Joel Matip the Liverpool hero as West Ham’s revival hits the buffers

Cody Gakpo was also on target after Lucas Paqueta opened the scoring.
Joel Matip the Liverpool hero as West Ham’s revival hits the buffers

By Andy Sims, PA

Joel Matip’s towering header saw Liverpool come from behind to beat West Ham 2-1 and pick up a third straight win.

The Hammers led through a wonder strike from Lucas Paqueta but were pegged back by Cody Gakpo’s drive.

And moments after Jarrod Bowen had a goal disallowed for offside, Matip struck from a corner to halt West Ham’s recent revival.

West Ham were convinced they should have had a late penalty when Thiago’s arm hit the ball as he fell in the area, but despite a VAR check nothing was given.

The Hammers went into the match buoyed by a profitable week which saw them come from behind to draw 2-2 with Arsenal, reach the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League and climb further away from the relegation zone with a thumping 4-0 win at Bournemouth.

And manager David Moyes, who turned 60 on Tuesday, was celebrating again when his side took the lead with a goal of real quality from Paqueta after 12 minutes.

The Brazilian twice exchanged passes with Michail Antonio as he cut in from the right before launching a rocket from the edge of the box past his international team-mate Alisson.

Paqueta has taken a painfully long time to get up to speed since his record £50million switch from Lyon to east London last summer.

But it was a third goal in three matches for the 25-year-old who is now finally starting to look the part in claret and blue.

However, the lead lasted only five minutes before Trent Alexander-Arnold, gliding around in central midfield again, found Gakpo 25 yards out.

The Dutch forward was able to take a few touches and weigh up his options before deciding on a low shot which skidded past Lukasz Fabianksi into the corner of the net.

Liverpool should have gone ahead when the ball dropped to Diogo Jota eight yards out but the Portuguese forward shinned his volley over the crossbar.

Jota, who scored four goals in his previous two matches, then planted a header wastefully wide.

But West Ham remained a threat and just before half-time Virgil van Dijk got a crucial touch to prevent Antonio from converting Said Benrahma’s cross at the far post.

The hosts thought they had gone back in front when Bowen raced on to Paqueta’s through ball, cut inside Van Dijk and fired into the corner, but a VAR check showed the winger was marginally offside.

Instead Liverpool snatched the lead in the 67th minute after Fabianski saved a point-blank shot from Matip.

West Ham United v Liverpool – Premier League – London Stadium
Joel Matip, centre, heads home the Liverpool winner (Nick Potts/PA)

The defender stayed up for the ensuing corner and duly powered his header from Andy Robertson’s cross past Fabianski.

West Ham pushed for an equaliser but Maxwel Cornet blazed wide and Tomas Soucek header over.

Moyes protested furiously to the fourth official after Thiago’s slip in the area but Liverpool survived to climb above Tottenham into sixth.

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