Pablo Fornals was the hero, assisting one goal and scoring another, as West Ham United brought Liverpool’s 20-game Premier League unbeaten run to an end with a thrilling 3-2 win at the Olympic Stadium.
The ‘Reds’ have been quick starters as of late, having scored in the opening ten minutes of their previous three Premier League matches.
This time, however, roles were reversed as West Ham took a fourth-minute lead. Pablo Fornals whipped in a dangerous corner that was diverted in by the hand of Alisson, who was under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna. VAR checked for a possible foul and a handball from the Italian, and after both were found inconclusive, the goal stood.
Liverpool dominated in search of an equaliser, holding 69% of possession before HT, but were made to work hard to break down the ‘Hammers’ 11-man, deep block.
They didn’t manage a shot on target until the 41st minute, but what a shot it was, as Trent Alexander-Arnold equalised with a thunderous free-kick. Mohamed Salah was felled on the edge of the box by Declan Rice, and the England right back gave the onlooking Łukasz Fabiański no chance as his resulting effort nestled in the top-right corner.
With all to play for in the second half, the visitors’ unbeaten run at the Olympic Stadium was under fire again in the opening minutes as Rice headed onto the crossbar. The hosts’ resurgence began here, troubling Liverpool greatly on the counter, and in the 67th minute they retook the lead.
Fornals broke through the lines and added a goal to his earlier assist, with Alisson not getting enough on the ball to prevent it creeping in. Liverpool crumbled at the sight of another set piece with 16 minutes to play, this time Kurt Zouma heading in his first for the club, and the ‘Reds’ looked dejected, staring a first defeat of the season in the face.
Divock Origi entered the fray and provided an 82nd-minute lifeline, turning and firing into the bottom right for 3-2, and Sadio Mané headed a glorious opportunity wide in injury-time as an equaliser narrowly avoided Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Liverpool’s five-match unbeaten run at the Olympic Stadium comes to an end, and David Moyes’ men leapfrog their opponents into third place in the table.