It was always going to be a difficult test at Anfield Saturday for West Ham United. And it was always possible that the end result would be a score that the club would want to forget instantly.
Those inevitably difficult aspects came to life, as the Hammers were clearly second best on the afternoon, as Liverpool dominated their visitors with a resounding 4-1 victory.
Jurgen Klopp’s high-flying side continued their torrid form of late, which included being the first victors of Manchester City in the league this season and a memorable 5-0 thrashing of Porto in the Champions League Round of 16, leg one.
The Reds set the tone from the beginning, and despite the odd West Ham counter attack thread lead by the excellent Marko Arnautovic, it was still going to be the home side’s afternoon. Emre Can got the party started in the 29th minute, heading home from a corner to give Liverpool the opener. Mohamed Salah added a 31st goal to his remarkable first season with the Merseyside club after a fine pass from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to make it 2-0 in the 51st minute.
A third would be added by Liverpool just six minutes later, as Adrian misjudged a cross that allowed Roberto Firmino to walk the ball into the back of the net.
The Hammers did show that their competitive spirit wasn’t going to disappear on the afternoon despite the Liverpool onslaught, as substitute Michail Antonio took just 82 seconds on the field to make an impact with a fine finish, thanks to a lovely through ball assist from Cheikhou Kouyate in the 59th minute to make it 3-1.
But Liverpool regained their three goal margin in the 77th minute, as Sadio Mane got his deserved goal to finish from close range after another Andrew Robertson’s lung busting effort.
David Moyes’ side knows this was a tall order and will expect West Ham to have a much better chance at a positive result next Saturday, when they take on the much improved Carlos Carvalhal Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.