He’s just not in form right now. Sucks to say. Might be time to sit him for a bit. Subbed out in the 71st.
Mo Salah (8) –
Not terribly sharp. However, draws a penalty in the 40th minute (with a bit of selling) and drills the pk to even the match. Really comes on in the second half. Almost single-handedly trying to will the Reds a go ahead goal. Comes off late for Milner.
Diogo Jota (8) – On in the 71st for Bobby. Liverpool immediatly look better when Jota comes on. Has a goal called off by another bullshit VAR decision but then buries a wonderful shot off a gorgeous Shaq throughball to give Liverpool the lead.
Xherdan Shaqiri (7) – On for Jones in the 71st. Makes a similar assist to put the Reds ahead as he did in the UCL. Shaq is back.
James Milner (NR) – Late sub for Mo.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Going with Jota here. The whole match turned the second he stepped on the pitch.