Football

Premier Leagues | Liverpool overcomes West Ham’s challenge

A new mark: Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold equalled his own tally, set last season, of a Premier League record 12 assists for a defender. Sadio Mane scored off this assist.

A new mark: Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold equalled his own tally, set last season, of a Premier League record 12 assists for a defender. Sadio Mane scored off this assist.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

League leader capitalises on Fabianski’s errors to keep home record in tact

Runaway Premier League leader Liverpool had to come from behind —and needed some help from two goalkeeping blunders - to beat lowly West Ham United 3-2 in a thrilling game and maintain its 100% home record on Monday.

Trailing 2-1 late in the second half, West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski was twice at fault as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ensured Liverpool prevailed to equal the record of 18 consecutive top-flight wins set by Manchester City in 2017.

Juergen Klopp’s side now needs 12 points from 11 games to make sure of its first league title in 30 years.

It looked like business as usual for Liverpool, unbeaten in the league and now with a 22-point advantage at the top, when it scored in the ninth minute as Georginio Wijnaldum headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s whipped cross from right.

Three minutes later, though, West Ham drew level with Issa Diop’s angled header from a Robert Snodgrass corner beating keeper Alisson Becker.

Virgil van Dijk headed against the bar for Liverpool but Anfield was stunned in the 54th when Hammers substitute Pablo Fornals turned a low cross from Declan Rice into the far corner.

Facing the possibility of its first defeat of the Premier League campaign, Liverpool inevitably piled on the pressure but their usually deadly frontline was misfiring.

A Fabianski error allowed Klopp’s side to equalise in the 68th —Salah’s tame shot from an Andy Robertson pull back creeping through the legs of the Polish keeper.

Fabianski was at fault again when he came off his line but failed to stop Alexander-Arnold looping the ball over him to Sadio Mane who slotted home with nine minutes left. With the assist, Alexander-Arnold equalled his tally, set last season, of 12 —a Premier League record for a defender. Mane had the ball in the net again in the 86th minute but his effort was ruled out for offside after a swift VAR review.

Defeat leaves the Hammers on 24 points from 27 games, a point behind Aston Villa in the safety zone.

The results: Liverpool 3 (Wijnaldum 9, Salah 68, Mane 81) bt West Ham 2 (Diop 12, Fornals 54).

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 1:20:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/euro-leagues-liverpool-overcomes-west-hams-challenge/article30916072.ece

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