Our visit to Anfield this season was always going to bring back fond memories of our performance in Liverpool last season.
The 3-0 win, courtesy of goals from Manuel Lanzini, Mark Noble and Diafra Sakho, ended a 52-year winless streak at the Reds’ home, dating back to September 1963, and will always be one of those “where were you” games. Everyone has their own story from that day but many weren’t too optimistic ahead of this fi xture – just like Jamie Hall and his friends.
‘There were four of us who decided to make the trip to Liverpool only a few days before the game. For me, it was a ground I had never been to before, so I thought, yeah why not?,’ he said. ‘We were going up there expecting defeat, as per usual when we head to Merseyside. ‘It also didn’t help that Bilic had come out during that week saying ‘Maiga is our only fi t striker travelling to Anfield’. Th en when 2pm came around, it was announced that an unfit Diafra Sakho was starting the game and our substitute bench consisted of six youth players alongside Matt Jarvis, it really wasn’t looking promising.’
Despite the day not having the greatest start, it was even worse for Will Earle who wasn’t even inside the ground for the first goal. ‘I remember getting to Anfield late due to issues with public transport,’ he said. ‘Following two consecutive defeats and hearing of an early 1-0 lead, I was expecting a long 90 minutes of us attempting to sit back all game. I was thinking the worst.’
Despite an apparent lack of confidence, it soon became evident that this could be our day. ‘The atmosphere was great from both sets of fans,’ Will continued. ‘Noble popped up on the edge of the box to slot home and it was Coutinho’s dismissal which made me think that this could be our day. However, in typical West Ham fashion it wasn’t made easy with Noble getting sent off , and from then on it was a very nervy final ten minutes.
Nevertheless, the ten men of West Ham pulled through to ensure we travelled back to London with all three points. But for some, including Jamie, it took a while to sink in that it could really happen. ‘It wasn’t until Sakho put us 3-0 up with moments to go that it dawned to me and the majority of the West Ham faithful that this was going to be the first time in 52 years that we’d pick up a long-awaited win at Anfield. It was well worth the wait. A fantastic 3-0 win and one of the best away days us fans had experienced in a while.’