EPL

West Ham 1-3 Liverpool: Salah salvo offers Reds renewed hope in title defence

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Liverpool fuelled further hope they can revive their Premier League title defence as Mohamed Salah's fine second-half brace earned a 3-1 win at West Ham.

Jurgen Klopp's men ended a five-match winless run in the league by beating Tottenham 3-1 on Thursday.

And they produced another indication of a resurgence despite the absence of Sadio Mane because of a minor injury, Salah's double and Georginio Wijnaldum's late effort moving third-placed Liverpool within four points of leaders Manchester City.

City have a game in hand, but a five-point advantage over fifth-placed West Ham, who got a consolation through Craig Dawson, will at least quell talk of the Reds missing out on the Champions League.

Each side managed just one shot on target in the first half, with Divock Origi particularly profligate as he wasted presentable chances either side of half-time.

Michail Antonio bent a 56th-minute effort wide of the right-hand post, and his failure to find the necessary accuracy was duly punished by Salah.

Curtis Jones replaced James Milner and, within 34 seconds of coming on, he teed up the opener when Salah curled his lay-off into the top-left corner from just inside the area.

Salah's second owed more to outstanding counter-attacking football than to his individual brilliance as Liverpool pounced after clearing a West Ham corner.

Trent Alexander-Arnold played a stunning cross-field pass to Xherdan Shaqiri, whose last touch before being substituted was a perfect left-wing cross that Salah deftly controlled and flicked beyond Lukasz Fabianski.

The gloss to a superb second-half performance was added in wonderful fashion as substitutes Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined neatly, the former teeing up Wijnaldum to tap in a third.

Yet there was a late blemish as Dawson scuffed home a close-range finish from a corner, though it came far too late to prevent their six-match winning run in all competitions from coming to an end.

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