Liverpool’s £100k-p/w Star Was The Hero vs West Ham

Liverpool came out victorious in an end-to-end Premier League clash with West Ham United at the London Stadium last night and Jurgen Klopp will be thrilled with the resilience his team showed in important moments.

The Reds are giving chase to keep their outside chances of securing Champions League football alive as they are now just six points behind Newcastle United and Manchester United ahead of their games tonight, with six games remaining.


Despite being away from home, Liverpool dominated in every sense at the London Stadium with 72% possession, with more shots on goal (20 v 7), more accurate passes (732 v 216) and more duels won (59 v 50) which was ultimately reflected in the deserved result.

In the first half, it looked to be a long night for the travelling team, with Lucas Paqueta punishing the Liverpool defence with a fantastic 12th-minute strike to give West Ham the lead, however, the perfect response was quickly delivered by newcomer Cody Gakpo who continued to prove his worth in the competitive forward line just six minutes later.

Over the final 45 minutes, the game continued to be wide open with both sides battling it out for the winner, with the Reds getting lucky when Jarrod Bowen’s strike was stricken off for offside early into the second half.

It was left up to the returning centre-back Joel Matip to deliver the important winning goal in East London with a bullet header tucked away in the 67th minute to confirm three points for Liverpool at full-time.

How did Joel Matip get on vs West Ham?

Gakpo was undoubtedly the star performer on the day but the returning Matip deserves every ounce of praise too.

The Cameroonian hasn’t been seen in the starting line up since the draw with Chelsea earlier this month, with Klopp preferring to play Ibrahima Konate alongside Virgil van Dijk in the centre-back partnership.

The lofty defender earned his spot due to Konate’s injury troubles, however, and the manager’s decision to start Matip turned out to be a blessing in disguise on Wednesday.

Not only did he secure the winner but the centre-back also put in an exemplary defensive performance to make him the true hero of the team.

Over his 90-minute performance, the £100k-per-week ace – who is truly “dominant” in the words of former Red Sami Hyypia – had 103 touches of the ball and completed 76 accurate passes in a composed progressive display.

Liverpool Joel Matip

Not just competent with the ball at his feet, he was also assured in his defensive duties, winning 11 duels, as well as winning one tackle, and completing three clearances and interceptions.

Combine that with the winning goal and it was a near-perfect display.

The fixtures are coming thick and fast for Liverpool with Tottenham Hotspur paying a visit to Anfield on Sunday, so it will be interesting to see if Klopp makes any more tweaks to his team for the Merseyside clash or tries to maintain the consistency that has been the foundation of their recent success.

Either way, Matip’s performance has given the boss a lot to think about should Konate be available for selection next time out.

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