Monday, 15 May 2017
Liverpool crush West Ham 4-0 as they surge toward Champions League qualification
Liverpool moved closer to securing a Champions League place with yesterday’s comprehensive demolition of West Ham.
The hopes of Hammers fans were dispelled in the 35th minute, when a through ball from Philippe Coutinho set Daniel Sturridge free. The England striker then easily rounded Adrian and finished into an empty net.
The home side had the chance to hit back immediately, when a corner fell to Andre Ayew, who somehow managed to hit the post when it looked easier to score from a yard out.
After that it was all Liverpool, with the impressive Coutinho helping himself to two goals after the break and generally dominating proceedings.
There was controversy on the third goal, as defender Winston Reid was felled in the Liverpool area by Georginio Wijnaldum but referee Neil Swarbrick waved play on enabling Coutinho to score at the other end.
The rout was completed by Divock Origi, who stabbed the ball home after West Ham failed to clear.
The game proved a huge anti-climax for the home fans, after the excitement of the Tottenham game last week.
In perhaps a fitting end to a first turbulent season at the London Stadium, the players were left to parade around an empty stadium for what was intended to be a thank you to the fans.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was pleased with the way his side controlled the game. “We couldn’t have done better,” said Klopp, who praised Sturridge for “a fantastic game.”
Slaven Bilic was resigned to the defeat conceding that: “If you give space to players like Sturridge and Coutinho, they punish you.”
A Liverpool win over relegated Middlesbrough on the final day will take them back to Europe’s elite next season.