- English Barclays Premier League
- 9 December 2012, 4:00pm
- Upton Park
- Attendance: 35,005
FULL TIME: No Suarez? No problem. Liverpool have plundered victory in east London despite looking as threatening as Sammy Lee in a tutu for most of the game. They barely threatened between the 15th and 76th minutes, but two substitutes made vital impacts - Joe Cole equalised and Jordan Henderson provided the incisive cross which James Collins turned into his own net under pressure from 'False Nine' Jonjo Shelvey.
90+4 mins: Liverpool keeping the ball pretty nicely as we enter the last minute.
90+2 mins: Liverpool denied a penalty. Shelvey does brilliantly to hold the ball up, turn and weave past two defenders. Reid slides across him and surely brings him down? Nope, says Lee Probert. Looked pretty convincing to me.
90 mins: We will have five minutes of injury time. Brendan Rodgers, standing next to the fourth official, doesn't look happy as the board goes up.
89 mins: Maiga likes the look of this free kick 25 yards out. The West Ham fans don't like the look of his execution though - five-ironed into the stand.
87 mins: It was Allen replaced by Coates, by the way,. I'm sure BoroBopper on the text is pleased! Two successive balls drilled into the box by Jarvis, but Reina does well in an aerial duel with Carlton Cole. Down the other end and Sterling nicks the ball past the last defender. He's denied by Jaaskelainen's alertness in dashing off his line.
85 mins: Modibo Maiga comes on for Taylor. Allardyce must be aghast at what's happened in the last few minutes. The Irons were in such control of the game at 2-1 up, with Liverpool creating absolutely nothing. Sebastian Coates is on for Liverpool. I'll tell you who he's replaced in a minute.
81 mins: Replays show the ball came off Collins' toe as both he and Shelvey slid in for it. Sorry Jonjo, that's an o.g.
79 mins: UTTERLY OUTRAGEOUS! LIVERPOOL HAVE TAKEN THE LEAD! How on earth have they achieved this quite bizarre turnaround? Henderson drives down the right flank and delivers a low ball across the bows of Jaaskelainen's goal. Shelvey, Mr False Nine himself, slides for it with Collins at the near post, and the ball pops off his foot (or it might have been Collins') and bobbles in at the far post. There may have been a deflection in there somewhere, but Shelvey is most certainly claiming the goal. To say this comeback has come out of nowhere would be a considerable flirtation with understatement.
76 mins: JOE COLE EQUALISES FOR LIVERPOOL! Where on earth did that come from? An innocuous throw-in, Shelvey taps it to Sterling and his visionary threaded pass plays Joe Cole into the box. Crucially, he stutters and thinks twice about a first time shot, and that extra half a second sees O'Brien slide in early. That gives Cole a glimpse of the far corner in which to smack the ball. He duly does exactly that and celebrates only mutedly, in deference to the fans who used to sing his name here.
75 mins: Noble launches a good ol' diagonal towards Carlton Cole and his header down looks to be falling for Jarvis to whack home until the last Liverpol defender puts in a meaty challenge.
73 mins: Diame is taken off by the St John's Ambulance folk. On comes James Tomkins in his stead.
72 mins: Lucas is replaced by Jordan Henderson. Now then, Diame has taken a whack from Sterling here and looks in pain. You wouldn't have though a whippet like Sterling could inflict much damage on an ox like Diame, but the stretcher is being called for...
70 mins: Shoots of recovery peeping above the turf for Liverpool? Downing's left-wing cross is met by the bald bonce of the False Nine himself, but he can't quite twist his body round enough to get it on target.
68 mins Jarvis skins his man *yet again* down the left, dashing past Allen to chip in a cross that Taylor heads goalwards. It's from quite a distance out, and is straight at Reina too. Easy save.
66 mins: Chance for Liverpool! Downing's low ball skim across the edge of the area, is dummed by Cole then hit by Sterling. Jaaskelainen is forced into a pretty decent tip-over. It may have been clearing the bar anway. At least that's *something* from the away side. The corner comes to nowt.
65 mins: Agger struts forward but honks a hopeful drive way over the bar from 25 yards. I don't have the Opta wizardy to hand, but that might well be Liverpool's first shot of the second half.
63 mins: Taylor briefly seems to be clear for West Ham until Downing whips across from left-back to take the ball off his toe. The Hammers are the only team who look like scoring. Liverpool's lack of cutting edge is painful.
60 mins: Carlton cole is having a decent second half. He surges at the Liverpool defence and his ball towards the unmarked Taylor near the penalty spot is only just cut out by the sliding Skrtel. Ex-Pompey boy Taylor was offside anyway, but it was still a fine driving run.
57 mins: Diame robs the dithering Allen, before prompting a West Ham counter. Jarvis' dinked cross looks dangerous until it's headed behind just in time by Agger. Just before that, a breakdown in communication between Sterling and Shelvey rather summed up Liverpool's day.
54 mins: Jarvis is having a terrific game. As Agger tries to shepherd Cole's overhit pass over the byline, the former Wolves winger nips in behind him, takes the ball goalwards then touches it back to Nolan, but his curler from a tight angle hits a defender.
53 mins: It's been eerily quiet since half time. That suits West Ham down to the ground.
50 mins: No immediate sign of anything changing for Liverpool. West Ham are such a typical Allardyce team. I'm not just referring to the big diagonal balls, they're just a nightmare to play against. Lots of big physical specimens, pressure on the ball constantly, and Jarvis pinging down the wing and lumping in testing crosses.
48 mins: "No way back in this game west ham far too powerfull for liverpool. can anything else go wrong for the reds their most inform player goes off injured then concede a hash pen then score an own goal what next?" says Jamie in Hull. You're quite right, the portents are not good for the Reds. Good news for those of us who lumped on West Ham at 100/30. Ridiculous price.
46 mins: Sterling and Diame in a physical battle. Only one winner, right? Wrong. It's Diame who stays down injured and needs a rub from the physio.
46 mins: Welcome back. "Is effervescant the word of the day? Is Joe Allen playing? Thank god Elf is on channel 4 soon." says BoroBopper. I'm a big fan of 'effervescent'. It's so good I thought I'd use it twice. Allardyce has made a change at half time - Demel is off for George McCartney. We're under way once more.
HALF TIME: A penalty and an own goal may suggest West Ham have been a bit lucky to turn around that early deficit. There's some truth in that, but they did respond strongly to that early Johnson cracker. We saw little of Liverpool as an attacking force after around a quarter of an hour, when Sterling should have put them 2-0 ahead. Can the strikerless Reds hit back? Find out after the break folks.
45+2 mins: Diame's clearance doesn't have enough oomph from the right-back position, gifting it to Downing. His dinked cross is towards Shelvey but he can't get his difficult flick-header on target.
45 mins: The first sniff of a chance for Liverpool's False Nine. The ball is slipped to him on the run down the inside left channel but a little foot in from O'Brien forces him to screw the shot wide of the near post.
43 mins: OWN GOAL BY GERRARD! West Ham have turned this around! Frmo the free kick conceded by Skrtel, the Hammers work it left to the effervescent Jarvis. He dinks in a cross, Gerrard climbs to head it away, but it skims off his head and into the bottom corner.
42 mins: Skrtel and Carlton Cole are having a good old wrestling match, arms and bodies all over each other. The Slovakian is penalised for climbing all over the striker, and from the free kick...
39 mins: West Ham have been gradually improving as the half has gone on. The equaliser has given them even more impetus. From Demel's cross from the right, Nolan has nipped in front of Reina at the near post but can't keep his header down as the keeper clatters into him.
37 mins: Taylor is booked for a high tackle on Sterling.
36 mins: NOBLE SLAMS THE PENALTY AWAY! Low and into the bottom left corner. A quite ludicrous decision, but West Ham will most certainly take it.
35 mins: SHOCKER OF A PENALTY DECISION! A Liverpool defensive header falls to diame on the edge of the box. He whacks a volley goalwards which hits Allen in the hand from a distance of about a yard. Bearing in mind Diame connected cleanly with his shot, Allen would have had about 0.0001secs to react. Yet the referee points to the spot. If that was deliberate, I'm a Dutchman.
34 mins: From the free kick, Taylor beats the wall but the ball bounces once before being clutched to the chest by Reina. Comfortable.
33 mins: Diame's on the charge, leading a pacy West Ham counter-attack, when he's felled by a late sliding challenge from Gerrard. He's booked.
32 mins: Shelvey is booked for a patulant little flick at Diame.
30 mins: Carlton Cole may have the technical ability of a lamp post, but he is adept at making a nuisance of himself. He tries to wriggle past Skrtel and almost achieve it, before Agger mops up to hoof the ball clear.
28 mins: Half a chance for Cartlon Cole whose attempt to convert Jarvis' cross is thwarted by some terrific defending by Agger. Downing breaks for Liverpool down the left. Although he's tackled the ball falls for Sterling to whack one from distance but it's wild.
27 mins: It's Enrique who is replaced by Joe Cole. A formation switch for Liverpool then. Just before that substitution, Skrtel had a fist ful of Carlton Cole's shirt as Liverpool defended a free kick. The ref either ignores it or missed it completely.
25 mins: Joe Cole is preparing to come on at the ground where it all began for him. Not sure who he'll replace just yet.
23 mins: A bit of a mess in the Liverpool area as Jarvis' cross is half fisted away by Reina, nodded back in by Nolan but Liverpool scramble it clear. West Ham's only threat has been through rather imprecise hoof-and-hopes into the danger zone.
19 mins: West Ham aren't the effervescent side we saw ni the second half against Chelsea last week. Then again, they were pretty dreary in the first half last week too. Maybe they're saving their verve for after the break this week too.
16 mins: Johnson's at it again! A stuttering, twinkle-toed run across the box goes unrewarded as West Ham eventually gather in numbers to clear, but it's further evidence of the right-back's attacking verve today. Jarvis is dropping back to help out defensively but has been skinned by the ex-Hammer three times. Meanwhile, Tony Simmonds in Gravesend has sent in a virtual essay! Deep breath, and GO Tony: "Liverpool will not let lowly West Ham beat them. There aren't any goals in this Liverpool team without Suarez, the best striker in the world by the way, but West Ham always were and will forever remain a small club with little history. Liverpool will be at the top again soon, with Brendan Rogers, Shankley the second." Apart from the fact you can't spell Shankly, a very impressive rant.
14 mins: How on earth is this not 2-0 to Liverpool? Johnson does brilliantly down the right before cutting inside a pretty lame challenge from Jarvis. Johnson slips the ball square inside the box to Sterling, who surely has to bury this? No! It's wide.
11 mins: WHAT A CRACKER BY GLEN JOHNSON! Who needs Suarez when your right-back can nail them in the top corner? There looks little danger for West Ham when Johnson gets the ball, hugging the right touchline. He cuts inside, sees no-one busting themselves to put a challenge in, so simply whacks the ball past Jaaskelainen's dive and into the top left corner from 20 yards.
8 mins: West Ham take a free kick quickly to Nolan just inside the box. He isn't expecting it, but controls the ball very nicely and his dink into the centre is headed out for a corner athletically by Skrtel. Reina claims a comfortable catch when the flag kick is wanged in. Lively enough start by both sides.
6 mins: Chance for West Ham. Jarvis chips in a cross from the left, it's half cleared by Liverpool to Diame on the edge of the box. His side-footed shot hits his team-mate Cole, Reina has committed himself and looks in despair from the floor as the ball rolls just past his far post. "JonJo Shelvey a striker? Don't make me laugh, he looks more like a 6ft roll on deodrant!" says Tony on the text. Lovin' your work Tony.
4 mins: Cole's curling ball into the box, looking for Nolan, is well tracked by Agger and nodded away. The two of us on duty in the office here today have both slapped cash on a home win in this one. Our eyes lit up at odds of 100/30, especially considering the lack of Suarez.
2 mins: Good start by Liverpool. Some good possession football in the final third ends with a blocked drive from Gerrard that deflects for a corner. They work it short, but O'Brien boots the eventual cross clear. "3-0 to the Hammers, Joe Allen has got to be worst player in Premiership." says BoroBopper in my home town of Salisbury. Rather harsh, Bopper!
0 mins: All eyes on the clean shave pate of Jonjo Shelvey then as we get under way in the East End. Whatever a 'False 9' is, he has the chance to re-invent himself today. The bubbles are floating around the Boleyn and it's Liverpool, in their black away kit, who kick off.
Afternoon all. If Jonjo Shelvey is the answer, then what on earth is the question? Well, I''ll tell you the question. It's 'who have Liverpool got to replace Luis Suarez?' The fact that Shelvey is the man picked for the job yet again exposes just what a cock-up they made on transfer deadline day. Steven Gerrard, left out of the Europa League squad which beat Udinese because of illness, is restored at Upton Park as are Daniel Agger and Lucas Leiva.
For West Ham, Carlton Cole continues to deputise up front for the injured Andy Carroll. Matt Taylor and Mohamed Diame are the two changes from last weekend's Chelsea game, with Gary O'Neil and James Tomkins dropping out.
Orange's Mike Dale will bring you live commentary from 1600. In the mean time use the boxes on your right to send in your match predictions, and any bets you've got on today.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 9 December 2012, 4:00pm
- Upton Park
- Attendance: 35,005
Liverpool came from behind to stun West Ham 3-2 at Upton Park and move into the top half of the Premier League.
A second-half effort from ex-Hammer Joe Cole and an unfortunate James Collins own goal turned the game around late on for Brendan Rodgers' side.
Another former West Ham man, Glen Johnson, had given the visitors the lead with a superb strike but a Mark Noble penalty and a Steven Gerrard own goal put the home side in front at the break.
Liverpool began the brighter and looked set to make light of the loss of the suspended Luis Suarez with Jonjo Shelvey playing out of position as a makeshift centre-forward.
Johnson, in particular, was causing Matt Jarvis real problems defensively and the England right-back got his reward with the opening goal as he fired a right-footed shot into the top corner.
But West Ham had beaten Chelsea last week after conceding the first goal and they seemed undeterred by the setback as they pushed for an equaliser.
That came when Joe Allen blocked a fierce but wayward Mohamed Diame shot with his hand and referee Lee Probert pointed to the spot.
Noble converted the penalty in fine style with a measured finish to the right of Pepe Reina and the momentum of the game had shifted.
So had the balance of power down the flanks as Jarvis began to trouble Johnson in the opposite direction and it was a cross from the Ł10million summer signing that provided West Ham's second.
The Hammers took a quick free-kick to Jarvis in a wide left position and he was allowed space to curl in a right-footed cross that Gerrard could only divert with his head past his own goalkeeper.
With Carlton Cole leading the line well, West Ham looked comfortable but it was his namesake Joe who came off the bench to stun his old club with a neat left-footed finish on the turn.
Fellow substitute Jordan Henderson then whipped in a low cross that Shelvey and Collins challenged for at the near post and the ball looped off the defender's foot over the head of Jussi Jaaskelainen to complete a topsy-turvy game and snatch all three points for the Reds.