The ‘Reds’ are on a high after their Carabao Cup triumph last weekend against Chelsea and could have led after barely a minute, as Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick free-kick caught out the West Ham defence and Mohamed Salah scampered through, only to fire straight at Łukasz Fabiański, before a last-ditch Craig Dawson challenge prevented Salah from getting another effort on target shortly afterwards.
It was always going to be tough for the ‘Irons’ to get anything from Anfield – they hadn’t won there in their last six visits in all competitions and were dealt a blow before kick-off as captain Declan Rice was ruled out through illness. The breakthrough came on 27 minutes as Alexander-Arnold’s cross-cum-shot bounced into the path of Mané, who just stayed onside to tuck in his 12th league goal of the campaign, one more than in the whole of last term. Luis Díaz came close to doubling his advantage as his close-range toe-poke was cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell and Liverpool could have been left to rue that missed opportunity as Pablo Fornals was put clean through, but the Spaniard’s lob was hooked off the line by Alexander-Arnold.
Just after the break, a visibly upset Jarrod Bowen was withdrawn through injury, Saïd Benrahma coming on in his place. A delicious Díaz curler drifted wide of the far post as Jürgen Klopp’s men looked to kill the game, but Manuel Lanzini should have got on the scoresheet on 70 minutes when Tomáš Souček’s cross picked him out, and after his initial shot was blocked by Alexander-Arnold, the Argentina international disastrously ballooned his follow-up over. Dawson nipped the ball off Salah’s toes before the Egyptian was replaced by Diogo Jota and Michail Antonio was foiled by Ibrahima Konaté following Mark Noble’s sensational through ball as the visitors missed the chance to move into the top four.
Liverpool’s next match is at home to Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday, while David Moyes’ side travel to Sevilla in the Europa League on Thursday.