Liverpool cruised to a routine win against West Ham, moving up to second place in the Premier League with Klopp’s in-form front three all enhancing their already impressive goal tallies. Emre Can was the man to get the 100th goal of the campaign, capitalising on a pin-point cross from Mohamed Salah to steer home. From then on it should’ve been a cakewalk for The Reds, but a lack of cutting edge in the final third ensured just one goal separated the two sides at the interval.
Yet, all was soon forgiven as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all notched goals to ensure all three points went to the home side, albeit with a cagey few minutes after substitute Michael Antonio got a goal back.
Here are the observations from the match.
Robertson thrives at left-back, looking like a real coup at £8million
Andrew Robertson could well be one of the best full-backs Liverpool have had in years, showing his quality down the left-hand side against The Hammers to build on an impressive display against Porto in the Champions League.
Touching the ball more times than everyone bar James Milner, the former-Hull City man was instrumental in breaking through the low-block defence, whipping balls in with real effect. Such was the case for Sadio Mane’s goal where a marauding run saw Robertson in acres of space with time to get his head up and pick out a teammate in the middle.
Costing Liverpool just £8million in a summer where Kevin Stewart went in the opposite direction for the same amount, Robertson has proven himself to be a real snip in an ever inflationary market. It may have taken some time for him to adjust to Klopp’s system but now he has, he looks a real prospect in a position that’s caused a lot of concern in recent times.
Liverpool’s front-three showing no signs of slowing down
Liverpool were always likely to get their 100th goal of the season, but they did so in some style at Anfield. Scoring his 31st goal in all competitions, Mohamed Salah has now equalled Luis Suarez’s best goal tally for The Reds with months of football still left to play. Further to that, it was also the 20th league goal scored with his left foot, bettering Robbie Fowler’s tally. No one has scored more in the division’s history.
Then there’s Firmino. The Brazilian netted his 22nd goal of the campaign, equalling his best tally for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga while Sadio Mane’s 13th goal to level with last seasons tally. The trio show absolutely no signs of slowing down as they form a telepathic relationship at the forefront of one of the most exhilarating attacks in the league.
Oxlade-Chamberlain comes out swinging in second-half
Enduring a pretty quiet first forty-five, Oxlade-Chamberlain was rampant after the interval, showing just what he offers Klopp’s midfield. True to his nickname, Ox bullied his way past numerous West Ham defenders before poking the ball through to Mohamed Salah.
It should’ve been two assists in truth, with Chamberlain creating another moment of determined play in the middle to slot Mane through on goal. The Senegalese international ended up fluffing his lines, but this was real evidence of what the former-Arsenal man has to offer in Klopp’s fluid system. He doesn’t half put some weight behind his shots, too.
Karius makes a key contribution as progression continues
Despite the healthy score-line, this could easily have been a very different tale at Anfield. Marko Arnautovic, deployed as a solo striker for Moyes’ side, delivered a fine performance, getting the better of Joel Matip in the first-half before taking aim with a sumptuous long-range shot. It seemed destined to be heading into the back of the net, but the deftest of touches from Karius ensured the ball came crashing off the inside of the crossbar and out of harm’s way.
While Liverpool’s front three will surely steal the headlines having improved upon an already stunning goals tally, Karius’ contribution should not be forgotten as the German continues to improve game by game in an attempt to secure a No.1 spot long-term.