Carroll strikes back to sink Liverpool
Reject striker back to haunt former club Liverpool
WEST HAM UNITED 2
(Antonio 10, Carroll 55)
Liverpool reject Andy Carroll ended his old club’s recent revival as West Ham secured a deserved win at Upton Park.
Carroll, who was let go by former Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers after just 18 months on Merseyside, scored with a trademark header to sink his old club.
West Ham were already leading through Michail Antonio’s early goal when, nine minutes after half-time, Mark Noble floated in a cross and Carroll powered the ball home.
The goal clearly meant a great deal to the striker as he celebrated wildly, with the Hammers making it back-toback wins while ending Liverpool’s run of two straight victories.
Liverpool were a disappointment and, with only one shot on target in the whole game, rarely looked as though they were capable of getting back into the match after Antonio fired the home side ahead.
Antonio’s first goal for the club, against Southampton last Monday, had more than a touch of fortune about it after a clearance hit him on the head and flew into the net.
But there was no doubt about his second goal for the club in this game as the winger thumped in a closerange header from Enner Valencia’s cross after 10 minutes.
Manuel Lanzini, back in the West Ham side after a spell out through injury, showed what they have been missing recently with a vicious, swerving shot which crashed back off the inside of Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet’s post.
Unfortunately the Argentinian midfielder, who had been the game’s most influential player, limped off just before half-time with what looked like a recurrence of his recent thigh injury.
The Hammers continued to cause Liverpool problems, though, with Aaron Cresswell’s deflected shot forcing Mignolet to save at his near post.
Liverpool, by stark contrast, were dismal in attack in the first half, and yet were still inches away from being level at half-time after Emre Can’s curling shot from the edge of the area clipped the crossbar.
The visitors emerged early for the second half, presumably with a flea in their ear from frustrated manager Jurgen Klopp.
They attacked with more purpose, and Philippe Coutinho fizzed a shot over the bar before Alberto Moreno’s low cross found Christian Benteke, only for the striker to miss his kick in front of goal.
But just as Liverpool threatened to get back into the game, Carroll snatched it away from them, rising above Nathaniel Clyne to powerfully head Noble’s cross past Mignolet and into the back of the net. And Carroll could have piled on the misery with another header from Cresswell’s cross, but Mignolet made a fine save.
Liverpool almost pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining, but a header from Lucas was cleared off the line by Noble to deny them even a consolation.