Liverpool, for the second time in two games, failed to win a match in which they took the lead as they drew 2-2 with West Ham.
Adam Lallana’s early goal got the Reds off to a perfect start but a Dimitri Payet free-kick followed by a goal from Michail Antonio saw Liverpool fall behind.
The Reds got level early in the second half when Divock Origi scored after Darren Randolph’s error but as hard as they tried, Liverpool couldn’t force a winner.
Here are my takeaways from the game:
1. Let’s start with the Payet goal because, quite frankly, it’s an embarrassment for Liverpool. From the moment the ball was placed down, the Reds were in a mess. It took an age to build the wall and nobody accounted for the West Ham players in it. The goalkeeper’s positioning is atrocious, he gives himself no chance. Dejan Lovren turns his back and Adam Lallana doesn’t jump. If Payet puts one in the top corner, that’s fair enough but this goal was easily preventable.
2. In the stadium, I thought Joel Matip has a shocker on the second West Ham goal, but looking back, the deflection off Jordan Henderson completely wrong foots him. That’s kind of just one of those things.
3. Liverpool aren’t as sharp in attack, understandably with Philippe Coutinho out. Roberto Firmino looked out-of-place on the left against West Ham. He’s probably the best player in the team and I think he’d be better off being played down the middle. He lacks the pace to beat players on the left and his intelligent movement is somewhat negated by being stuck out there.
4. I say that as I think Origi was poor once again. He got his goal and he has been scoring regularly, but he doesn’t offer the movement that Firmino does up front. He’s often caught on his heels. I’d swap him out to the left.
5. I thought Sadio Mane looked somewhat back to his best. He was constantly causing West Ham issues when he ran at them. He got two assists and on the whole, he played well.
6. Liverpool crossed the ball too much. West Ham were probably delighted to be dealing with crosses rather than neat interplay. Again, I think the fact Firmino wasn’t involved much was a huge factor in Liverpool not looking neat and tidy around the box.
7. Nathaniel Clyne needs to work on his shooting. He found himself as the spare man against West Ham yet his shot late on was a shocker. Teams will be allowing him to have the ball, he needs to punish them.
8. A quick shout for Ragnar Klavan who came on for Lovren at half-time. He dealt with pretty much everything that came his way and he was great on the ball too. A very good performance.