Friday, September 21

Premier League

Live Commentary: Liverpool 4-0 West HamWest Ham United

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as Liverpool ease to a 4-0 win over West Ham United in Sunday's Premier League fixture at Anfield.

Liverpool have recorded a 4-0 victory over West Ham United in Sunday's Premier League clash at Anfield.

Mohamed Salah gave the home side the lead in the 19th minute, before Sadio Mane added a second in the final seconds of the first half.

The Senegalese netted a third shortly after the restart - albeit from an offside position - and substitute Daniel Sturridge scored with his first touch in the closing stages.

Find out how all of the action unfolded on Merseyside courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the Premier League encounter between Liverpool and West Ham United. Both clubs head into the campaign having spent a combined total of over £250m, but which team will get instant value for money? Let's take a look at the two starting lineups...
LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mane, Salah, Firmino

LIVERPOOL SUBSTITUTES: Karius, Clyne, Fabinho, Henderson, Lallana, Shaqiri, Sturridge

WEST HAM UNITED XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku; Noble, Rice, Wilshere; Antonio, Anderson, Arnautovic

WEST HAM UNITED SUBSTITUTES: Adrian, Zabaleta, Diop, Obiang, Snodgrass, Yarmolenko, Hernandez

Let's start by taking a look at the Liverpool side as Jurgen Klopp opts to hand competitive debuts to both Alisson and Naby Keita. However, Fabinho is only named on the bench having been ill in recent days.
The front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino is as expected, with Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge both being kept in reserve having successfully come through pre-season after injury and summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri having to play second fiddle for now.
The midfield is made up of Keita, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum. All three players have the ability to break forward, but we expect Wijnaldum to play in the more defensive role of the trio.
Nathaniel Clyne had been expected to get the nod at right-back with Trent Alexander-Arnold having only recently returned to training, but Klopp has instead opted to select the England international. Joe Gomez gets the nod in the centre of defence having spent much of pre-season alongside Virgil van Dijk.
As for West Ham, Manuel Pellegrini decides to hand debuts to as many as five of his summer signings. That includes Jack Wilshere who will play alongside Mark Noble and Declan Rice in the centre of midfield, and Felipe Anderson who takes his place in attack.
Fabian Balbuena starts at centre-back ahead of fellow arrival Issa Diop, which is some what of a surprise, while Ryan Fredericks is preferred to Pablo Zabaleta at right-back, presumably due to his extra pace. Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku make up the remainder of the backline.
Lukasz Fabianski also plays having arrived at the London Stadium from Swansea City. Adrian has proven to be a solid stopper during his time at West Ham, but it appears that the Spaniard is only regarded as backup by Pellegrini.
As far as the bench is concerned, Andriy Yarmolenko features among the replacements due to struggling with a couple of minor injuries, while Pellegrini has also included Robert Snodgrass after the Scot's year out of the top flight with Aston Villa. Deadline Day signings Carlos Sanchez and Lucas Perez are not involved.
This is the first of three fixtures which are taking place in the Premier League this afternoon. Sports Mole are also providing coverage of Burnley's trip to Southampton - which begins at the same time as this match - and the showdown between Arsenal and champions Manchester City.
Miss out on any of the matches which took place yesterday? Don't worry. We have you covered. Click here to access all of the results from Saturday, and click the respective match to take a look at our match report.
After reaching last season's Champions League final and making four high-quality additions, Klopp is naturally expecting big things this season. Click here to read what the German has had to say.
Klopp will also be aware that his team are riding a crest of a wave at home in the league. You have to go all the way back to April 23, 2017 since a defeat was suffered. Crystal Palace prevailed 2-1 on that occasion.
Liverpool have also kept clean sheets in their last five home matches in the top flight. Coincidentally, the last goal scored by a visiting team came from West Ham's Michail Antonio.
That said, there is reason to expect entertainment this afternoon. Liverpool's last two opening fixtures in the Premier League have featured 13 goals, with a 4-3 win being registered at Arsenal followed by a 3-3 draw at Watford 12 months ago.
Mane scored in each of those matches and should the Senegalese net today, he will become the first Liverpool player to net in three consecutive opening fixtures since John Barnes did the same between 1989 and 1991.
There is never really an ideal time to face Liverpool at Anfield, but Pellegrini figures that this afternoon might be as close as it gets. Click here to read the Chilean's thoughts.
While Liverpool did not lose a home game in the league last season, West Ham possessed a poor away record with just three wins and 10 defeats being registered.
West Ham have also tended to struggle in their opening games. The Hammers currently hold the record for most first-match defeats in the Premier League with 11.
However, it surely has to be all about the positivity heading into this match. The club's board has spent money on a number of players who have the potential to excite the fans after the last campaign involved a nine-month fight to remain in the top flight.
The acquisition of Felipe Anderson is the addition which will have surprised most people. The Brazilian has been linked with some top European clubs in the past, and the 25-year-old could potentially emerge as one of the stars of the season.
However, the major improvement needs to come at the back. West Ham conceded 68 goals last season - the joint-worst in the division - and the club simply cannot afford a repeat of that this time around.
PREDICTION! Few people can criticise West Ham's business in the transfer window this summer, but the same can be said of Liverpool's and we expect the Merseyside giants to be too strong in front of their home fans. A routine 2-0 victory.
HEAD TO HEAD! Today's meeting represents the 138th clash between the two sides, with Liverpool claiming 73 wins in comparison to just 28 triumphs for West Ham.
Liverpool head into the match having won the last three contests against West Ham, while they have also scored four goals in each of them.
However, you do not have to go too far back for West Ham's last success at Anfield. It came in August 2015 when Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho all netted in a 3-0 win.
It's time for the two teams to start making their way out on Merseyside. Both sets of fans are full of optimism ahead of this one, but that could soon change once the opening whistle goes!
A reminder of the two starting lineups...

LIVERPOOL XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Keita; Mane, Salah, Firmino

WEST HAM UNITED XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Masuaku; Noble, Rice, Wilshere; Antonio, Anderson, Arnautovic

KICKOFF:  Liverpool get us underway!
It has been a fast start from both sides. Liverpool manage to get an early delivery into the box but Mane cannot get on the end of it, while Anderson broke forward at the other end before Masuaku failed to make the most of an opening on the left.
Liverpool decide to take their time in possession but when a ball is finally played down the flank for Salah, the Egyptian is flagged offside.
The home side are already having a lot of success down the right. Neither Masuaku or Anderson are the most defensive-minded players and Liverpool could look to take advantage of that.
Nearly an opening for Firmino. Salah drifted inside and threaded a neat pass through to his fellow attacker, but a defender got across to make an interception just in time.
It remains all Liverpool but we are still awaiting the first shot on goal. Alexander-Arnold has delivered several crosses into the box from the right, but each of them have been over-hit.
West Ham are not offering a lot going forward but an attempt has just been made to get Antonio in behind the defence. However, Van Dijk came across to ease the ball out of play.
Just as I say that, Arnautovic comes to life in the final third and earns a corner for the Hammers, but Wilshere cannot find a teammate with his outswinging delivery from the left.
Liverpool are getting closer. Milner picks up the ball in a central position and looks to pick out the run of Mane, who has got in behind the West Ham defence. However, the pass is slightly over-hit and Fabianski is able to claim.
How have Liverpool not scored?! Milner sends in another brilliant pass, this time from the right, but neither Firmino or Salah can make a full connection with the ball at the near post.
GOAL!  Liverpool 1-0 West Ham United (Mohamed Salah)
It had been coming. Keita finds himself in acres of space in the middle of the pitch and is able to set Robertson free down the left. A low cross is sent into the box by the Scot and Salah is there to convert from two yards. Is that the first of another memorable goalscoring campaign for the Egypt international?

West Ham need to focus on ensuring that one goal does not become two or three. Liverpool are threatening to over-power the visitors, especially down the flanks.
This is such a silly foul from Noble, who makes a good challenge before tugging the shorts of Firmino. Liverpool have a free kick from 25 yards out.
SAVE!  Alexander-Arnold takes it and it is an outstanding effort. However, Fabianski moves to his right to prevent the ball from finding the top corner of the net.
CHANCE!  Liverpool have moved into top gear. Keita weaves his way into the penalty area and although he is dispossessed, the ball falls invitingly to Wijnaldum who fires wide from 12 yards.
CHANCE!  Much better from West Ham. Arnautovic is sent through on goal but shoots wide from an acute angle, with the ball taking a slight deflection. From the resulting corner, Balbuena headed straight at Alisson from 12 yards.
That flurry has certainly kept Liverpool honest, and West Ham are taking confidence from it. The East London outfit are now having a sustained spell of possession.
Liverpool call for a penalty when Ogbonna looks to control the ball with his chest but leans with his arm. However, the referee and assistant make the correct decision by not awarding a spot kick.
We have not seen much of Anderson for West Ham, but Antonio is starting to have some joy down the opposite flank against Robertson. It has prevented the Scot from making frequent bursts down the left.
It has all calmed down a bit at both ends of the pitch. Liverpool are struggling to put together a clinical final pass, while West Ham are only threatening in bursts.
CHANCE!  Liverpool should double their lead. Firmino has the chance to shoot on the right-hand side of the penalty area but the Brazilian instead pulls the ball back to Salah, who is superbly denied by Fabianski from six yards out.
West Ham would certainly take only being a goal adrift at half time. They have had their moments up the other end of the pitch, but Liverpool are providing a constant threat.
Wilshere is playing the most advanced of West Ham's midfield three, but the England international has not spent much time on the ball. That is partly down to the performance of Keita, who has been sensational.
Liverpool put together a fine move from front to back but once the ball arrives at the feet of Alexander-Arnold on the byline, West Ham are able to regain possession.
There will be one minute of added-on time. West Ham have a late corner.
GOAL!  Liverpool 2-0 West Ham United (Sadio Mane)
This is a disaster for West Ham! Seconds after the one minute added on had expired, Robertson crossed for Milner at the back post and the Englishman's cutback was converted into an empty net by Mane.
HALF TIME:  Liverpool 2-0 West Ham United
The half-time whistle goes at Anfield and Liverpool lead 2-0 thanks to tap-ins from Salah and Mane. West Ham would have been relatively pleased had they gone into the break only trailing by the one goal, but Mane's effort has left the visitors with an uphill task.
Liverpool's opener arrived in the 19th minute as Salah opened his account for the season. The former Roma man netted a hatful of wonderful individual strikes during the last campaign, but this will be the easiest goal that he will score all season with the ball being converted at the back post from two yards.
West Ham looked to have done enough to go into the break facing a narrow deficit, but Liverpool netted a potentially game-changing second in the final seconds of the first half with Mane benefitting from good work from Robertson and Milner. In doing so, the Senegal international has become the first Liverpool player to score in three consecutive opening-day fixtures since John Barnes between 1989 and 1991.
Before the second half gets underway, why not take a look at our 'Player Stats' page? It will hopefully give you an insight into what took place in the first half.
KICKOFF:  West Ham get us back underway. Pellegrini has opted to introduced Snodgrass for Rice, which will see Wilshere drop back alongside Noble.
The introduction of Snodgrass should give West Ham more options in attack, but Liverpool will no doubt benefit from the extra space at the other end of the pitch. The next goal in this match will be crucial.
CHANCE!  West Ham have had the better of the opening stages in this second half. A low cross from Anderson needs to be diverted behind by Van Dijk and from the resulting corner, Antonio cannot convert from close range. It was a difficult chance with the winger having to try to execute an overhead kick.
Anderson has certainly started this second half on the front foot. The Brazilian struggled to get into the game during the opening 45 minutes, but West Ham are doing what they can to get him on the ball.
YELLOW CARD!  Antonio goes into the book for a late tackle on Alexander-Arnold. I think it was more of a slip from the winger.
GOAL!  Liverpool 3-0 West Ham United (Sadio Mane)
GOAL!  Game over, but West Ham are unlucky here. Firmino strides forward and plays in Mane, who swivels to fire into the bottom corner from 12 yards. However, the winger was half a yard offside and it should not be a difficult decision for the assistant to give.

YELLOW CARD!  Balbuena takes things into his own hands by trying to bulldoze his way through the Liverpool midfield, but the defender is booked for handball after getting tackled.
Liverpool should be able to cruise through the remainder of this game, and it gives Klopp the chance to hand some minutes to the likes of Lallana, Shaqiri and Sturridge. No sign of any changes just yet.
It's keep ball for Liverpool at the moment, and West Ham are not making too much of an effort to regain possession. The signs are there that the intensity is going from this game.
Fredericks makes a burst down the right and into the penalty area before eventually finding Arnautovic. The Austrian cannot sort his feet out, however, and Liverpool win back the ball.
SUBSTITUTION! A second change for West Ham sees Hernandez introduced for Anderson.
Balbuena trips Mane on the edge of the area and he is quick to plead his case to the referee, knowing that he is on a yellow card. However, the referee is happy to give him a talking to.
Milner takes the free kick and takes down Wilshere, with the ball hitting the England international close to the unmentionables. Ouch. We are having a stoppage in play.
SUBSTITUTION! On comes Yarmolenko for his West Ham debut. Arnautovic is the man to make way.
SUBSTITUTION! Liverpool's first change sees Henderson come on for Firmino.
That switch has resulted in Keita moving out to the left and Salah going down the middle. Less than 20 minutes to go now. There's very little going on in this match at the moment.
SHOT!  Wijnaldum gets the chance to add a fourth for Liverpool from long distance, but the Dutchman can only curl the ball over the crossbar.
To West Ham's credit, they have started to show a bit more ambition and it has resulted in Liverpool having to do some defending for the first time since the early stages of this second half.
Still no sign of any more Liverpool changes. This appears to be the perfect time to get Shaqiri involved, but we still await the arrival of the Switzerland international.
Antonio has been one of West Ham's bright sparks this afternoon, but the winger does not do enough when getting released down the left flank with Liverpool's defence being given time to get back into position.
We have a child on the pitch who wants to hug Salah. That was all a bit weird! There are boos as the pitch invader is escorted away.
SUBSTITUTION! Here comes Shaqiri, who takes the place of Mane. There will be no hat-trick for the Senegalese.
Shaqiri quickly gets on the ball and looks like he wants to shoot from 35 yards out. He should have done because his attempted pass was poor and straight to a West Ham defender.
Just the four minutes to go now. Liverpool are still looking for a fourth goal but after the home side win a corner, it is time for a final substitution.
SUBSTITUTION! It's Sturridge, who replaces Salah.
GOAL!  Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United (Daniel Sturridge)
Unbelievable. An inswinging corner is flicked towards the back post and Sturridge is there to tap home from two yards out. Klopp is delighted.
There will be three minutes of added-on time.
SHOT!  A frustrated Antonio tries his luck from all of 40 yards, but the winger's strike is straight at Alisson.
FULL TIME:  Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United
The full-time whistle goes at Anfield and Liverpool have eased to a 4-0 victory in front of their own supporters. Salah, Mane and Sturridge got the goals but this was a collective effort from Klopp's side. West Ham were not as bad as the scoreline suggests. Liverpool were simply that good.
That will be all from Sports Mole for this game. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and we hope to see you again soon.

If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.

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