Liverpool stormed to a 4-1 victory over West Ham at Anfield – and here we pick out the talking points from the match.
Emre Can, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were all on target for the hosts, as Liverpool repeated the scoreline they recorded against West Ham earlier this season.
Here are the key points from the clash…
Liverpool pass 100 goals and move up to second
Liverpool may have had a 10-day break since thrashing Porto 5-0 in the Champions League but picked up where they left off with a comprehensive, comfortable victory over West Ham to move up to second in the Premier League table.
The no-look finish from Firmino underlined the confidence flowing through Jurgen Klopp’s side right now and they’re on to 103 goals scored in all competitions this season.
Michail Antonio’s consolation was a reminder of the occasional lapses in defence which can prove costly for the Reds, but with this goal-scoring firepower, few teams are able to keep pace with them.
And with just two of their final 10 games against teams in the current top eight, Liverpool are looking good for matching their joint-highest Premier League finish.
Salah, Mane and Firmino strike again
There were concerns when Philippe Coutinho packed his bags for Barcelona about how this Liverpool team would respond to his departure. But while the Fab Four may have split up, the Thrilling Three of Salah, Mane and Firmino have powered on and now form one of the most fearsome attacking trios in Europe.
They were all on the scoresheet on Saturday, with Salah slotting home to pull level with Harry Kane at the top of the Premier League goal charts, before Firmino glided past Adrian to roll in and Mane, after wasting one glorious one-on-one chance by shooting against the post, finished an even simpler opening presented to him by the excellent Andrew Robertson.
Midfield balance for Reds
Behind that front three were another crucial trio, who each played key roles in this big win.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was stuck on the bench throughout the victory in Porto but came into the side from the start on Saturday and enjoyed one of his best performances in a Liverpool shirt.
He came away with one assist – after his persistence to battle past Cheik Kouyate and Mark Noble teed up Salah – but Mane really should have made it two when played through by the England international.
In all, there were four passes leading to a Liverpool shot from Oxlade-Chamberlain and he could even have scored himself with a clever chip which flew into the side-netting.
Alongside him was a typically all-action display from James Milner, who finished the game having had the most touches, made the most tackles and interceptions and completed the most passes as well as the most crosses.
Then there was Can, whose header opened the scoring and whose assist for Firmino took the game out of sight for West Ham. He regained possession for Liverpool more times than any other player and can reflect on a job well done as part of a well-balanced midfield unit.
Moyes’ Anfield wait goes on
Heavy defeats to Liverpool are becoming a recurring theme for West Ham supporters, who have now seen their side ship four goals in their last three meetings with the Reds and lose 4-1 to them for the second time this season.
Perhaps the game would have worked out differently had Marko Arnautovic’s fine first-half chip not been tipped onto the bar by Loris Karius but Liverpool became West Ham’s joint-worst Premier League opponents with victory on Saturday.
That was win number 61 for the home side against the Hammers, matching the tally of fellow Merseysiders Everton.
Meanwhile, David Moyes’ winless record at Anfield (D7 L8) now stretches to 15 games as manager of Everton, Manchester United, Sunderland and West Ham.
With the Hammers just three points above the relegation zone, he’ll pleased to move on and re-focus on important upcoming clashes with Swansea and Burnley.