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Premier League
Sunday, 14th May 2017

West Ham United 0
Liverpool 4

by David Fletcher


A mediocre season ended with a below average performance as West Ham crumbled against Liverpool in the final game of their inaugural season at the London Stadium.

The buoyent Hammers went into the game after an impressive derby victory to end Spurs's title hopes and were looking for more of the same to damage Liverpool's Champions League aspirations.

They were also encouraged by the fact that they are unbeaten against the Reds in their last five, their last defeat coming more than two years ago.

Although everyone was hoping to end the season on a high note, nobody never saw what was coming. West Ham started off well with a few early chances but were soon brought back down to earth with Joel Matip's effort clipping the bar off a Liverpool corner.

From then on, there was no stopping Liverpool who were clearly superior. (Perhaps they remembered to use their Energy casino promo code before the game!)

The Hammers managed to keep the Reds at bay by switching between a 5-4-1 and a 3-4-2-1 when going forward, allowing the away side no gaps down the middle. But after three-and-a-half hours of not conceding, West Ham finally let in a goal.

A fortunate break was all Liverpool needed to unlock a resilient West Ham defence. Good play from Philippe Coutinho initiated the move and then for the first time in the match, Daniel Sturridge was able to beat the offside trap after lazy defending from José Fonte.

He then dribbled his way round Adrián and knocked it in.

Barring a double chance for West Ham's record signing, André Ayew, who missed an open goal twice within a blink of an eye, the Reds stormed to victory knowing that their Champions League fate was in their own hands.

They started off the second period very quickly, forcing an Adrián triple-save to keep the Hammers in the match. But it wasn't enough to prevent Liverpool from eventually claiming the three points.

Philippe Coutinho netted twice after a controversial decision that saw West Ham claims for a penalty dismissed by referee Neil Swarbrick, before Divock Origi snatched a third.

By then, the West Ham faithful had lost interest and the London Stadium emptied very quickly.

Not much to cheer about for the fans who will be looking for a much improved performance next week at Turf Moor.



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Player Ratings

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Some crucial saves from the 'keeper kept Liverpool within touching distance for large parts of the game. Though letting in four goals at home is just not worthy of a high rating.


Sam Byram
A poor performance from Sam today, made a lot of rash decisions and wasn't strong enough.


Aaron Cresswell
Very alive at the beggining producing most of West Ham's early chances but as the rest of his team mates was average as the game wore on.


James Collins
Not as consistent as we've seen him throughout the season and was caught out of position on many occassions.


Jose Fonte
Was solid in the early exchanges but bit by bit lost his composure at the back. Was at fault in the first goal playing Daniel Sturridge onside and was replaced early on in the second half, although partly due to the fact that Slaven Bili? was looking for some attacking flair in the side.


Winston Reid
Always there to clear the danger and prevented any Liverpool players from latching onto the rebound of Joel Matip's header early on with an outstanding block, though it didn't end up counting for much. There is a limit a centre-half can take and unfortunately like the rest of his defensive companions, lost his concentration in the second period.


Havard Nordtveit
Been a consistent figure in the West Ham midfield since being introduced to his natural position. Every pass he made, long or short, was on point. Would be interesting to see him partnering up with Pedro Obiang.


Edimilson Fernandes
Nothing much to analyse from Fernandes today, had a good effort well saved by Simon Mignolet, but apart from that, we saw very little from him.


Andre Ayew
How? How did he miss? If he had managed to score, things would have been much different (his rating included). Was vibrant all day long and gave maximum effort out there.


Manuel Lanzini
As ever the most skillful player in the West Ham team. When the ball is at his feet, anything can happen. Wasn't the best of days but there is one more match to remedy that.


Jonathan Calleri
It looked like the tide had changed for the Argentine early on. He demonstrated more confidence when pressing high up the pitch and holding up the ball. But bit by bit he lost interest and never threatened Simon Mignolet's goal.


Substitutes


Ashley Fletcher
(Replaced Calleri) Such an energetic display from Fletcher. He showed lots of intensity in the forty minutes he was on. Was also on the end of a few West Ham chances yet lacked that cutting edge and failed to convert them, which is normal considering he is yet to start a game for Slaven Bili? in the Premier League. Maybe the gaffer should be reconsidering who to start up front next time round.


Sofiane Feghouli
(Replaced Fonte) There is no doubt about it, Feghouli is a skillful player, he just has failed to succeed in the Premier League. Was sharp and never gave up even though they were two goals adrift when he was introduced.


Robert Snodgrass
(Replaced Ayew) Came on when all was lost. Nonetheless managed to impress what was left of the West Ham supporters.


Darren Randolph
Did not play.


Angelo Ogbonna
Did not play.


Domingos Quina
Did not play.


Declan Rice
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 59,999.

Man of the Match: Havard Nordtveit.

West Ham United

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo, Sam Byram, Aaron Cresswell, James Collins, Jose Fonte, Winston Reid, Havard Nordtveit, Edimilson Fernandes, Andre Ayew, Manuel Lanzini, Jonathan Calleri.

Goals: None.

Booked: James Collins 62          .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Liverpool

.

Substitutes:  .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent Off: None sent off.

 
David Fletcher's Man of the Match: Havard Nordtveit