Re-watch the last six goals they have conceded and ask how many were preventable? At least three. Probably four.
Karius needed a performance to back up . Instead he was again unimpressive, failing to shove away Dmitri Payet’s 28th-minute free-kick. He can spend the week finding another former Manchester United player working in the media to respond to if it makes him feel better, but it does not alter that .
He may get better. Longer term, he could become the most assured Liverpool keeper since Clemence. But Liverpool are a side still capable of winning the title this year, so spare us the high-ground lectures against those justifiably infuriated that such an obvious flaw is undermining their latest challenge.
It was more exasperating for the Kop because, just as at Bournemouth, they had watched their side start as if they were in the mood for a rampage.
Adam Lallana was able to return to the starting line-up for the first time since being injured playing for England against Spain. He immediately demonstrated what Liverpool have lacked in his absence, controlling exquisitely before drilling the home side ahead on five minutes after Sadio Mané’s cross and some inadequate defending.
After West Ham’s mauling by Arsenal a week ago, Bilic must have feared the worst. Instead, his clever use of Michail Antonio as a striker in the first half bothered Dejan Lovren and, to a lesser extent, Joel Matip on the counter-attacks. There was an early warning when he scurried clear on eight minutes, his shot pushed over by Karius prior to the goalkeeper’s travails from Payet’s set-piece.
There was more fortune about West Ham’s second six minutes before the interval. Havard Nordtveit’s long ball was inadvertently flicked on by Jordan Henderson; it wrong-footed Matip who, that aside, was outstanding. In the clear, Antonio directed the ball beyond Karius, who was again unimposing.
But Randolph returned the favour three minutes into the second half, dropping Mané’s cross to enable Divock Origi to tap in. The festive gift exchanges ended there with the visitors defending more resolutely the longer the game progressed.
Not for the first time, a fixture list many presumed had Bilic staring into the abyss may have led to his salvation, a point at Old Trafford and Anfield makes that 5-1 humiliation against Arsenal an oddity.
“We showed great reaction after the goal,” said Bilic, who as a former Besiktas coach dedicated the point to victims of Saturday’s terrorist attack in Turkey. “It’s a really great point for us before a crucial week.”
For Klopp there is worrying momentum to reverse. Top of the league before the last international break, Liverpool now find themselves hanging onto the coat-tails of Chelsea heading into the festive period. The loss of er Joe Allen.The veteran central midfielder is wanted by several Premier League clubs.But the Championship side have put a £15 million price tag on his head, per the Daily Mail.The source claims that West Ham are only willing to pay around £8 milliPhilippe Coutinho is not helping, and the squad suddenly looks much thinner at the busiest, tiring stage. He has a bench full of teenagers and needs the senior men to return.
“It is difficult to stay in the title race with ,” said Klopp. “This is the moment to collect as many points as possible. It’s a negative we didn’t win but it is still a point. We are still on a very good way. We are third. Come on – a lot of teams should feel worse.”
Bilic left Merseyside feeling the vote of confidence in him expressed by the West Ham board had gone some way to being validated.
We must wait a while longer for Karius to demonstrate the show of faith in his skills from Klopp will be similarly rewarded.
“The criticism was very harsh,” said Klopp. “When we analysed the [Bournemouth] game I found eight players who could have defended the goal before Loris was involved. Even the best goalkeepers in the world still make mistakes.” Or as Pepe Reina, one of Karius’ predecessors, put it earlier this week: “It’s a team that also at times has to do better for the goalkeeper.”
The Hammers beat Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal on their travels last season, which perhaps inflated their end of season points total to put them in a false position. They’ve found things tough going this term.
Randolph; Ogbonna, Reid, Arbeloa;
Antonio, Obiang, Noble, Cresswell; Lanzini, Carroll, Payet.
Byram, Sakho (both hamstring), Collins (muscle), Kouyate (groin), Oxford (ankle), Tore (thigh).
Any good stats going into the match?
The aggregate score of last season’s two meetings was 5-0 to WMariano Diaz does not fancy a move to Arsenal.Real Madrid are keen to offload the striker in order to raise funds for other transfers.Arsenal have been offered the striker for just £18m, despite Real paying £30m for Diaz only a year ago.However, AS says Diaz would prefer to stay in Spain and fight for a place in Zinedine Zidane’s plans.Roma and AC Milan are also monitoring the 25-year-old.est Ham.Liverpool’s loss to West Ham at Anfield in August 2015 was their first home defeat to them in the Premier League (W14 D5).West Ham did the league double over Liverpool last season for the first time since 1963/64. They’ve never won three consecutively in the league over Liverpool.In fact, Liverpool didn’t win any of their four games against West Ham last season, losing an FA Cup 4th round replay to them also (D1 L3).West Ham scored as many goals in their last league visit to Anfield (3) as they had in their previous 13 league games there.Daniel Sturridge has scored four times in six Premier League games against West Ham, although only one of those goals has been scored at Anfield.There were two red cards given in this exact fixture last season, with Philippe Coutinho and Mark Noble dismissed.West Ham United have lost a league-high 10 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.The Hammers have made six individual errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League this season; more than any other team. Former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll has scored 44 Premier League goals, with exactly half of these being netted with his head (22). Of players to have scored 40+ Premier League goals, only Duncan Ferguson, Tim Cahill, Kenwyne Jones and John Terry have scored a higher proportion with their head.The previous three Premier League games to involve Liverpool and to be played on a Sunday this season have all produced seven goals (21 in total).
Stats via Opta
What form are the two teams in?
Liverpool were flying until last week’s , having not lost in their previous 11 league matches. Jurgen Klopp’s side are third heading into the weekend’s matches, four points behind leaders Chelsea and a point second-placed behind Arsenal.
To use the modern footballing vernacular West Ham are in a very bad moment. They were dreadful in , and are winless in their last five league matches (D2,L3). Going into the weekend’s matches, Slaven Bilic’s side are 17th, just a point above the relegation zone.
What have the managers been saying?
"I have no idea when he will be back," said Klopp.
"Until now he didn’t train. He wasn’t 100 per cent yesterday but he will be on the pitch today but that means starting the work. He won’t be with the team."
"That is the life of football. You cannot force things like this.
"The main reason why we have lost our intensity is that we have had so many injuries, all in a small space of time.
"Then, because we had three games in a week, we had to balance things, not walk on eggshells exactly, but to be careful in training.travel to Italy for their Europa League clash at Inter Milan.Italy is in a state of lockdown and no football is allowed to be played in the country until April, other than European competitions, because of the spread of coronavirus.Torres came out on
"I would like to clarify this now. I was not criticising my staff. My reason was not to moan because we had lost to Arsenal but to provoke a reaction so we can get back that intensity.
"We have had a good few days’ training but, rather, I want and expect to see a good reaction in the long term.
"The bottom line is yes, it is my job to get the best out of my players – and I said just that, a few times, straight after the Arsenal match. I am not in the blame game because that achieves nothing."
What are the odds?
Liverpool – 3/10
West Ham – 10/1
Draw – 5/1
What’s our prediction?
Liverpool to win 3-2.
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