ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
West Ham 2
LONDON • Juergen Klopp has brought much to Liverpool since arriving there in October, most notably a renewed sense of belief. But the one thing the German is still struggling to give the team is momentum.
They arrived at Upton Park yesterday looking for a third straight victory but instead lost for the second time in four games, with the pain for those who filled the away end extended further by the identity of the man who delivered the killer blow.
Andy Carroll has waited a little over three years to score against his old club, with the striker making no secret of his disappointment and frustration at not making it at Anfield, having arrived there for £35 million (S$73.2 million) in January 2011. He finally delivered yesterday.
It was classic Carroll, a leaping, expertly-delivered header on 55 minutes and, following Michail Antonio's impressive header after only 10 minutes of the contest, sealed a fully-deserved win for Slaven Bilic's men. One that also saw them complete a league double over the Merseysiders for the first time since the 1963-64 season and put a huge dent in the visitors' Champions League qualification hopes while boosting their own.
But Carroll, who like Antonio netted for the second successive game, played down his joy at getting one over on Liverpool.
"Each game you want to win and score goals, it doesn't matter if it is against a side you have played for," he said.
"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves, we just want to keep winning games."
Carroll, who remains Liverpool's record signing, almost made it 3-0 when he had another header saved by Reds 'keeper Simon Mignolet.
The visitors, however, were largely restricted to shots from distance although midfielder Emre Can's effort from the edge of the penalty area in the first half struck the bar.
Liverpool also had two half-hearted penalty appeals for hand-ball as they tried in vain to reduce the deficit. Substitute Joe Allen sent a header narrowly wide at the death, a rare clear-cut chance on an otherwise disappointing day for Klopp.
WINNING IS THE AIM
Each game you want to win and score goals, it doesn't matter if it is against a side you have played for.
ANDY CARROLL, ex-Liverpool player, on his desire to score regardless of the opponent
Liverpool were also disappointed with West Ham's opener, as Alberto Moreno appeared to be fouled running down the left flank before the hosts countered with Antonio running the length of the pitch, and launching himself at a deep cross to head past Mignolet.
Liverpool have now lost six league games this season - four since Klopp succeeded the sacked Brendan Rodgers in October.
"I'm really angry today because we could have got so much more," the German told the BBC after watching his side have 65 per cent of the ball and 23 shots but just two found the target.
"Today, we deserved to lose. We always had the ball, we could have made much more chances but we didn't. We have to again accept that we didn't play like we should."
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS