Thursday, October 6, 2022

Identifying The Three Things That Went Wrong For West Ham United In Their Defeat To Liverpool

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

David Moyes’ West Ham United side succumbed to their third defeat of the new Premier League season after losing 2-1 to reigning champions Liverpool on Saturday evening. The Hammers came into the tie having been in a decent run of form, but they were unable to replicate that drive and desire against Jurgen Klopp’s well-drilled Reds. Despite taking the lead early on in the tie, thanks to a neat finish from Pablo Fornals, they were unable to see out the Liverpool threat for the entirety of the ninety.

West Ham’s defensive display was extremely spirited over the course of the tie, but they were unable to keep out the obvious danger that the renowned Liverpool front three posed. Arthur Masuaku conceded a rather soft penalty, against which David Moyes did voice his opinion. Speaking to the Metro, the former Manchester United manager said, “I think our player stops and throws his arms up because he’s so disappointed about the dive. I’m just disappointed they didn’t turn the decision around. I am amazed the penalty kick was given for the action in the first half. I really am. I am getting disappointed now.”

It was Diogo Jota who scored the Reds’ winner in the late stages of the match, but it wasn’t before another goal he scored was disallowed for a foul. The former Wolves man was given a free goal to aim at, but VAR judged one of his teammates to have fouled a West Ham player on the lead up to it. Despite his obvious unhappiness about the situation, Moyes conceded, “We are disappointed. I would not say we were unlucky. One of them went for us as they had a goal disallowed but at 1-0, the penalty was given.”

Here Are The 3 Things That Went Wrong For West Ham United Vs Liverpool:

3 Things That Went Wrong For West Ham United Vs Liverpool - Fornals celebrates
West Ham United’s Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on October 31, 2020. (Photo by PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP)

3 Things That Went Wrong For West Ham United Vs Liverpool

The Midfield Wasn’t Combative Enough

The Hammers’ midfield line for tie consisted of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice. Although the pair made some key tackles and interceptions along the way, they didn’t give Liverpool core anywhere near as hard a time as required. While Rice spent a majority of the fixture slotted in between the centre-halves, Soucek’s defensive positioning let him down on multiple occasions. Had the duo made it harder for the Liverpool midfielders to pass it around, the result at the end of the night could’ve been a very different one.

They Dropped Too Deep Too Early

David Moyes’ side started the game on the front foot on Saturday, but it didn’t take too long for them to drop off the pace and sit quite deep. Having decided to play the low block, it was obvious that they were willing to let the champions have possession. Although that is an understandable tactic considering Liverpool’s sheer strength, the fact that they took the lead before doing it, raised the Reds intensity levels for the rest of the night exponentially. A more adventurous attitude from the Hammers could’ve been enough to trouble what was far from a secure Liverpool back-line.

Sebastien Haller Was Far Too Ineffective 

One of West Ham’s biggest strengths over the last few weeks had been the strike play of forward Michail Antonio. With the Englishman now injured, David Moyes was forced to bring Sebastien Haller into the mix. Although there were some positive signs at the start of the game, it must be conceded that the Frenchman was unable to offer any kind of support to the rest of the attackers. Not only did he fail to hold the ball up, but his general movement in the box was completely ineffective as well, which meant that even when West Ham did get forward, they weren’t able to keep it there.

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