Tuesday, January 30, 2007

West Ham 1 Liverpool 2

In the first half hour West Ham were nervous and wasteful in possession but committed in defence and in the tackle. Liverpool dominated possession and territory but failed to create clear goal scoring opportunities. Liverpool's best chance came in the 30th minute when a scuffed cross from Bellamy found its way through to an onrushing Gerrard but Quashie managed to deflect his shot wide.

After the half hour mark West Ham began to come into the game a bit more. In the 33rd minute Harewood broke on the right wing, drifted inside and shot from just outside the penalty area forcing a diving Reina to make a good save. In the 37th minute Boa Morte curled a free kick from wide on the right wing forcing Reina to touch the ball over the crossbar.

Just before half-time Harewood dribbled well from just inside his own half, the ball eventually found itself to Benayoun who played a nice one-two with Harewood on the edge of the box and scuffed a shot forcing another save from Reina. So despite a nervous start West Ham grew into the half and in the end created the better chances.

Ten seconds into the second half Davenport left an easy headed clearance, Crouch ran onto the ball, passed to Kuyt and his shot from outside the area dipped over Carroll and into the net. In the 51st minute McCartney crossed into the box and Cole headed wide from ten yards. Two minutes later Riise squared the ball to Crouch and his first time shot from 20 yards beat Carroll to make it 2-0. In the 55th minute Bellamy received the ball in the area with his back to goal but had time to turn and shoot. He just missed the left hand post.

In the 57th minute McCartney tried a speculative 25 yard shot which was a fairly comfortable save for Reina, despite an onrushing Harewood. In the 60th minute Reo-Coker tried a speculative shot from about the same distance and with the same result. In the 62nd minute Benayoun dinked a cross from the right wing and from 10 yards Reo-Coker headed just wide. A minute later Bellamy put Kuyt clean through but his shot was well saved by Carroll.

In the 70th minute West Ham had a half shout for a penalty when Hyypia appeared to tackle Harewood from behind in the box, but the ref was probably right to judge that Hyypia got some of the ball.

In the 72nd minute Zamora was brought on for Cole. In the 74th minute Harewood received the ball on the corner of the penalty area and turned and shot wide and high. That was the last bit of action for Harewood as he was immediately subbed for Blanco.

Blanco's first touch of the ball was to put the ball into the back of the net from a Zamora cross. This gave West ham a chance for the last quarter of an hour but despite some urgency from West Ham they never looked like getting the equaliser.

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