Liverpool needed a big win on Saturday, and even without captain Steven Gerrard, the Reds were able to rebound from a disappointing effort last week with an impressive 3-0 win over West Ham.
Kevin Koczwara of The Soccer Guys blog was kind enough to lend his analysis of the Reds' impressive win. Here's what he had to say:
Liverpool manhandled West Ham on its way to a 3-0 win at home thanks to goals from Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez in the first half. The Hammers never really mounted a charge to get back into the game.
Roy Hodgson and his team needed this win. Liverpool made a positive run towards the top of the table in October and early November, but after last week's embarrassing, 2-0, loss to Stoke City, the Reds fell back into the second half of the English Premier League table.
The play of Glen Johnson has to be noted. The England international came under criticism of Hodgson earlier this week for his poor performances this season. Well, the West Ham academy product showed up Saturday and put in a great effort going forward. His goal opened the scoring and he supplied great service into the box from the right wing.
If Liverpool are to fight for a top four position, Johnson will need play against the top teams in the league like he did against a hapless West Ham.
Fernando Torres looked like himself again this week. Without Steven Gerrard in the lineup, the Spaniard needed to be the catalyst for the Liverpool attack, and he showed great ambition and drive in the West Ham half of the field. He would have had a beautiful second half goal if not for a fingertip save from Robert Green pushed the shot into the crossbar.
Christian Poulsen played well and could have had his first goal on in the Merseyside after Torres rebound found his feet just out the 18-yard box and he struck a powerful shot at the far corner. Again, Robert Green came up big for West Ham. Poulsen needs to build on this performance to show the supporters he belongs in a Liverpool jersey.
Green kept the Hammers in the game with more than one good save. Plenty of England fans will be asking where this Robert Green was at the World Cup. And rightfully so.
Pepe Reina only had to make one save for Liverpool, but his distribution out of the back was spot-on again. The 26-year-old may be the best keeper in the Premier League in net, but what sets him apart from many other world class goalkeepers is his ability to pass the ball and his willingness to push Liverpool into a quick counter attack with precise throws and kicks. If Liverpool ever lose him to a transfer, things could get ugly and they could do so quick.
Next up for Liverpool are the surging Tottenham Hotspurs. The Spurs are poised to make another top four finish this season. Tottenham had another brilliant weekend in the Premier League with a rare win at cross town rivals Arsenal, 3-2, today.
If Liverpool are to beat its second London club in as many weekends, the team will need to slow down the world-class Gareth Bale and possibly the the best attacking midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart, who both scored today.
Thanks again to Kevin Koczwara for his analysis. Visit The Soccer Guys by clicking here.
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