(REUTERS) - Andy Carroll scored with a trademark towering header to sink his former employers as West Ham United got 2016 off to a flying start with a 2-0 Premier League win over a typically inconsistent Liverpool on Saturday.
Carroll rose to meet a precise cross from Mark Noble 10 minutes into the second half, doubling the hosts' advantage after Michail Antonio had headed them into an early lead.
West Ham moved up to fifth in the table, two points above Liverpool whose frailties were exposed again at Upton Park.
Having won their last two games by narrow margins, Juergen Klopp's side looked more like the team that took a solitary point from their previous three, with little threat in attack and familiar vulnerabilities in defence.
Carroll, who remains Liverpool's record signing when he joined the Anfield club for 35 million pounds (S$73.2 million) in 2011, almost made it 3-0 when he had another header saved by Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet.
The visitors, however, were largely restricted to shots from distance and two half-hearted penalty appeals for handball as they tried in vain to reduce the deficit. Substitute Joe Allen sent a header narrowly wide.