Well, that’s what I call a superb performance.
Co-chaiman David Gold described it as ‘one of the best overall performances I’ve seen since I’ve been at the club’ and it’s hard to disagree.
It took me 45 minutes to realise that I was watching West Ham. We looked composed at the back and dangerous going forward. The midfield trio of Kouyate, Song, and Noble were dominating Liverpool’s midfield from start to finish with some fantastically hard tackling.
We barely had a chance to sit down before being one up. The match was just 45 seconds old when Downing won a free kick which he then delivered towards the far post where Tomkins won the header and sent the ball back across goal for Winston Reid to net the early opener.
The game then went stale for all of five minutes as West Ham’s fast start continued with a fine tackle by Reid on Balotelli who then found Noble who sent the ball out wide to Diafra Sakho who deliberately lobbed Simon Mignolet to make it 2-0 to The Hammers within the opening seven minutes.
There was a relatively long wait until the next goal which came for Liverpool after a Balotelli shot deflected kindly off of Cresswell and Sterling slammed it home on the 26th minute.
The Irons were still very much in control for the remainder of the half but once the second half came around West Ham were much deeper and looking to counter attack. Liverpool didn’t really threat and a lot of their play was between their defenders and deep midfielders.
The West Ham nerves were demolished with just minutes to go as Downing slipped through a lovely weighted pass to home debutant Morgan Amalfitano, who toe-poked one into the far corner.
Adrian (6) – Some decent saves and could do nothing about the goal. Got needlessly involved with Balotelli and picked up a yellow card.
Cresswell (8) – Did very well all around. A threat going forward when needed and a good shot tipped around the post. Strong defensively.
Reid (9) – Strong in the air. A few excellent tackles including one that led to West Ham’s second goal and even grabbed the opener himself. Superb performance from Winston. MOTM.
Tomkins (8) – A much improved performance compared to Hull last week. Headed the assist for Reid and had a relatively easy day against Balotelli and Borini.
Demel (7) – A quiet one compared to the other defenders but a good performance nonetheless. No real mistakes, and sometimes that’s enough.
Kouyate (8) – Recovered six balls and had a decent passing performance. Nothing particularly special but did the job whilst being injured twice.
Noble (8) – Captain fantastic. Excellent passing and as usual maximum effort.
Song (8) – Unbelievable composure and at times the calmest person in the stadium. Superb passing and tackling in a midfield trio that dominated Liverpool’s midfield.
Downing (9) – West Ham’s new creative wizard continued where he left off at Hull with an assist and a delicious free kick that led to the opener. Really wanted one over his old employers and he earned it himself.
Sakho (8) – A blend of target-man and advanced forward, Diafra is proving to be a real handful for any defence that he comes up against. He made it three in three with a delicious chip that I’m confident he meant.
Valencia (7) – Not as impressive as he was against Hull City but a decent contribution. Bright moments and more to come from him.
Jenkinson 6 (on 62′ for Demel) – Given half an hour and didn’t misplace a pass as West Ham sat deep and attempted to see off the game. Did nothing wrong except pick up a yellow card.
Amalfitano 8 (on 68′ for Song) – Completed all his passes and won a few tackles before scoring his only chance to wrap up the points. Excellent 20 minutes for the Frenchman.
Collins 6 (on 76′ for Valencia) – Came on to sit in a back five. Rarely involved in that time but for one excellent tackle.