Before a ball was kicked in anger at Anfield last night, David Moyes had never recorded an away win against Liverpool in all competitions, failing in 15 attempts (D7, L8) and losing four in a row with Man Utd, Sunderland and West Ham.
After an hour tonight, however, it looked as if this stat was about to change as goals from Issa Diop and substitute Pablo Fornals swept West Ham into the lead after Georginio Wijnaldum’s header had given the Reds an early lead.
Liverpool were faced with a fight to preserve their unbeaten 27-match league run, but cometh the hour, cometh the man and Mo Salah was on hand yet again to level things up in the 68th minute, albeit with Fabianski at fault for letting the shot squirm through his legs.
There was a sense of inevitability as Liverpool went for victory and so it proved as Sadio Mane turned in with nine minutes left after Trent Alexander-Arnold lofted the ball over Fabianski.
It was cruel on West Ham and Moyes, with Liverpool keeper Alisson having to produce a crucial late block from substitute Jarrod Bowen. Liverpool restored their 22-point lead at the top and we were left in the bottom three.
It’s fair to say Fabianski suffered an Anfield nightmare with Wijnaldum’s opening goal and Salah’s equaliser.
But Moyes must feel Anfield holds him in a curse as he has never won at Anfield in 16 attempts as a manager with Everton, Manchester United, Sunderland or West Ham.
The Scot’s joyous celebrations when Fornals gave West Ham the lead at a time his side were performing with real heart must have had him believing the drought might be over until things took a nasty twist with that Fabianski error.
West Ham’s fans protested against our owners, with black balloons let off and a series of banners unfurled reading “Karren Brady – You’re Fired”. “Sullivan This Charmless Man.” “Run Like A Circus Owned By Clowns” and “State Of The Art Retractable Promises.”
If there was discontent off the field, they will have been pleased with what they saw on it as we ran Liverpool as close as just about anyone at Anfield this season.
We still face an uphill struggle but we can at least take some encouragement from our display once the bitter taste of defeat has eased.
Victory meant Liverpool equalled the English top-flight record of 18 successive wins, set by Manchester City from August to December 2017, with Jurgen Klopp’s side last dropping points in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in October.
“We can take a lot of positives. Before the game nobody will have given us a great deal of hope. I thought for large periods of the game we had a chance. I’d hate to think my teams would do anything but put a lot of effort in and I’d be annoyed if anyone else thought otherwise. The disappointing thing is the individual mistakes. I thought tonight we did a really good job. We performed really well as a team but we go away with no points and it’s the points we need.”West Ham manager David Moyes on BBC Radio 5 Live