Wednesday 30th January 2008 @ 7.45pm
An injury time winner from the penalty spot handed Liverpool their 3rd Premiership defeat of the season and brought the curtain down on one of the most miserable January’s in the club’s entire history.
The game was heading to be Liverpool’s fifth consecutive league draw, but credit to West Ham – they deserved the three points.
Liverpool’s millionaires are now in a state of continuous under-performance. The players lack heart, the players lack desire, there is no cutting edge and with a couple of exceptions many of the players, simply, are not fit to wear the shirt.
A team built upon the foundations of success, ambassador’s of English football’s most glittering prizes, but these men are not cut from Liverpool cloth. Benitez can take his fair share of criticism – continuing to play Dirk Kuyt who is playing so badly he would struggle to get in Liverpool’s talented Youth Cup winning side, is one of the most perplexing decisions of them all.
Some of the performances in recent weeks have been a disgrace to every single Liverpool supporter around the world who demands determination in anybody who wears the Liverbird on their shirt.
The game itself? It could quite easily be summed up by all the factors that were wrong in the first half against Havant. Lack of drive, lack of aggression, lack of passing ability. Liverpool failed to create a decent chance worthy of note in 90 minutes of football and when West Ham made a late breakaway Jamie Carragher gave away yet another penalty which Mark Noble put past Reina.
The ‘resting’ of players was supposed to be providing benefit to Liverpool as we approached the end of the season. Unfortunately not only has any chance of winning the title disappeared but the reds are playing worse than at any stage this season and now lie a massive 17 points off the top of the league.
Benitez’ comments of ‘We now need to think about the next game‘ are slowly starting to wear thin.
Post Match Reaction
“We had chances but couldn’t take them.
“We started really well and in the second half we had a lot of possession and to lose following a counter attack in the final minute is disappointing.
“For them to score from a penalty so late on was terrible. We now need to think about the next game.”
Alan Curbishley (West Ham boss)
“It’s tremendous – if you’re going to get a penalty and score then it’s a great time to do it.
“Week in and week out we’ve put in a lot of effort – the squad have a fantastic attitude and full credit goes to them.
“We’ve lost three games in the last 16 and that’s gone unnoticed.”
Liverpool: Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Aurelio, Benayoun (Babel 72), Gerrard, Alonso, Kewell (Lucas 61), Torres, Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Itandje, Crouch, Skrtel.
Booked: Aurelio, Torres, Alonso.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Ferdinand, Upson, McCartney, Ljungberg, Noble, Mullins, Bowyer (Ashton 58), Boa Morte (Etherington 59), Cole (Spector 81).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Solano.
Goals: Noble 90 pen.
Ref: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).