Final, 2-0 Liverpool: The referee blows the final whistle. The Reds claim all three points and overtake the Hammers in the Premier League standings.
Anfield is buzzing following Liverpool’s comprehensive win over West Ham. The Reds controlled play throughout the game, creating and finishing more scoring chances than West Ham. Sterling scored the game-winning goal early in the second half, and Sturridge sealed the result with a goal that was months in the making.
Liverpool climbs into seventh place (38 points from 23 games) with the win. West Ham falls to eighth (36 points from 23 games).
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90th minute +4, 2-0 Liverpool: O’Brien thinks he has scored after heading home Downing’s corner kick, but the referee disallows the goal because Mignolet was fouled on the play.
90th minute +2, 2-0 Liverpool: Sterling is cautioned for a professional foul in the midfield.
90th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: There will be a minimum of four minutes of added time in the second half.
85th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: More misery for West Ham. Reid leaves the game due to injury, and the Hammers must play the final five-plus minutes with 10 men.
83rd minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Ibe cuts inside and shoots on goal, but Adrian saves it. The rebound falls to Sturridge, but the Liverpool striker shoots wide from close range.
81st minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Rodgers is making another substitution. Ibe replaces Coutinho, who departs to a standing ovation.
80th minute, 2-0 Liverpool: Sturridge marks his comeback with a goal to remember.
Coutinho drove forward through the center and passed right to Sturridge, who controlled the ball and shot powerfully past Adrian at the near post.
77th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Sterling breaks forward at speed and passes right to Sturridge, who dribbles inside West Ham’s penalty area and shoots from the tightest of angles. Adrian stops Sturridge’s shot with a kick save.
74th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Reid heads a corner kick wide.
73rd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: West Ham makes its final substitution. Collins exits. Demel enters.
68th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Sturridge makes his long-awaited return to action following five months of injury misery. Sturridge replaces Markovic.
68th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Coutinho lays a pass off to Henderson, who shoots wide from 25 yards out.
65th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Coutinho shoots a low drive from the edge of West Ham’s penalty area, but Adrian saves the shot.
64th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Valencia evades Skrtel and shoots on goal from the edge of Liverpool’s penalty area, but Mignolet saves it.
63rd minute, 1-0 Liverpool: West Ham makes its second substitution, replacing Carroll with Cole.
60th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: The referee cautions Carroll for the tackle on Can.
It looks like Carroll will be able to continue.
60th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Carroll is down on the field with what appears to be an ankle injury.
Carroll hurt himself while making a mis-timed challenge on Can.
55th minute, 1-0 Liverpool: West Ham makes its first substitution, replacing Amalfitano with Noble.
51st minute, 1-0 Liverpool: Sterling scores, and the Reds have a deserved lead.
Moreno started the move on the left and passed centrally to Sterling, whose chest pass deflected off Reid and fell to Coutinho. The Brazilian played a short pass over the top of the defense, and Sterling ran onto it, composed himself and shot past Adrian.
It’s Sterling’s fifth Premier League goal of the season. The home, league goal was a long time coming for Sterling.
48th minute, 0-0: Sterling shoots high and wide from 25 yards out.
47th minute, 0-0: Sterling crosses to Moreno, whose volley goes awry.
46th minute, 0-0: The second half is underway.
Halftime, 0-0: That’s the end of the first half. The game is goal-less.
Liverpool played well in the first half, but their best efforts failed to breach West Ham’s determined defense. Sterling, Coutinho and Lallana were lively and positive throughout, but Song and West Ham’s defenders stopped them when necessary. Markovic made important contributions in attack and defense but failed to hit the target with his best opportunity.
Liverpool defended West Ham well. Carroll’s headed attempts were the visitors’ most dangerous moments, but the Hammers offered little else going forward.
45th minute, 0-0: Markovic intercepts Downing’s back-pass, walks in on goal but misses Adrian’s goal with a shot from close range. Markovic should have scored there.
The referee denied Sterling’s penalty appeal a few seconds earlier.
43rd minute, 0-0: Lucas mis-hits a shot on goal, which Adrian collects easily.
39th minute, 0-0: Sterling’s shot is blocked to Lallana, who trips as he sets himself to shoot the rebound. Lallana’s effort misses the target.
34th minute, 0-0: Collins heads a free kick into the goal-mouth for Carroll, who heads on goal. Mignolet is well-positioned and makes the save.
27th minute, 0-0: Carroll rises and heads Downing’s corner kick wide of Mignolet’s goal.
24th minute, 0-0: Sterling slides a back-heel pass into West Ham’s penalty area for Coutinho, who shoots to the far post. Adrian makes the save.
19th minute, 0-0: Sterling breaks forward again and lays it off to Henderson, who shoots first-time straight to Adrian.
17th minute, 0-0: Liverpool has started the game well, passing at a high tempo and causing West Ham to turn the ball over in its own half with intense defensive pressure.
Ninth minute, 0-0: Lallana shoots well over the crossbar, ending another promising sequence from Liverpool.
Sterling created the danger on the counter-attack once again.
Sixth minute, 0-0: Liverpool creates its first chance of the game on the counter attack, as Lallana and Sterling combine in West Ham’s third of the field. Sterling’s shot is blocked by a defender. The rebound falls to Markovic, who scuffs his shot wide.
Fourth minute, 0-0: Carroll makes his presence felt early on, landing an elbow to Can’s face during an aerial duel.
Liverpool has had a slight possession advantage in the game’s opening stages, but its attacks have broken down in the midfield because Song has intervened with timely blocks and interceptions.
Kickoff: Liverpool-West Ham is underway at Anfield.
Pregame: Rodgers has opted for stability in his lineup selections, making one change from the team that lost to Chelsea on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup semifinal.
Lallana is the only change to Liverpool’s most recent starting lineup. He starts in an attacking forward role instead of Gerrard, who isn’t in the gameday squad.
Sturridge is on the bench and is contention to make his first appearance for Liverpool since the end of August.
West Ham’s lineup features two former Reds. Downing and Carroll start for the Hammers at the stadium they once called home.
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Oxford, the captain of England’s U-17 national team starts on the bench and is in line to make his debut.
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9:30 a.m.: Here are the lineups:
Simon Mignolet (22), goalkeeper
Emre Can (23), center back
Martin Skrtel (37), center back
Mamadou Sakho (17), center back
Alberto Moreno (18), midfielder
Lazar Markovic (50), midfielder
Lucas Leiva (21), midfielder
Jordan Henderson (14), midfielder
Adam Lallana (20), midfielder
Philippe Coutinho (10), midfielder
Raheem Sterling (10), striker
Danny Ward (52), goalkeeper
Glen Johnson (2), defender
Joe Allen (24), midfielder
Jordon Ibe (33), forward
Rickie Lambert (9), striker
Fabio Borini (29), striker
Daniel Sturridge (15), striker
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Adrian (13), goalkeeper
Aaron Cresswell (3), left back
James Collins (19), center back
Winston Reid (2), center back
Joey O’Brien (17), right back
Alex Song (30), midfielder
Kevin Nolan (4), midfielder
Morgan Amalfitano (21), midfielder
Stewart Downing (11), midfielder
Enner Valencia (31), forward
Andy Carroll (9), striker
Jussi Jaaskelainen (22), goalkeeper
Reece Oxford, defender
Guy Demel (20), defender
Diego Poyet (23), midfielder
Mark Noble (16), midfielder
Matt Jarvis (7), forward
Carlton Cole (24), striker
8 a.m. ET: Liverpool is in position to gain a measure of both symbolic and practical revenge on West Ham United.
Liverpool hosts West Ham on Saturday at Anfield in a Premier League game. West Ham’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sept. 20 sparked West Ham’s unlikely ascent and Liverpool’s improbable descent in early 2014-15.
The outcome of Saturday’s contest, in which the league’s seventh- and eighth-placed teams face off, likely will propel both sides in a positive or negative direction, as the campaign enters its decisive stages.
Manager Brendan Rodgers likely will hand captain Steven Gerrard his 700th appearance for Liverpool. Gerrard will join Ian Callaghan (857) and Jamie Carragher as members of Liverpool’s exclusive 700 Club if he plays.
Rodgers also will persist with the 3-4-1-2 formation which has helped Liverpool revive its performances and results in recent months.
Liverpool-West Ham kicks off at 10 a.m. Join us right here for all the action from Anfield.
Photo via LiverpoolFC.com