Our review of West Ham United 3 Liverpool 2 in the Premier League at The London Stadium, including The Reds response during and after the game.
Dan Morgan hosts Neil Atkinson, Sean Rogers and Paul Cope…
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- West Ham – 4/16 cross success and 2/3 corner compared to 5/22 3/6 last season
- Liverpool attacking third passes 184/248
- 11 fouls committed to 6 WHU
- LFC 12 shots inside penalty area – 4 on target
- 0 from fast break away
- Between HT and 65′ Liverpool complete 74/96 passes – Percentage of 77.1
- Neither bench fills you with confidence
- West Ham’s consistency in playing together and understanding the “what we do”
- What Liverpool might have done here, if anything without the injuries.
Early set piece:
- Nothing is different to what Liverpool have always done (see pictures)
- West Ham are clearly putting more men in six-yard area as opposed to pen-spot runners: Disrupt ‘keeper/stop the counter/loose balls
- Right and left side playing very specific roles in how both attack and see ways home.
- Robertson at the by-line and in general final third
- Jota (11 passes received between 1-0 and 1-1. One pass forwards. 0 take ons or recoveries).
HT to 65:
- Arguably where Liverpool lose the game
- Hot potato/shape is woeful/flicks and lazy passes. Lots of post-match talk of losing patience and being rash. Agree?
- Thiago readying and doing the sub anyway.
Sean’s “ironing out niggles” theory maybe becoming required earlier than first thought?
Hello Neil hope you’re good?Clearly west ham came with a well thought out game plan and it worked for them they caught us pants down.
They coped much better than most teams do against our right side overload that Jurgen calls “the flexible triangle”. With the right-sided central midfield typically making runs wide to join Trent and Mo, most opponents end up outnumbered on their left, leaving one of our players free.
West Ham refused to let this happen,
with Fornals dropping back into midfield,
often forming a 4-5-1 shape out of possession.
When we tried to play down their right, either Fornals or Benrahma would push forward to pressure Trent, while the other could track Hendo as he moved wide.
Behind them Cresswell kept tabs on Salah, but Ogbonna also moved wide to join him in case Salah tucked into the centre, meaning Cresswell was able to deal with any overlaps down the outside if called upon.
The weakness of this was that it left Ben Johnson and Zouma alone in the centre against Mané and Jota, however we weren’t getting the space to cross into them from the right, so the danger wasn’t felt too much.
Whereas usually opposition widemen are caught two-against-three by us,
West Ham shifted enough players across to make it a four-against-three.
Rather than beat a dead horse, We made use of the space elsewhere.
West Ham would pull four men out to their left, but that inevitably meant they had less players to protect the centre and their right side.
With Fornals pulled over to the right,
it was generally left to Antonio alone to deal with our centre-backs and Fabinho,
so Fab and Virgil would happily receive the ball inside and pick out passes through the centre or move it on down the left.
The issue for us was that we weren’t structured to get the best from their left side like we are at our right.
Mané was mostly tucking inside into the centre, meaning Robbo was left alone out wide.
Robbo is a good crosser but nowhere near that of Trent, who could pick out a pass from anywhere, and so he was getting high and wide, but, left isolated against Bowen and Johnson, he was pretty predictable.
Whereas Trent can rely on Hendo’s overlapping or Mo’s inside opening up some space for him,
West Ham always knew a cross was coming in because Robbo had few other options,
so, the were ever-ready to defend against them, they were frequently blocked (which also has to do with Robbo’s crossing technique:
whereas Trent can loft in a ball over defenders, Robbo’s crossing is at its best when he can drill them across the face of goal, which was exactly what West Ham were set up to combat).
He tried mixing it up with cutbacks, taking advantage of the defensive line dropping off with him, but West Ham’s midfielders were disciplined, dropping into this area to support their defence.
With Hendo pushing forward down the right, Ox was forced into being more reserved on the left to balance out the midfield, meaning he could do little to help Robbo.
Even when he did push forward into attack, he struggled to really do much, as he was on his wrong foot.
Although this reserved role didn’t suit him, Ox was picking out the odd decent pass through the centre from deep and was able to picked out Mo in attack then was scythed down by Declan Rice as he tried to wriggle away which brought the free-kick and goal.
So west ham came with a plan and they executed it perfectly to be honest the early questionable goal did not help matters as it emboldened them to move forward with the game plan.