Liverpool were beaten by West Ham United, preventing an unbeaten month for Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool.
After a huge improvement in the last 6 weeks in the reds defence, Pepe Reina had to pick the ball out of his net 3 times – as Avram Grant’s side gained a valuable three points.
The reds failure suffered a double whammy later in the day when Birmingham’s victory prevented the immediate possibility of 6th place receiving a Europa League place.
It was West Ham’s captain, Scott Parker, who scored twice in the first half to give the reds a mountain to climb.
The reds pressure did eventually give the reds a lifeline. In the 84th minute a wonderful bit of trickery from Luis Suarez outfoxed the West Ham defence for him to set up the easiest of goals for Glen Johnson.
But in injury time, substitute Carlton Cole exploded through the reds slow defence to blast home the third and put the game out of the reds’ reach.
Liverpool had welcomed back Steven Gerrard after an absence, but the reds captain was ineffective. Luis Suarez also came back, after missing our last two games from being cup tied.
Dalglish and Clarke watched on, less with face-rubbing but more with anger, and will no doubt have been furious at the application of the team.
Liverpool elected to play 3-5-2, but Martin Kelly was forced off with a hamstring injury that could see him missing for a month. Joe Cole replaced him but offered little. Danny Wilson at left back, still learning the Premier League ropes, did not have a game to feel proud of.
All in all it was a disjointed appearance from the reds, who to their slight defence did play a European game on Thursday night.
Liverpool face Manchester United next weekend and will need to be back on the top of their game to take any points from the Premier League leaders.