Liverpool 3-1 West Ham: Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota punish unnecessary hammers

Arwin Nunez’s evolution into a true number nine for Liverpool continues as his brilliant fourth goal of the season proved crucial in their 3-1 home win over West Ham.


The Uruguay international scored in consecutive games for the first time since February as Jurgen Klopp’s side made it five consecutive Premier League wins to move into second place behind champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham in the Emirates having drawn. .

Captain Virgil van Dijk had spoken of the 24-year-old converting his potential into quality after the midweek Europa League win over LASK, in which Nunez scored a penalty but could have taken a few more.

His raspy 60th-minute volley from an exquisite Alexis Mac Allister pass restored the lead after Jarrod Bowen’s diving header canceled out Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty, his 12th goal in his last 13 appearances at Anfield.

Substitute Diogo Jota provided the late points as Liverpool scored at least three goals in their first three home games for only the second time in the last 43 years

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But it was Nunez who turned heads with his best integration into a team that has played with a false nine in Roberto Firmino for so long.

His blocking game improved and after Liverpool took the lead in Austria in midweek, he was at work again before Salah’s penalty.

He launched a quick counterattack down the left after holding the ball on the halfway line before releasing Luis Diaz and then charging 60 yards into the box in an attempt to reach the end of the back pass.

He couldn’t do it, but Salah followed him and after passing the ball to Nayef Aguerd, he was tripped by West Ham’s centre-back, who looked quite embarrassed after conceding such a soft corner.

West Ham could have been two goals ahead at this stage, as Alisson had to dive deep down the right to keep out a Tomas Soucek header, then were relieved when Michail Antonio sumptuously headed a header wide from 10 yards.

On another counter-attack, Mac Allister shot wide and Salah missed a shot from Van Dijk’s diagonal pass but almost accidentally found Nunez.

Liverpool threatened to take the game away from the visitors, who had won just once at Anfield in their 50 games, and if Salah had scored after Mac Allister, Diaz and Dominik Szoboszlai it would have been their goal of the season so far.

But David Moyes’ side are tough, their physical approach often infuriating most of the Anfield players, and when Soucek’s deflected shot deflected wide it showed there was still danger.

They equalized three minutes before halftime, a goal almost out of nowhere. Bowen won the opening header with an aimless aerial ball and Vladimir Coufal delivered a cross which the Hammers striker dived low for Van Dijk to aim at the far post.

A delightful lob from Szoboszlai over the top saw Curtis Jones volley but was denied by the offside flag, while another counter-attack saw Salah slide past Nunez, whose angled shot was claimed by Alphonse Areola’s second attempt.

After the break, West Ham brought the game back to a level Liverpool were uncomfortable with, but the hosts still created chances. Nunez’s snap went wide after Salah managed to find space between two markers to pick him out 12 yards.

It was the spectator who needed the Kop’s new cult hero when he then smashed home Mac Allister’s delicate 15-yard chip, which fell invitingly somewhere near the penalty spot.

Jones’ deflected shot was acrobatically deflected by Areola, who then saved into the feet of Diaz, before Jota extended Moyes’ winless Anfield career to 20 visits by stabbing home from close range after Van Dijk’s knockdown ’85 ‘. corner. Have your say… Engage in exciting and thought-provoking conversations. 

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