West Ham United required a bounce back performance after a horrid close to January, and they produced that Monday evening at the London Stadium with a 1-1 draw against Premier League leaders Liverpool.
It was an exciting contest that could have easily gotten more than one goal, as both teams were lively throughout. And the Hammers can certainly claim that they could have been up 2-0 early, as Javier Hernandez and Aaron Cresswell were close to giving the home side the lead. Then, it felt as if the match would swing the league leaders’ way, as Liverpool benefitted from James Milner being offside before his delivery into the path of Saido Mane in the 22nd minute, who finished to make it 1-0 to the visitors.
But West Ham’s quality, along with Liverpool’s questions at the back, would see that an equalizer would come soon. And it did with a set piece produced by Felipe Anderson that lead to Michail Antonio scoring another goal in his career against LFC, slotting past Alisson in the 28th minute.
The rest of the game continued with the same great energy featured from Antonio, Anderson, Mo Salah and Mane throughout. Somehow, both teams were able to defend well enough to hold each other at bay though for the next 62 minutes despite a bevy of decent half chances and good buildup play.
But Liverpool had a chance to see Divock Oirigi provided them another memorable late winner in the final kick of the game, but the Belgian hit his chance into the stomach of Lukasz Fabianski.
And while Reds’ fans will fret about this draw messing up their chances at an elusive first Premier League title, it was a needed performance for the Hammers to start February on a good note. Pellegrini’s side will hope to build off of this performance when they travel south in the city to face Crystal Palace on Saturday in another London derby.