New season, same old story for West Ham United.
Two goals from Saido Mane, an opening finish from reigning Premier League Play of the Year Mohamed Salah, and a first touch goal from substitute Daniel Sturridge gave title contenders Liverpool a resounding 4-0 victory over their visitors in the 2018-19 curtail raiser for both teams.
All of the preseason hype and positivity for West Ham, with new manager Manuel Pellegrini and a record set of new signings, has been tampered significantly by the result at Anfield, eerily similar to the 4-0 opening day defeat at Manchester United last year.
Despite some glimpses of promise from new additions Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere, the Hammers were well beaten on the afternoon. Liverpool’s first goal came in the 19th minute, when the ultimate talisman Salah tapped him from close range after fine build up play from Naby Keita and Andy Robertson. Both Mark Noble and Declan Rice were completely out of position, as Pellegrini’s side were unable to recover.
Just when it seemed West Ham would go into the break down that one goal, they conceded a back breaking second, as the Hammers’ defense switched off to allow James Milner a cross into the box and see a tap in from Mane.
The Senegal star would get a second in the 50th minute to rule out any hopes of a Hammers’ second half comeback, although referee Anthony Taylor clearly missed him being offside from Robert Firmino’s pass.
Mane was offside though, and VAR could have easily ruled that goal out. Clear offside. Anthony Taylor with a nightmare miss there. #LIVWHU pic.twitter.com/IqiXWyxmns— Brace The Hammer (@BraceTheHammer) August 12, 2018
And the Reds would confine West Ham to another difficult 4-0 season opening defeat, as Sturridge came off the bench and immediately finished from close range in the 87th minute.
With David Gold in attendance, it was a performance that he nor Pellegrini expected to see, nor will tolerate at all for the rest of the season. And the Hammers will need to bounce back next week from this performance immediately.