Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham United: Sadio Mane goal narrows the gap on rivals Manchester City
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 05: Sadio Mane celebrates with Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on March 05, 2022 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Liverpool narrowly see off West Ham United, with Sadio Mane's first half strike being the difference between the two sides. 

David Moyes' men weren't without chances to equalise, with Trent Alexander-Arnold forced into a goal-line clearance, and Manuel Lanzini with a skying a close range effort over the bar.

The Reds now sit three points behind Premier League leaders, Manchester City.

The defeat puts a halt in West Ham's chase for top 4, sitting two points behind Manchester United, who currently occupy the spot. 

  • The Story of the Match

Liverpool started off brightly, with Mohamed Salah forcing Lukasz Fabianski into early action. Liverpool reacted quickly to an offside decision against West Ham, and played through Salah directly from the free-kick. The 29-year-old found himself through on goal, but could only direct his shot at the Polish goalkeeper. 

Klopp's men continued to press on, with Luis Diaz and Salah having missed efforts just ten minutes later. Andy Robertson found Diaz in the centre of the area, who controlled and volleyed an effort at goal. Dawson's block fell to the path of Salah who mis-hit a shot wide.

Liverpool were then rewarded for their dominance as Mane opened the scoring. The Senegalese reacted quickly to Alexander-Arnold's bobbling shot, to score from close range. After a lengthy VAR check, Mane was deemed onside and the goal was given.

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Diaz then showed how quickly he had settled in since his January move to Merseyside. The Colombian drove with incredible speed after picking the ball up in his own half, dodging a dangerous tackle from Craig Dawson, who was booked for his actions. Diaz was eventually fouled on the edge of the box by Kurt Zouma, and the resulting free-kick whistled just wide.

As half-time approached, Liverpool added to their list of regretted missed chances. Alexander-Arnold found Diaz in the West Ham box, however the 25-year-old's shot was blocked and almost trickled into the back of the net, before the effort was cleared from the line from Aaron Cresswell.

West Ham then responded immediately with their first real chance of the game, matched by a goal line clearance from Alexander-Arnold. As the Liverpool defence waited for the offside flag to be raised, Pablo Fornals found himself clear on goal, and delicately chipped the rushing Alisson Becker. However, the shot was not powerful enough as Trent managed to recover and clear off the line.

It was West Ham's best chance of the game, with their previous opportunities throughout the first half being reduced to half chances and corners. However, during their ever presence in the first 45 minutes, the London-based side accumulated the most first-half chances at Anfield since Southampton in 2020, with ten.

After the restart, Moyes' men were quick off the blocks, as Jarrod Bowen found himself through on goal. However Andy Robertson recovered well and got blocked the Englishman's shot brilliantly in the nick of time. The challenge, albeit clean, injured Bowen forcing the Scottish manager to replace him. 

After some half chances in front of the Kop, West Ham had a brilliant chance down the other end through Lanzini, who should have put his side level. Tomas Soucek crossed into the feet of the Argentine, who controlled brilliantly and shot. Alexander-Arnold made another crucial block, which rebounded back to Lanzini who blazed his effort over the bar from close range. 

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Diaz continued to be a threat, and after driving into the box, played a pass into Salah, who was lurking just outside the six yard box. The Egyptian couldn't get it out of his feet before he was tackled resulting in a corner. 

The resulting corner was cleared by Zouma who initiated a counter attack. Michail Antonio was through on goal after the pass into him just skipped over Naby Keita's head. Robertson recovered and almost got the tackle in, doing enough to postpone the attack for Keita to get the block in.

Liverpool held on after five minutes of stoppage time, and three crucial points are handed to Klopp's men. 

  • Starting XI's

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita, Henderson; Salah, Mane, Diaz

West Ham: Fabianski, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell; Johnson, Bowen, Soucek, Lanzini, Vlasic; Fornals, Antonio

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