Fernando Torres scored his fourth and fifth goal of the Premier League campaign as the Merseysiders beat West Ham 3-2 in a rollercoaster game. A wonderful opener from the Spaniard put the Reds ahead on the 20 minute mark. The striker cruised past two defenders before driving the ball past Green. The keeper was beaten at his near post, but there was very little he could do to stop Torres’ effort.
Diamanti equalised from the spot for the Hammers, before Kuyt regained the lead for Reds four minutes before the break. Cole headed an equaliser for West Ham on 45 minutes as both sides went in level at the break 2-2.
Just one goal was scored in the second-half and the honours went to Torres. The striker out-jumped West Ham’s central defenders to brilliantly head past Robert Green for the winner.
West Ham had the first chance of the game after Jamie Carragher was caught in possession by Zavon Hines. The attacker’s effort beat Pepe Reina, but luckily for Liverpool the ball struck the inside of the post before being cleared to safety.
At the other end Fernando Torres found Yossi Benayoun unmarked inside the box, but the midfielder shot straight at Robert Green in the West Ham goal.
Liverpool were looking lively and had big shout for a penalty turned down after a Fernando Torres shot struck Herita Llunga’s arm. Although the Spaniard’s effort was goalbound the referee gave the West Ham player the benefit of the doubt.
It was end to end stuff as Diamanti in space shot wide of Reina’s far post, and Torres had an effort fly just past wide of Green’s near post. A goal was looking ever the more likely as both teams were opting to play attacking football.
Photo: www.liverpoolfc.tvLiverpool drew first blood on 20 minutes. Fernando Torres received the ball on the edge of the area, skipped past two West Ham defenders, before drilling the ball past the West Ham keeper at his near post. It was an excellent solo goal from the number ‘9’ and his fourth in six Premier League matches.
Zola’s team’s heads didn’t drop as there persistence paid off just before the half hour mark. The referee pointed to the spot after Carragher had pushed Hines inside the area. Diamanti slipped as he took the spot-kick, but the ball still found the back of the net.
The Reds were back in front four minutes before the break. Steven Gerrard’s header from a Benayoun corner was met by Kuyt, who stabbed the ball over the line.
The lead though didn’t last long as Carlton Cole headed an equaliser for the Hammers on the stroke of half-time. The England striker flicked his header past Reina and into the back of the net.
Compared to the opening 45 minutes the second-half was slightly more subdued as chances were few and far between.
Photo: www.liverpoolfc.tvNeither keeper was called into action until the 75th minute. A cross from second-half substitute Ryan Babel was met by Torres, who sandwiched in between two defenders, managed to power a header past Green.
West Ham pushed forward in the final quarter of an hour in search of an equaliser, but unlike the first-half Liverpool looked a lot more comfortable at the back.
Fernando Torres left the pitch to a standing ovation from both the travelling Liverpool supporters and the home fans. Albert Riera came on for the forward in the final minute as the Anfield club defended their lead throughout the three minutes of injury time to claim their second away win of the season.
- Match Stats: West Ham 2-3 Liverpool
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson (Gabbidon, 25) Ilunga, Behrami (Kovac, 27), Parker, Noble, Diamanti (Dyer, 65), Cole, Hines
Booked: Parker, Faubert, Cole
Goals: Diamanti 29 (pen), Cole 45,
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt (Babel, 59), Gerrard, Benayoun (Aurelio, 85), Torres (Riera, 90)
Booked: Carragher, Skrtel, Mascherano
Goals: Torres 20, 75, Kuyt 41,