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West Ham Utd 1-1 Liverpool

Filed: Monday, 4th February 2019
By: Staff Writer

West Ham were denied all three points against title-chasing Liverpool at the Olympic Stadium tonight by a dreadful linesman's call.

Quite how the errant linesman failed to spot a clear and obvious offside will remain a mystery, although ultimately the decision in the lead up to Sadio Mane's 22nd minute opener cost the Hammers two vital points in their for European football.

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Fortunately for West Ham, Michail Antonio was on hand to score his fourth career goal against Liverpool and secure a point which was the least that West Ham deserved.

Having lost their last three successive outings it was imperative that Manuel Pellegrini's side produced a performance of note tonight. And there will be few Hammers fans leaving the OS tonight who would argue that their team didn't provide following a thrilling encounter that could've gone either way.

As it transpired, it was the visitors who opened the scoring on 22 minutes - albeit in the most controversial of circumstances.

James Milner was clearly offside when receiving the ball on the right wing but somehow allowed to continue, despite being positioned directly in front of the referee's assistant. It was his low centre that was turned into the net by the in-form Mane, much to the frustration of the home fans.

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Fortunately for West Ham however, Liverpool's lead proved to be short-lived and just six minutes after falling behind Antonio equalised with a fine finish across goalkeeper Allison from a move straight off the training ground.

In the end West Ham produced the best chances of the game, although Declan Rice (a free header that narrowly missed the target) and Mark Noble (who scooped his effort over the bar when it seemed easier to hit the target) couldn't make the most of the gilt-edged opportunities.

Despite enjoying plenty of possession (73 per cent to West Ham's 27), the current league leaders were unable to fashion any major clear-cut chances, although their clearest - which fell to Divock Origi in the closing seconds of added-on time at the end of the game - was also blatantly offside.

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So whilst it may have been a good evening's work for Pellegrini and his side, the same couldn't be said for Liverpool - and certainly not for referee Kevin Friend and his two assistants who were mystifyingly poor throughout.

The point ensures West Ham remain 12th in the Premier League, level on points with Leicester and six behind seventh-placed Wolves, who lead the race for that final European spot.

West Ham Utd: Fabianski, Fredericks, Ogbonna, Diop, Cresswell, Rice, Noble (Obiang 78), Snodgrass, Antonio, Anderson (Masuaku 90+1), Hernandez (Carroll 78).

Subs not used: Adrian, Zabaleta, Diangana, Perez.

Goals: Antonio (28).

Booked: Hernandez.

Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Roberto Firmino (Origi 74), Lallana (Shaqiri 69), Salah.

Subs not used: Mignolet, Jones, Camacho, Moreno, Sturridge.

Goals: Mane (22).

Booked: Matip.

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Tickets Sold: 59,903.

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