Premier League
LiverpoolLiverpool2West HamWest Ham United1

Liverpool 2-1 West Ham United: Liverpool go top of Premier League table

By Neil JohnstonBBC Sport

Substitute Diogo Jota scored for the third straight game as Liverpool came from behind to beat in-form West Ham and go top of the Premier League table.

In an intriguing encounter, the Hammers took an early lead through Spanish midfielder Pablo Fornals' smart finish, which clipped the post on its way in after a poor headed clearance by Joe Gomez.

That was the 15th goal Liverpool have conceded in seven games this season - as many as Chelsea let in all season on their way to the title in 2004-05.

Jurgen Klopp's side were level shortly before half-time, Arthur Masuaku's foul on Mohamed Salah allowing the Egypt forward to equalise from the penalty spot with Liverpool's first attempt on target.

But the Reds, who gave a league debut to central defender Nathaniel Phillips in the absence of injured trio Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Fabinho, found it tough going.

Jota, a £41m signing from Wolves in September, netted in the 85th minute after a smart pass by fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri - moments after already seeing a goal disallowed for a foul.

"He's much better than I thought he would be and that's really impressive," Klopp said after Jota's latest performance.

"He's an exceptional talent. He has the speed, physicality, technique, and he's both-footed."

With this win, Liverpool equalled a club record 63 league games unbeaten at Anfield set by Bob Paisley's all-conquering side between 1978 and 1981.

Back on top - but defensive lapses continue

Liverpool are back on top of the Premier League table for the first time since they ended last season as champions but they were far from their fluent best.

They are three points clear of neighbours Everton, who will return to the summit if they win at Newcastle on Sunday (14:00 GMT).

Question marks remain over Liverpool's defence, which has now conceded 27 in 14 matches since Klopp's side were confirmed Premier League champions in June.

Phillips, whose dad, Jimmy, played against Liverpool for Bolton in the 1995 League Cup final, at least provided an aerial presence, the 23-year-old making a series of headed clearances during a commanding performance.

Phillips is a monster in the air - Klopp impressed by debutant

It was his more experienced defensive partner Gomez who was at fault for West Ham's goal, the England centre-back heading Masuaku's cross straight into the path of Fornals to put David Moyes' side ahead.

Salah levelled with his eighth goal of the season after hitting his penalty straight down the middle before Jota's introduction from the bench lifted the side.

The Portugal forward had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for Sadio Mane's foul on Angelo Ogbonna after referee Kevin Friend watched a replay on the pitchside monitor.

However, Jota was not to be denied as he lashed past keeper Lukasz Fabianski in front of an empty Kop following a delightful pass by Shaqiri that split the West Ham defence.

Gutsy West Ham fall short

Having held Manchester City last week, this was another gutsy performance by West Ham, who attacked in numbers and gave Liverpool a real scare.

They arrived at Anfield unbeaten in their previous four games against sides who finished in the top seven last season.

However, they were without key forward Michail Antonio, who scored a superb goal against City before suffering a hamstring injury.

After being restricted to 50 minutes of Premier League football this season, Sebastien Haller was handed his first top-flight start of the season in place of Antonio.

But it was midfielder Fornals who produced a lovely finish to put his side ahead.

After Salah equalised, the former Villarreal player was denied a second goal by Andrew Robertson's important block, yet West Ham were unable to secure a point their hard work deserved as they were undone at the end by Jota.

"It's a good sign that we're disappointed not to take anything from Anfield," said Moyes after West Ham's first league defeat since 19 September.

"We had really good opportunities to maybe get a second goal. I wanted it to be more than just the odd counter-attack. We were a threat, we were well organised and disciplined in the jobs we had to do."

Moyes 'disappointed' with penalty decision

'Masuaku disappointed with the dive' - what they said

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: "It's so difficult with the number of games we have. Seeing the determination and desire of the boys, the will to play football, to deal with setbacks is really exceptional.

"The tricky thing is that you have to be patient, but also lively to keep them moving. It's a constant concentration level you have to keep up, which we did - except maybe for their goal."

West Ham boss David Moyes on Liverpool's penalty: "It's not the sort of football I want to be involved in.

"I think our player stops and throws his arms up because he's so disappointed about the dive.

"I'm just disappointed they didn't turn the decision around. Maybe in the second half the decision [Jota's disallowed goal] went for us, but the first-half one didn't."

Hammers drop more points from winning position - the stats

  • Only Aston Villa in 1897-98 (17) have conceded more goals in their first seven league matches as reigning top-flight champions than Liverpool this season (15). The Reds took 23 games to concede 15 Premier League goals last season.
  • Since David Moyes' first game back in charge of West Ham in January, the Hammers have dropped more points from winning positions than any other side in the Premier League (16).
  • Liverpool have conceded the first goal in three of their four home league games this season - as many times as they did in all 19 league matches at Anfield last term.
  • Since the start of last season, West Ham's Pablo Fornals is the only visiting player to score two Premier League goals away to Liverpool, also netting in this exact fixture for the Hammers in 2019-20.
  • Liverpool are only the second side in Premier League history to concede the first goal in three consecutive home matches but still win all three, after Blackburn Rovers in November 2009.

What's next?

Liverpool head to Italy next to face Champions League Group D rivals Atalanta on Tuesday (20:00 GMT), while West Ham have a week to prepare for a London derby with Fulham at London Stadium on Saturday, 7 November (20:00 GMT).

Player of the match

Diogo JotaDiogo Jota

with an average of 8.00

Liverpool

  1. Squad number20Player nameDiogo Jota
    Average rating

    8.00

  2. Squad number23Player nameShaqiri
    Average rating

    7.43

  3. Squad number47Player namePhillips
    Average rating

    7.14

  4. Squad number11Player nameMohamed Salah
    Average rating

    6.90

  5. Squad number10Player nameMané
    Average rating

    6.83

  6. Squad number66Player nameAlexander-Arnold
    Average rating

    6.76

  7. Squad number26Player nameRobertson
    Average rating

    6.74

  8. Squad number14Player nameHenderson
    Average rating

    6.70

  9. Squad number1Player nameAlisson
    Average rating

    6.66

  10. Squad number5Player nameWijnaldum
    Average rating

    6.56

  11. Squad number7Player nameMilner
    Average rating

    6.24

  12. Squad number12Player nameGomez
    Average rating

    6.10

  13. Squad number17Player nameJones
    Average rating

    5.95

  14. Squad number9Player nameRoberto Firmino
    Average rating

    5.75

West Ham United

  1. Squad number18Player nameFornals
    Average rating

    5.98

  2. Squad number41Player nameRice
    Average rating

    5.74

  3. Squad number1Player nameFabianski
    Average rating

    5.64

  4. Squad number28Player nameSoucek
    Average rating

    5.60

  5. Squad number5Player nameCoufal
    Average rating

    5.60

  6. Squad number20Player nameBowen
    Average rating

    5.58

  7. Squad number3Player nameCresswell
    Average rating

    5.56

  8. Squad number21Player nameOgbonna
    Average rating

    5.49

  9. Squad number4Player nameBalbuena
    Average rating

    5.48

  10. Squad number26Player nameMasuaku
    Average rating

    5.36

  11. Squad number7Player nameYarmolenko
    Average rating

    5.31

  12. Squad number9Player nameBenrahma
    Average rating

    5.25

  13. Squad number10Player nameLanzini
    Average rating

    5.06

  14. Squad number22Player nameHaller
    Average rating

    4.78

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 47Phillips
  • 12Gomez
  • 26Robertson
  • 17JonesSubstituted forShaqiriat 70'minutes
  • 14Henderson
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11SalahSubstituted forMilnerat 90'minutes
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forJotaat 70'minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 7Milner
  • 13Adrián
  • 18Minamino
  • 20Jota
  • 23Shaqiri
  • 46R Williams
  • 76N Williams

West Ham

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Coufal
  • 4Balbuena
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 26MasuakuSubstituted forLanziniat 88'minutes
  • 20BowenSubstituted forBenrahmaat 89'minutes
  • 28Soucek
  • 41RiceBooked at 49mins
  • 18Fornals
  • 22HallerSubstituted forYarmolenkoat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Yarmolenko
  • 9Benrahma
  • 10Lanzini
  • 11Snodgrass
  • 23Diop
  • 24Fredericks
  • 35Randolph
Referee:
Kevin Friend

Match Stats

Home TeamLiverpoolAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home72%
Away28%
Shots
Home9
Away4
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away2
Fouls
Home13
Away14

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Liverpool 2, West Ham United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Liverpool 2, West Ham United 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Joseph Gomez.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Tomas Soucek (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Nathaniel Phillips (Liverpool).

  6. Post update

    Andriy Yarmolenko (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Fornals (West Ham United).

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. James Milner replaces Mohamed Salah.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Saïd Benrahma replaces Jarrod Bowen.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini replaces Arthur Masuaku.

  12. Post update

    Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Fabián Balbuena (West Ham United).

  14. Post update

    Foul by Diogo Jota (Liverpool).

  15. Post update

    Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! Liverpool 2, West Ham United 1. Diogo Jota (Liverpool) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Xherdan Shaqiri with a through ball.

  17. Post update

    VAR Decision: No Goal Liverpool 1-1 West Ham United.

  18. Post update

    GOAL OVERTURNED BY VAR: Diogo Jota (Liverpool) scores but the goal is ruled out after a VAR review.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Sadio Mané (Liverpool).

  20. Post update

    Angelo Ogbonna (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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