Liverpool's match with West Ham United was far from a thing of beauty, but the Reds did just enough to grind out a 1-0 win over the Hammers and pick up a massive 3 points on their home pitch. This moves them to 7th in the Premier League Table. Darwin Núñez nodded a shot past Lukasz Fabianski in the 22nd minute and that tally proved to be the game-winner thanks to Alisson's heroics between the pipes. The Liverpool goalie was only credited with 3 saves, but each proved to be vitally important, none bigger than stopping a penalty by Jarrod Bowen in the dying moments of the first half.
Liverpool controlled the run of play, but the only shot came from Firmino, but the chance was well wide. Trent Alexander- Arnold put a shot on frame in the 10th minute, but West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski was up to the challenge. Darwin Núñez nearly put the Reds in front in the 15th minute, but Fabianski punched the attempt over the bar. Núñez found the back of the net, though in the 22nd minute, nodding home a header on a cross by Kostas Tsimikas for a 1-0 Liverpool lead. Núñez nearly had a brace seconds later as he stole the ball in the attacking third and forced a save.
Liverpool continued to dominate possession for the rest of the half. Mohamed Salah began to work his way into the match late in the half with 3 shots (1 on goal). Núñez also hit the woodwork in the 39th minute, but he could not send home the rebound. VAR awarded the Hammers Jarrod Bowen a penalty kick in the 4th minute, but Alisson came away with a huge save, diving to his left to keep Liverpool up 1-0 at the break.
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson put a shot just over the bar to start the second half, West Ham began to enjoy more possession from that point, but they could not generate any shots. Núñez put a shot high in the 56th minute just before he was subbed out of the match. Firmino forced a save from Fabianski in the 64th minute as he tried to head home a corner.
Alison came away with another big save in the 70th minute on a shot from Saïd Benrahma as the Reds keeper went to the ground to make the stop. The ball fell to Roberto Firmino right in front of the goal in the 75th minute but the save was made. Fabianski outraced Salah to the ball in the 84th minute to keep the Hammers in the game. West Ham squandered two chances to score in the 87th minute, as James Milner came away with a big block and Alisson secured a save to account for the 1-0 final.
Núñez Breaks The Ice
When Núñez scored in the 22nd minute, not only was it his first tally inside Anfield, but it also marked just the third time in the 2022/23 EPL play that Liverpool has scored first in a match. The other two occasions came in a 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth and the most recent fixture vs Manchester City.
Alisson Saves The Day
When Alison made the penalty save to keep the Reds in front at the end of the first half, it was the 4th PK stop of his career and the first since 2020. His efforts covered for Joe Gomez's foul in the box and his other 2 saves in the 2nd half made up for some suspect defending, earning Liverpool their second consecutive clean sheet.
LFC Globe Verdict
3 points are 3 points. It does not matter if it comes against a club at the top or the bottom of the table. While not as emotionally charged as the win over Manchester City, it was no less important as the Reds continue to climb up the standings. The match played out much as I thought it would as West Ham United has been stingy and competitive all season. Liverpool did just enough to see this one over the finish line and at the end that's all that matters.
Man of the Match & What's Next
Núñez definitely deserves distinction for scoring the game-winner, but it was Alisson who covered himself in goal. He literally saved two points for the Reds with his penalty kick save and he also garnered two massive stops in the second half to secure the win.
Up next for the Reds is an afternoon EPL bout with Nottingham Forest. Kickoff is set for Saturday October 22nd at 12:30 BST from The City Grounds.
Liverpool- Núñez 22'
West Ham- Saïd Benrahma for Pablo Fornals ‘61 Michail Antonio for Flynn Downs ‘74