Virgil van Dijk questioned the standard of refereeing during Liverpool's defeat to West Ham, claiming "no one knows exactly what is allowed".

The Reds saw their 25-game unbeaten run across all competitions – their joint-longest streak since joining the Football League in 1893 – come to end on Sunday.

Alisson, under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna, gifted the lead to the Hammers – who had not beaten Liverpool in 10 previous top-flight attempts – in contentious fashion before Trent Alexander-Arnold levelled for the hosts.

Pablo Fornals restored West Ham's lead and Kurt Zouma all but sealed victory when he headed home as Jurgen Klopp's team conceded twice from corners in a single Premier League game for the first time since August 2017.

Despite substitute Divock Origi's late goal, David Moyes' side managed to hold on for the win, but Van Dijk's focus post-match was on the officiating.

"Listen, the goal counts, it stands," Van Dijk responded to Sky Sports after the game.

"I don't know exactly what happens but I saw the whole time that Ali was being man-marked and stuff, so with the rules nowadays no one knows exactly what is allowed, yes or no, sometimes they give it and sometimes they don't and today counts.

"But what I said, there was nothing wrong. Even after that we still had almost the whole game to come back from it, but obviously we were disappointed to come 1-0 down."

Asked whether Liverpool could do more to protect Alisson from set-pieces, the centre-back responded: "Obviously you can’t because the striker in this case was standing next to him, so you can't push him away because they might give a penalty, so it's just on the officials to see if it’s a foul, yes or no.

"It could have been a foul but what can you do now after the game? You can't change it and what I said, we still had the whole game to come back."

While Van Dijk was left confused by the refereeing decisions, he conceded the Reds were not good enough as he implored for improvements after the international break.

"We played OK, I think in moments played well," he continued. We tried to find the spaces in between their lines and obviously they defend well.

"We had to be patient and scored the deserved equaliser, in my opinion, then second half we were a bit too rash maybe. We wanted maybe to score the 2-1 a bit too much.

"Obviously we just focus on the next game but now it’s the international break.

"Everyone is going away so it’s just making sure that you recover well, play well, play for your country and come back fresh and healthy and clear-minded for a very tough game against Arsenal. That's the only thing we can do."

Jurgen Klopp bemoaned numerous refereeing decisions as Liverpool saw their 20-game unbeaten run in the Premier League ended by West Ham.

Alisson, under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna, punched into his own net to gift the lead to David Moyes' men, who were previously winless in 10 top-flight attempts against the Reds.

Liverpool protested their goalkeeper was fouled from Pablo Fornals' inswinging corner, and Klopp's side were further infuriated when Aaron Cresswell appeared to lunge high into a sliding tackle on Jordan Henderson.

However, referee Craig Pawson and VAR official Stuart Attwell did not see reason to punish the left-back before Trent-Alexander Arnold equalised four minutes before the break.

Fornals nudged Moyes' side back into the lead and Kurt Zouma all but clinched the win as Liverpool conceded two goals from corners in the same Premier League game for the first time since August 2017.

Divock Origi brought the scoreline back to 3-2, but Liverpool could not find an equaliser and, after the game, Klopp's focus was on the officiating as he once again questioned the thought processes behind some of the decisions he felt cost his side.

"Key moments cost us today, the goals and some situations have to go another way," Klopp told Sky Sports post-match.

"Let's talk about the game. The first they score is a foul on the goalkeeper; the arm goes into Alisson's arm, so how can he catch it? That makes no sense.

"What can Alisson do? That is why the goalie is protected. If a player goes up in the air with his arm, it is an important part of the body for the goalkeeper.

"Aaron Cresswell's was a reckless challenge on Jordan Henderson, even when he touched the ball before, so you have to control your body.

"[These were] two situations which were influential, but West Ham did not make the decisions, and they won the game.

"People will say I am making excuses, but I am calm. You need normal decisions from a referee, and he did not do that."

In all competitions, this was Liverpool's first defeat in 26 games, ending their joint-longest unbeaten run since they joined the Football League in 1893.

And Klopp acknowledged his side can improve in their next game against Arsenal after the international break.

"We lost too many balls, that is why they had counter-attacks," he continued. "At 1-1, we had them where we wanted. It looked like we lost a bit of patience, we had a lot of situations where we got to the touchline but could not make it count.

"They dropped really deep, so it does not make it easy, you have to force and fight them down in the final third. Little things decided it and a few things went against us.

"We were not that calm in the decisive moments, they could not get us. When you try to put the ball into the box they had eight, nine players, so we have to go again, do it again. We were not patient enough.

"We can be better, 100 per cent. You cannot always play your best result, you have to grind out a result, but they scored three goals and we didn't."

Liverpool saw their 20-match unbeaten run in the Premier League come to an end after succumbing to a 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Sunday.

Trent Alexander-Arnold's wonderful curler four minutes before the interval made amends for an Alisson own-goal that put David Moyes' side ahead at London Stadium.

However, West Ham regained control after the break as Pablo Fornals and Kurt Zouma were both on target within seven minutes of each other.

Substitute Divock Origi's superb late goal proved in vain as Jurgen Klopp's side failed to close the gap at the top after Chelsea were held by Burnley on Saturday, while the Hammers move above Liverpool into third.


West Ham made a swift start when Alisson succeeded only in punching Fornals' whipped corner into his own goal after four minutes, Liverpool's cries for a foul from Angelo Ogbonna falling on deaf ears.

Diogo Jota headed over in response before Alexander-Arnold levelled with a magnificent strike into the top-right corner following a short free-kick routine with Mohamed Salah.

Craig Dawson nodded onto the crossbar after the break, while Lukasz Fabianski was required to deny Sadio Mane's left-footed volley at the other end.

West Ham took the lead again after 67 minutes when Jarrod Bowen embarked on a driving run before unleashing Fornals, who managed to squeeze a left-footed strike under Alisson.

Matters worsened for the visitors as Zouma climbed the highest to head home Aaron Cresswell's corner – the Hammers' 32nd top-flight goal from set-pieces since Moyes' arrival, six more than any other side.

Origi forced what promised to be a tense ending with seven minutes remaining when he turned and drilled into the bottom-right corner following Alexander-Arnold's offload.

Klopp's men almost sealed the comeback but Mane inexplicably headed wide from Alexander-Arnold's free-kick in stoppage time as West Ham managed to hold on for victory.

Liverpool cannot be considered as underdogs or favourites in the Premier League title race, according to Jurgen Klopp.

The early signs would suggest that Liverpool, along with champions Manchester City and league leaders Chelsea, will be the frontrunners for the title come May.

Liverpool have been in sensational form at times, recording an emphatic 5-0 win over Manchester United, though they do sit three points behind Thomas Tuchel's team after 10 games.

City, meanwhile, are two points further back than the Reds, though a win in Saturday's Manchester derby would see Pep Guardiola's side leapfrog them for the time being, with Liverpool not in action until Sunday.

West Ham, another of the league's in-form teams, host Liverpool at London Stadium, with David Moyes' team having won their last three top-flight matches.

Asked in Friday's pre-match news conference if Liverpool should be considered underdogs in the title race, due to the discrepancy in expenditure between themselves and their immediate rivals, Klopp replied: "Can I? I am not sure. We don't consider ourselves at all.

"We want to be in it, I think with the quality we have we should be around the top of the table, that's where we are, where we want to be, we have that responsibility and that’s how we see ourselves.

"We don't have to talk too much about the quality of Manchester City, the quality and depth of Chelsea, and we are not too bad of a team as well, so that's cool, but there are so many other good teams.

"I think the league made a big jump again. West Ham are incredibly strong, Brighton [and Hove Albion] are incredibly strong, Tottenham are 100 per cent coming back, Arsenal are in a much better place than last year, United is a top-class team, Leicester [City] are there, so look at the league, it's absolutely incredible.

"Everyone's under pressure. For us it's exactly the same, we fight for the Champions League spots and if you are in there it means you can probably fight for the title as well."

Recent history is on Liverpool's side heading into Sunday's game. The Reds have won four of their last five away league games against West Ham (D1) and are looking to win three in a row at the Hammers for the first time since doing so between 2003 and 2007.

However, only City (80) and Chelsea (66) have earned more Premier League points in 2021 than West Ham (62) - a total that already betters any previous tally set by the Hammers during a single calendar year in the competition.

Tomas Soucek's own goal saw West Ham pegged back to a 2-2 draw by Genk in the Europa League on Thursday, in Moyes' 1,000th game as a manager.

Moyes – who is in his second stint in charge of West Ham – has rebuilt his reputation after his ill-fated spell at Old Trafford was followed by poor performances at Real Sociedad and Sunderland.

"And he gets obviously better and better and better, that's how I see it. Even after 999 games there is space for improvement," hailed Klopp.

"I don't know if he reinvented himself, I don't know him long enough to say that, but it's absolutely incredible. Honestly, they are really good. I think everyone who watches them sees that.

"It's a highly energetic team, a counter-pressing team, a counter-attacking team but they play as well. There were almost moments in the past when you played West Ham, they defended deep, had to be really aware of set-pieces and counter-attacks. Now it's the full package, so rightly they are really high in the table, top of the Europa League group as well.

"They are in a good moment, it will be a really good game I'm pretty sure. They are in a good moment, we are in a good moment, that's how football should be before a game. I am really excited to play it."

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Roberto Firmino has sustained a "serious hamstring injury" and is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Firmino was introduced at half-time in the Reds' 2-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday, but was forced off in the 78th minute.

When the striker will return to action is not clear, but Klopp expects the Brazil international to be out for at least four weeks.

"Bobby is not good news with a serious hamstring injury, really unfortunate," Klopp told Liverpool's official website. "We don’t know exactly how long he will be out, but it will be not now after the international break directly. We have to work on that."

Klopp reiterated the significance of the 30-year-old's absence in his pre-match news conference ahead of a Premier League meeting with West Ham on Sunday:

The German boss said: "Losing Bobby Firmino is a blow. I don't think I need to say how big it is. It's a serious injury.

"We talk about weeks - more than four I consider as a serious injury. Then we have to see. Bobby is a quick healer."

Joe Gomez (calf) and Curtis Jones [eye] are also out of the Reds' trip to London, but Klopp expects both to return after the upcoming international break. 

Klopp was less sure about Naby Keita and James Milner, but hopes they will be back in action before long as they recover from thigh injuries.

"Curtis is a completely different story [to Firmino], he was very unlucky in training – he got a finger that scratched the eye," Klopp continued to Liverpool's official website. 

"I had a lot of injuries to players in my career, that was not [one]. He is on the way back but we have to see how long exactly. 

"He will be back after the international break, for sure, but in the international break we have to see when he can start doing proper stuff again. And Joey, hopefully, after the international break as well.

"We will see [about Keita and Milner]. For them, I have hope for after the international break but I don’t know exactly. We have to wait. That’s two weeks and a few days from now on, so that’s what I would really wish for but I cannot promise that. But that’s what we are working on."

West Ham boss David Moyes was denied a win in his 1000th game in management as Tomas Soucek's late own goal gifted Genk a 2-2 Europa League draw.

The Hammers thought they had won it when two second-half goals from Said Benrahma cancelled out Joseph Paintsil's early opener, only for Soucek to find the back of his own net in the 87th minute.

The Premier League side can qualify for the knockout stages with two games to spare if either Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna win the other Group H match later on Thursday.

Genk put an end to their losing streak at home, having lost their previous four home matches in all European competition – their longest ever such run in Europe.

John van den Brom's team took the lead inside four minutes when an incisive ball from Junya Ito found Paintsil, whose shot went in off the post after Alphonse Areola could only get a hand to it.

They never doubled their lead soon after as Areola was forced to save a Paul Onuachu header, before Ito sliced horribly wide after Paintsil pulled the ball back to him on a counter-attack.

Michael Antonio thought he had equalised a minute before half-time when he hit a shot under Genk goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt, only to see the ball cleared off the line by Patrik Hrosovsky.

West Ham started the second half brightly and were level after 59 minutes when Manuel Lanzini, Vladimir Coufal and Benrahma combined well for the former Brentford man to fire in.

Benrahma then got in down the left and slammed a shot past Vandevoordt again with just eight minutes to go, but a flick from Soucek from a dangerous cross looped over Areola and into the far corner to deny the Hammers all three points.

 

What does it mean? Hammers made to wait

There was to be no victory for Moyes in his landmark game, but the Hammers are still on the cusp of qualification for the knockout stage after four games.

They can be relatively pleased with going to a strong Genk side and getting a point, which was only West Ham’s second trip to Belgium in all European competition after a 1-0 win over KAA Gent back in September 1964 in the Cup Winners’ Cup first round, with Ron Boyce scoring the winner.

Where has this Genk been?

After an impressive 1-0 win at Rapid Vienna, Genk’s Europa League campaign stumbled badly with back-to-back 3-0 defeats against Dinamo Zagreb and West Ham.

The Belgians were a match for their English opponents here, though, having 14 shots with five on target, and very nearly equal possession (49.6 per cent). Play like this in their final two games and Genk will fancy their chances of still making it through.

Waste Ham

Even if a draw is not the end of the world, Moyes will still feel a sense of frustration after seeing his side waste numerous chances to win the game.

West Ham had 15 shots in the game, with 13 of those being taken from inside the penalty area and seven hitting the target, but only finding the net twice.

What’s next?

West Ham host Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, while Genk are also at home on Sunday as they face Cercle Brugge in the Belgian First Division A.

West Ham boss David Moyes was denied a win in his 1000th game in management as Tomas Soucek's late own goal gifted Genk a 2-2 Europa League draw.

The Hammers thought they had won it when two second-half goals from Said Benrahma cancelled out Joseph Paintsil's early opener, only for Soucek to find the back of his own net in the 87th minute.

The Premier League side can qualify for the knockout stages with two games to spare if either Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna win the other Group H match later on Thursday.

Genk put an end to their losing streak at home, having lost their previous four home matches in all European competition – their longest ever such run in Europe.

John van den Brom's team took the lead inside four minutes when an incisive ball from Junya Ito found Paintsil, whose shot went in off the post after Alphonse Areola could only get a hand to it.

They never doubled their lead soon after as Areola was forced to save a Paul Onuachu header, before Ito sliced horribly wide after Paintsil pulled the ball back to him on a counter-attack.

Michael Antonio thought he had equalised a minute before half-time when he hit a shot under Genk goalkeeper Maarten Vandevoordt, only to see the ball cleared off the line by Patrik Hrosovsky.

West Ham started the second half brightly and were level after 59 minutes when Manuel Lanzini, Vladimir Coufal and Benrahma combined well for the former Brentford man to fire in.

Benrahma then got in down the left and slammed a shot past Vandevoordt again with just eight minutes to go, but a flick from Soucek from a dangerous cross looped over Areola and into the far corner to deny the Hammers all three points.

West Ham have been handed an EFL Cup quarter-final trip to Tottenham after dumping long-time holders Manchester City out of the competition.

David Moyes' men beat City on penalties on Wednesday to ensure the Premier League champions will not win the trophy for a fifth year in a row, and now a London derby awaits them for a place in the last four. Tottenham reached this stage by eliminating Burnley.

Three of the four ties will be played in the capital, with Arsenal drawn to face League One outfit Sunderland, the only EFL team left in the competition, and Brentford given a home game against Chelsea.

Sunderland knocked out QPR in a penalty shoot-out to reach the last eight, while Arsenal saw off Leeds United. Brentford were victorious at Stoke City, and Chelsea edged past Southampton on spot-kicks.

Liverpool's 2-0 win at Preston North End sets up Jurgen Klopp's team for a shot at Leicester City, with the Reds drawn at home for the tussle with Brendan Rodgers' team.

All ties are due to be played in the week commencing December 20.

Liverpool are looking to win the competition for a fourth time in the 21st century, and for a record ninth time in all. The Reds and Manchester City currently have the most titles in this competition, with eight apiece.

Leicester have won the EFL Cup on three previous occasions, most recently in 2000 when they beat another Merseyside club, Tranmere Rovers, in the last EFL Cup final to be played at the old Wembley Stadium, prior to its demolition.


EFL Cup quarter-final draw:

Tottenham v West Ham

Arsenal v Sunderland

Brentford v Chelsea

Liverpool v Leicester City

Stuart Pearce believes Manchester City showed "respect" to West Ham in their EFL Cup clash as the Hammers won 5-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Guardiola made nine changes to the side that beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 in the Premier League on Saturday, but his line-up still featured the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne.

However, West Ham frustrated the competition holders - who have won the last four editions in a row - and eventually knocked them out in a penalty shootout, with Phil Foden guilty of the only miss.

West Ham first-team coach Pearce believes City were respectful towards a side that have enjoyed a strong campaign so far, sitting fourth in the league and top of their Europa League group, adding the Hammers deserved to progress.

"This is an outstanding Man City side, they came with a very strong lineup," Pearce said after the game. "That was potentially a mark of respect for us, knowing they were going to be in for a tough game.

"Man City have the majority of the possession whenever they play anyone in the world so you have to suffer without the ball. Our resilience and defensive work when they had the majority of possession was good and what we did with the ball trying to play against their press was pleasing.

"You win some, you lose some, but the resilience of the team over 90 minutes, even though we missed a couple of decent chances, with the honesty and resilience of the team, they deserved to get over the line.

"It was a really good night for the club, 60,000 in the ground, you couldn’t get a ticket for the game. It’s absolutely superb and the players deserve the credit - and a bit to our manager as well who drives this club on a daily basis. Anyone with 1,000 matches deserves to be taken seriously.

"There is a level of honesty here and hard work drives us on. We will not get ahead of ourselves and keep working."

City head coach Pep Guardiola was gracious in defeat, praising West Ham but also insisting that his side would be back in search of cup glory next season.

"An incredible run has finished," Guardiola said. "We finished in a good way. We played in a really good way, creating chances against a team who defended deep. On penalties, they were better. Congratulations to West Ham. Next year we will be back.

"One of the toughest games we played at home last season was against them. They are doing well in the Premier League and in the Europa League and now in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals. Fantastic team and fantastic manager."

Phil Foden missed what turned out to be the decisive spot-kick as holders Manchester City were knocked out of the EFL Cup for the first time in five years on penalties following a 0-0 draw in normal time.

Alphonse Areola made a number of crucial saves as the Hammers frustrated City at the London Stadium across 90 minutes, forcing a penalty shootout to settle the tie.

Foden was the only player to miss from the spot, with West Ham scoring each of their five penalties - Mark Noble netting the first and Said Benrahma scoring the last.

David Moyes' side are now through to the quarter-finals, while City's remarkable run of progressing from their last 21 League Cup ties comes to an end.

 

Nuno Espirito Santo claimed Tottenham were the better side despite limping to an insipid 1-0 defeat against West Ham on Saturday.

Spurs failed to record any second-half shot - on target or otherwise - as they collected a fifth consecutive Premier League London derby defeat thanks to Michail Antonio's second-half strike.

Tottenham forward Harry Kane has also now failed to score in each of his last five top-flight London derbies, his joint-longest wait for a goal since a run between May and December 2014.

Spurs head coach Nuno, however, insisted his side dominated proceedings at the London Stadium and did not deserve to come out on the losing side.

"All the game I think we played better, we were better than West Ham," Nuno told Tottenham's official media post-match.

"We controlled the game, the possession, the first half we created chances but we needed to be more accurate with them.

"All the game was under the control but just a moment from a set-piece we lacked our typical focus and then we concede.

"The boys were prepared, they did a good job. The aspects we need to improve are we need to be aggressive in the final third and be more accurate with the passes.

Nuno opted to not make a substitute until the 84th minute, introducing Bryan Gil and Giovani Lo Celso as he attempted to unlock West Ham's deep defence.

The former Wolves head coach defended his decision to delay his alterations, while commenting on how difficult the Hammers' defence is to breach.

"No, the game like I said was under control," Nuno told reporters at his post-match news conference.

"Changes are required when we think we should [make them]. The boys were playing good and then we made the changes in the moment that we felt that the team needed.

"Because West Ham defend in the box with a lot of men, there was not much space and we should've moved the ball faster and go to wide areas.

"But is always difficult when the team and all men are behind the ball, it is difficult to find spaces and gaps.

"It is always frustrating, a London derby that we know means a lot to our fans, means a lot to us and we were not able to win it. I am disappointed because it hurts, I know it hurts."

Michail Antonio's second-half finish was enough to see West Ham past Tottenham 1-0 as the Hammers moved into the top four in the Premier League.

The two teams came into Sunday's clash on the back of contrasting fortunes in Europe, Spurs downed 1-0 by Vitesse while David Moyes' side cruised to a 3-0 victory over Genk.

It took until the 72nd minute for Antonio to break the deadlock at the London Stadium, his sixth top-flight goal against Spurs seeing West Ham move above their rivals.

West Ham, at least temporarily due to Manchester United facing high-flying Liverpool later, climb from seventh into the Champions League spots as Moyes' men continue to prove their quality.

Pablo Fornals' acrobatic right-footed volley forced the first save of the contest before the Spain international skewed wide as the hosts started the brighter of the two sides.

Son Heung-min responded with a low drive, one Lukasz Fabianski saved, after Lucas Moura had wastefully fired off target following the South Korea forward's offload.

Tomas Soucek then headed narrowly wide, with Fabianski subsequently producing a magnificent save to deny Harry Kane's headed effort on the stroke of half-time.

Tempers flared just before the hour-mark as Cristian Romero and Fornals clashed with one another in an otherwise somewhat uneventful start to the second half.

Fornals almost opened the scoring but his right-footed strike, via a deflection off Eric Dier, was tipped over by Hugo Lloris.

However, the Spurs goalkeeper was powerless to stopping Antonio from Aaron Creswell's resulting corner as the forward turned into the bottom-left corner from close range.

The visitors searched for a late equaliser but failed to breach the hosts' defence as West Ham made it three league games without defeat against their London rivals for the first time since May 2006.

Toni Kroos has fallen out of favour with Real Madrid. 

A January transfer is a top priority with the World Cup looming.

Could a reunion with Pep Guardiola await? 

 

TOP STORY – KROOS HEADED TO CITY?

Manchester City have reached out to Toni Kroos about a January transfer, El Nacional reports. 

The Germany international has played in just one league match for Real Madrid this term. 

The 31-year-old previously played for City boss Guardiola at Bayern Munich and a reunion could be on the cards. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Ferran Torres is set to land a contract extension at Manchester City, says the Daily Star, with the new five-year deal set to pay him £100,000 a week.

- Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto could be headed for a reunion with Simone Inzaghi at Inter, reports Calciomercato. 

- Everton lead several clubs in pursuit of Manchester United's Jesse Lingard, says Football Insider, with West Ham and Newcastle United also interested. 

- Liverpool and Manchester United are among the clubs queuing for 18-year-old United States and Dallas sensation Ricardo Pepi, the Mirror reports. Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich also have been linked to the teen. 

- Newcastle have increasingly focussed on Ajax's Erik ten Hag to replace Steve Bruce, the Express reports, adding that Marc Overmars could also make the move to St. James' Park as director of football. 

 

West Ham manager David Moyes is refusing to get carried away with his side's perfect start to the Europa League and insists his goal remains qualifying for the knockout stages.

The Hammers made it three wins from three games in Group H after defeating Belgian club Genk 3-0 at home on Thursday, following victories over Dinamo Zagreb and Rapid Vienna.

West Ham are only the second English side to win each of their first three group games in a single Europa League campaign without conceding a goal, alongside Tottenham in 2013-14.

The last team from any nation to achieve this was Sevilla who eventually won the competition in 2019-20 but Moyes would not be drawn on any comparisons.

"I'm keeping relatively calm because we've got to go to Genk away and Vienna away," Moyes during his post-game news conference. "I'm not going to take anything for granted.

"I said I want to be in Europe after Christmas. That's my plan for this year. We need another couple of points to qualify, not to win the group but if we can get that it would be a great start.

"The players have done a brilliant job. They really have. We've not won any of them easily. They've all been tough. The games have been close, even though we've been the better team in all three of the games. We've got to keep working to get those extra points to make sure we qualify."

West Ham's first two goals against Genk came from set pieces, with Craig Dawson and Issa Diop heading home from Aaron Cresswell's free-kicks.

Cresswell has assisted eight goals from dead-ball situations in all competitions since the start of the season, more than any other Premier League player.

Dawson has netted five goals in all club competitions this calendar year, which is equal best for any Premier League defender along with Manchester City's John Stones.

Angelo Ogbonna nodded in the winner from a Jarrod Bowen set-piece in Sunday's Premier League win over Everton too.

"It may be more effective in European football," Moyes said when asked about his side's set-piece threat. "The Premier League has got a lot of strong defences, and attackers who can defend set-pieces.

"Up until Everton, I’m not sure we had scored this season from a set-piece, so it is not as if we have been doing it every game but thankfully we got the winning goal at Everton and tonight as well.

"Craig Dawson is excellent at it, Issa Diop gets a goal tonight from it as well. Our centre-halves are the players on top scoring goals at the moment so I am happy with that and long may that continue."

West Ham are making light work of Europa League Group H as they made it three wins from as many matches with Thursday's 3-0 defeat of Genk.

The Belgians travelled to London having lost four of their previous five matches across all competitions and West Ham piled on the misery to go six points clear at the top of the group.

Genk looked bright during the early exchanges but West Ham grew into the occasion and went ahead on the stroke of half-time, Craig Dawson's looping header finding the net.

West Ham put the game beyond Genk with a quickfire double just before the hour, Issa Diop and then Jarrod Bowen scoring 72 seconds apart to leave David Moyes' men on the brink of qualification for the knockout phase.

West Ham briefly appeared to have fallen behind early on as Theo Bongonda's diving header found the net, but the hosts were let off the hook as Junya Ito strayed offside in the build-up.

Maarten Vandevoordt was alert to prevent Jhon Lucumi putting into his own goal from an Aaron Cresswell cross just before half-time, though the Hammers did get the breakthrough from the resulting corner.

Dawson beat two markers in the air to meet Cresswell's delivery and Bryan Heynen could not prevent the header finding the top-left corner.

Another Cresswell set-piece brought West Ham's second goal, Diop seeing his header go in off the crossbar in the 57th minute.

A little more than a minute later, the Premier League side wrapped up the win as Manuel Lanzini found Bowen, the winger ran at the heart of the Genk defence and his shot squirmed past Vandevoordt.

What does it mean? Hammers a cut above

Genk certainly had their moments here, with Paul Onuachu threatening in the first half, Ito generally looking lively and that early disallowed goal, but West Ham were clinical and far more authoritative in the final third.

It will take something remarkable from here to deny West Ham top spot in Group H, even if only one of their next three Europa League games is at home.

They are making light work of a group that could have been problematic.

Cresswell? More like cross well…

West Ham left-back Cresswell was really bright here. His deliveries were a regular source of danger and two of them led to goals. Of course, praise should be reserved for Diop and Dawson for making the most of those crosses, but Cresswell put them into the right areas and you cannot ask for much more than that.

Johnson fades into the background

To say he played the full game, had the third-most touches (84) of anyone on the pitch, Ben Johnson did not offer a huge amount. He did not manage to play any key passes, and it was not as if he worked tirelessly off the ball either, as he was only involved in four duels in his whole outing.

What's next?

These two meet again on the next Europa League matchday, as West Ham travel to Belgium on November 4.

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