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.

Related items

  • Salernitana 0-2 Juventus: Dybala and Morata get Bianconeri back to winning ways Salernitana 0-2 Juventus: Dybala and Morata get Bianconeri back to winning ways

    Juventus returned to winning ways in Serie A with a routine 2-0 victory over bottom side Salernitana.

    Massimiliano Allegri ruled Juve out of the title race after their defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, which followed a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea in the Champions League.

    But Juve hit back on Tuesday, Paulo Dybala breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute, though he did send a stoppage-time penalty way over the crossbar.

    Dybala's penalty miss was never going to prove costly, however, with Alvaro Morata having already sealed the points in the 70th minute.

    Aiming to avoid a third successive defeat against newly promoted sides in Serie A for the first time, Juve started well with Dejan Kulusevski shooting just wide.

    Kulusevski turned provider as Juve's pressure told in the 21st minute – Dybala exchanging a neat one-two with the winger before firing low beyond Vid Belec.

    Giorgio Chiellini thought he had doubled the lead when he tucked home the rebound after Juan Cuadrado's free-kick was tipped onto the post, but he was denied a first league goal of the season following a VAR check, with Moise Kean deemed to have strayed offside.

    Salernitana had a glorious opportunity to equalise when the ball broke kindly for Luca Ranieri in the 57th minute, but his effort crashed against the woodwork with Wojciech Szczesny beaten.

    It proved costly as, just three minutes after entering the action, Morata was in the right place to flick home Federico Bernardeschi's low cross.

    Dybala had the chance to put the icing on the cake from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game, but slipped at the vital moment and sliced his effort high over the goal.

  • Former England captain Alastair Cook signs Essex extension until 2023 Former England captain Alastair Cook signs Essex extension until 2023

    Former England captain Alastair Cook has penned a two-year extension with Essex.

    Cook, who is England's all-time leading run scorer in Test cricket, signed an initial three-year deal with Essex following his international retirement in 2018.

    Since then, the 36-year-old has played an integral role in the county's successive red-ball titles in 2019 and 2020, first the County Championship followed by the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy.

    Cook registered 172 in the first innings in the latter success at Lord's to offer Essex an early lead against Somerset, ending the campaign as the leading run scorer in the competition with 563 runs at an average of 56.30.

    But Essex endured a tough season the following campaign, failing to qualify for Division One of the County Championship, while it remained unclear whether Cook would renew terms.

    Cook, however, has decided to continue playing for at least the next two years.

    Upon signing his new contract, the opening batsman to Essex's in-house media: "I have really enjoyed my cricket here at Essex since my international retirement.

    "We are lucky to have a fantastic dressing room and great coaching staff, led brilliantly by Anthony McGrath, and I'm looking forward to what is hopefully another successful couple of years."

    The left-hander made 161 Test appearances, racking up 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35 as he holds records as not only England's most-capped red-ball captain (59) but also for the most centuries for his country in the longest format (33).

  • The memories will live with me forever - Southgate reflects on five years as England manager The memories will live with me forever - Southgate reflects on five years as England manager

    Gareth Southgate has been England manager for five years and says the memories of the Three Lions' Euro 2020 campaign will stay with him "forever".

    The former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender replaced Sam Allardyce on November 30, 2016, having held the post of Under-21s manager since 2013.

    Southgate was initially appointed on an interim basis, but was handed the reins permanently after four games and has since led England to a World Cup semi-final in 2018 and the final of Euro 2020 in July.

    England secured their spot at the World Cup in Qatar next year by topping their qualifying group, going unbeaten and conceding just three goals in 10 games in the process, leading to a new contract for the 51-year-old that runs until 2024.

    "To take a country to a first final in 55 years, for everybody involved, for all the staff, all the players and for all the fans, some of those memories of Wembley through this summer will live with me forever," Southgate said to England's official website.

    "[At the 2018 World Cup in] Russia, we brought a connection back with the fans. There were probably several generations of fans who had not been to a semi-final. This year was unique, really, when you think we had been locked away for so long and everything we had lived through.

    "There is an important place for international football. It does bring everyone together. When you feel like you are there with 50 million people behind you, it is an immense feeling.

    "People used to say 'well, nobody cares about international football anymore' but they did. I think everybody had just been hurt and disappointed a lot, and you almost don’t want to get hurt anymore and you withdraw from it.

    "Now we have some generations of fans who think it has always been this way. Well, let me tell you, folks, it hasn't!"

    Southgate gave some insight into the process of rebuilding a team that was low on belief and turning them into a side capable of challenging at major tournaments.

    "Confidence was low [when I first took the job]," Southgate added. "This was not a group which was disunited, but there was a lack of confidence because of the last couple of tournaments and two changes of manager in a couple of months, so we needed to stabilise things to begin with and we needed to qualify for a World Cup.

    "That was the priority but of course what we knew in the background was there was a younger generation of players coming through to support the guys who were already there that could provide real competition for places, with some good experiences of winning at junior level. 

    "[They were] technically really good players that could maybe play in a slightly different way to traditional England teams of the past, where I was in tournaments with England where we couldn’t keep the ball enough.

    "Now in the biggest games we have a step to go with that because we have managed that for long periods in tournaments but under real pressure, we still need to be better at that.

    "You have to have continuity. You need a real clear sense of direction for everyone who works at St. George’s on the football and for everybody at the FA.

    "I think it is a credit to everybody, the different chairmen and chief executives I have worked with here, that they have put football more at the forefront of their thinking and there has been a plan."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.