Liverpool 4-1 West Ham – Suarez Guides Reds

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By Jonathan CarrolI

In a week that saw Luis Suarez score one of the best hat-tricks that the Anfield faithful has ever seen, the Uruguayan continued to single-handedly drive Liverpool up the table. Suarez had a hand in all four goals. Raheem Sterling is slowly gaining back the confidence that saw him gain a first team place at an early age and Joe Allen turned in a very impressive performance in midfield which may keep Lucas Leiva on the subs bench. West Ham’s Kevin Nolan rightly saw red as his attempt to injure Jordan Henderson by raking his studs down his achilles was violent and deserved nothing less.

This was a game that Liverpool badly needed to win with matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Chelsea all upcoming. After the Hull debacle, Brendan Rodgers has now it seems decided to look at the midfield issue of Leiva and Steven Gerrard. Joe Allen played well upon his return to the starting line up. The Welshman was efficient in possession, looked to spread the play and covered well in his central role.

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Brendan Rodgers has talked about his side not relying on Luis Suarez as the main goal threat. Ironic that the prolific striker has scored and been involved in Liverpool’s last nine goals. If Raheem Sterling can continue to improve and with Philipe Coutinho getting back to his best, Liverpool may be able to compete against the top teams in the absence of Daniel Sturridge. That’s a big “if” however.

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Opponents plan on trying to keep Suarez quiet. Easier said than done, just as Sam Allardyce. With sufficient numbers defending and underperforming Liverpool team mates, it can be achieved. Just as West Ham did for long spells yesterday. There needs to be a heavy emphasis on other players also contributing. Sterling, Coutinho and Jordan Henderson to name a few.

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Defensively Liverpool continue to look frail. Martin Skrtel has been immense this season so far but is also prone to some woeful performances from time to time. Not to mention the own goal bug that Skrtel is famous for. Saturday saw the Slovakian net his third in three games. Impressive strike rate. Mamadou Sakho gave a steady, solid performance in his restored role at the back. The one area that might plague Rodgers in the upcoming games against potential top four contenders is the left back position. Jon Flanagan has been trustworthy against Norwich and West Ham but will Chelsea, City and Spurs look at Flanagan as the potential weak spot? Its possible. Would three at the back suit Liverpool more against these sides? A back three of Daniel Agger, Sakho and Martin Skrtel would be solid on paper if untried. Rodgers has also been unwilling to play left footers together in the middle of the back four or three as if it will cause some sort of violent reaction in the world of football tactics.

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For now, wins against Norwich and West Ham are expected. Without Luis Suarez they would have been much more difficult. The importance of continuing the current rise to the top of the league is vitally important as the Urugyuan will leave if Liverpool fail to gain Champions League qualification for next season. January may see some extra additions to the squad. Right now its impossible to speculate who may be signed but the addition of quality personnel is always welcome. The next four games may determine whether or not John Henry opens his check book.

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  • 22 Mignolet – 6
  • 02 Johnson – 6
  • 38 Flanagan – 6 (Kelly – 79′ )
  • 24 Allen – 7
  • 37 Skrtel – 7
  • 17 Sakho – 7
  • 14 Henderson – 6
  • 08 Gerrard – 6 (Lucas – 56′ )
  • 07 Suárez – 8
  • 10 Coutinho – 7
  • 31 Sterling – 7 (Moses – 72′ )


  • 01 Jones
  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 12 Moses
  • 20 Cissokho
  • 21 Lucas
  • 34 Kelly


  • 22 Jääskeläinen – 5
  • 20 Demel – 5 (Booked)
  • 03 McCartney – 4
  • 21 Diamé – 5
  • 19 Collins – 5 (Booked)
  • 05 Tomkins 5 (O’Brien – 56′ )
  • 23 Downing – 4 (Cole – 45′ Booked )
  • 16 Noble – 5
  • 11 Maiga – 6
  • 04 Nolan – 5 (Dismissed)
  • 07 Jarvis – 4 (Taylor – 84′ )


  • 10 Collison
  • 13 Adrián
  • 14 Taylor
  • 17 O’Brien
  • 18 Diarra
  • 24 Cole
  • 26 Cole
Referee: Michael Oliver
Attendance: 44,781

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