As you may have noticed, throughout the ‘Flashback’ series in Blowing Bubbles, the Hammers have barely recorded a victory. However, this was not the case the last time our lads played Liverpool at home. Despite Liverpool’s esteemed reputation, Scott Parker and company inspired the Hammers to an enjoyable 3-1 home victory of the Reds.
It is always special to beat a traditional powerhouse like Liverpool, especially when it lifts your side off the bottom of the table. Despite a miserable start to the season, after a terrific come-from-behind draw at West Brom and a convincing victory against the Reds, things were starting to take a turn for the better for the Hammers.
With talisman Parker and German Thomas Hitzlsperger pulling the strings from the centre of the park, the Hammers began the match brightly with controlled passing to ward off any chance of a good start from the visitors. The central midfield pair combined brilliantly for West Ham’s first goal. Parker played a neat one-two to “Der Hammer” and finished with a sublime finesse shot that was out of reach of Pepe Reina’s outstretched hand.
Despite a decent Dirk Kuyt chance, a Luis Suarez penalty shout and the return of West Ham favourite, Joe Cole, the Hammers deservedly doubled their lead. Once again, neat combined play from two West Ham players resulted in the ball in the back of the Liverpool net. Powerful Senegalese Demba Ba beat the Liverpool defence to a long goal-kick, played the ball to Gary O’Neil, Ba then charged into the area and headed home O’Neil’s cross right on the stroke of halftime.
Despite a busy season to date, West Ham ‘keeper Robert Green was barely involved in the first-half action.
When Green was finally called into action, he was at his very best to deny Suarez after some good play by Steven Gerrard. Frederic Piquionne then should have put the east Londoners 3-0 ahead but the fluffed his header from a menacing Mark Noble corner wide. A late rally from Liverpool resulted in a Glen Johnson tap in to peg the West Ham lead back to a solitary goal, but Carlton Cole eased the nerves of West Ham fans in injury time.
The strong forward managed to push aside Slovakian Martin Skrtel and drove a left-foot shot past Reina at his near post.
West Ham: Green, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge, Jacobsen, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Noble, O’Neil, Ba (Cole 88), Piquionne (Spector 81)
Liverpool: Reina, G Johnson, Wilson, Carragher, Kelly (Cole 43), Skrtel, Meireles (Ngog 49), Gerrard, Lucas, Suarez, Kuyt
Managers: Grant, Dalglish