Hopeless Hammers are humbled

West Ham stay rock bottom after first-half crushing at Anfield

Liverpool 3 West Ham United 0

By Dave Evans at Anfield

IF THERE were any thoughts that West Ham might be in a false position at the bottom of the Premier League table, then they were dismissed with this abject, humiliating surrender against Liverpool.

“You’re getting sacked in the morning,” was the ironic cheers from the travelling West Ham fans and after watching this embarrassing display, they may not be far off the mark.

Former Hammer Marlon Harewood had shot West Ham off the bottom for the best part of an hour earlier in the day thanks to his goal for Blackpool against Wolves, but that was to prove the highlight of the day for the Hammers.

From the moment they lined up without star man Scott Parker, they looked rudderless and without inspiration in midfield and it took them nearly four minutes to even gain possession.

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The first goal did not arrive until the 18th minute, but by then Maxi Rodriguez, David Ngog and Fernando Torres had already had decent chances to take the lead.

When the goal did come, it highlighted the lack of conviction in the West Ham defence. A corner was nodded down by Glenn Johnson and the full back was the first to react to his own knock down as he rifled the ball in.

Lars Jacobsen almost crossed for the head of Victor Obinna, only for Johnson to nod behind, but that was brief respite as Torres fluffed his lines after being set up by Johnson, before Danny Gabbidon managed to handle the ball twice to concede an obvious penalty.

Dirk Kuyt rammed the spot kick down the middle to make it 2-0, but Liverpool continued to pile on the pressure.

Green dropped a Raul Meireles free kick at the feet of Maxi, whose rebound was cleared by the head of Gabbidon, and though Luis Boa Morte’s cross allowed Carlton Cole to test Pepe Reina with a header, two minutes later the game was all over bar the shouting.

Torres’ shot was well saved by Green, but when former Hammer Paul Konchesky delivered the ball back in again, Maxi was there with a free header to make it three.

The ineffective Obinna was replaced by Pablo Barrera at the break, but it made little difference in the second half as Liverpool continued to dominate, despite taking their foot off the gas.

West Ham had to thank Green for keeping the score down as he made two world class saves within seconds. First he dived full length to push Torres’ effort on to the post, and then Christian Poulsen smacked one from the edge of the box that the goalkeeper superbly palmed wide.

Freddie Piquionne forced Reina to tip over with an effort from the by-line that suggested cross rather than shot, but in all honesty that was as good as it got for the Hammers who looked devoid of ideas on another dark day.

West Ham: Green, Jacobsen, Ilunga (Tomkins 76), Gabbidon, Upson, Boa Morte, Noble, Kovac, Obinna (Barrera h/t), Piquionne, Cole (McCarthy 69).

Unused subs: Reid, Spector, Nouble, Stech.

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