Can you believe this has happened to Liverpool for the first time in 52 years?

first_img9 West Ham beat Liverpool 2-0 9 Brendan Rodgers was in charge of Liverpool when Bilic’s Hammers cruised to victory on Merseyside, but was subsequently sacked with his team six points off top spot and three behind fourth, eight games into the season.The 2-0 defeat at Upton Park left Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool nine points behind leaders Arsenal, and five adrift of Spurs in fourth, having played a game more than both of the North London clubs.West Ham, meanwhile, moved up to fifth before the 3pm kick offs, as Bilic’s impressive stewardship of the club yielded another memorable result from a season that has already seen wins over Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.And the Hammers were good value for this latest victory, taking the game to Liverpool and causing the visitors plenty of problems in the first half. After Liverpool’s Jordon Ibe sent a shot just wide of Adrian’s right-hand post with three minutes on the clock, the home team quickly asserted themselves and it wasn’t long before they took the lead.With the Reds on the attack after 10 minutes, Alberto Moreno was tackled by Antonio on the edge of the Hammers’ box, in what could easily have been seen as a foul by referee Robert Madley.Nothing was given, though, and a West Ham break ended with an Enner Valencia cross from the right wing being met by a thumping header from Antonio at the far post. At 2-0 down here, it was almost a lost cause for Liverpool, although they were briefly buoyed by the introduction of Adam Lallana for the ineffective Roberto Firmino, and at last began to exert some consistent pressure.Rain began to lash down from the East London sky, and the Hammers had to weather a storm of their own, as Liverpool forced a succession of free-kicks and corners.From one of these set pieces, Lucas sent a header flying towards goal, past Adrian, only for it to be cleared off the line by Mark Noble.It was one of those, ‘It’s not our day’ moments for the men in white. 9 Instead, it was firmly West Ham’s day, and the home crowd were also treated to the second half introduction of Dimitri Payet, as the talented France international returned to action for the first time since being injured on 7 November. Bilic’s team nearly doubled their lead shortly after, when a wickedly swerving Manuel Lanzini shot swirled away from Simon Mignolet and on to the Belgian’s left-hand post.Moreno was then forced into a last gasp sliding tackle in Liverpool’s box as Valencia bore down on goal following another quick West Ham break, on 19 minutes.At the other end, James Collins lost his footing on 25 minutes, with Christian Benteke poised to pounce on a through ball, only for James Tomkins to sweep up as the big Belgian lumbered in attack.Benteke’s struggles summed up the toothless nature of Liverpool’s display, although he wasn’t the only Red coming in for criticism on social media (see ‘Kopites unhappy with Brazilian duo’). 9 While bubbles floated around the Boleyn Ground in celebration of Carroll’s goal, the bubble of optimism surrounding Klopp’s Liverpool seems to have burst, at least temporarily, as the thrilling wins at Manchester City and Southampton have been followed by tame defeats away to Newcastle, Watford and now West Ham. 9 9 9 West Ham comprehensively secured a Premier League double over Liverpool, beating the Reds 2-0 at Upton Park to climb above the visitors in the table.Andy Carroll scored a brilliant 55th minute header to add to Michail Antonio’s first half goal as Slaven Bilic guided the Hammers to their first home and away success over the Reds since 1963/64, following a 3-0 win at Anfield last August. If Liverpool felt hard done by at Madley’s decision to wave play on, the way the match unfolded they could hardly complain at being behind as they struggled to keep the Hammers at bay. 9 After a period of consolidation from the visitors, it was the home side that again came close to scoring, when a 41st minute Aaron Cresswell strike appeared to be heading for the bottom corner, only for Nathaniel Clyne to block his effort.Despite all their endeavours, West Ham almost went into the break level at 1-1, as an Emre Can sidefoot smacked against Adrian’s bar in first half injury time, but it would have been a travesty had Liverpool got out of jail.Benteke’s goal scoring prowess had been enough to earn the Reds six points over the Christmas period, yet the performance at Upton Park of Brendan Rodgers’ £32.5m signing will only fuel suspicions he’s not Klopp’s cup of tea as a striker.So it seemed appropriate that a forward who cost Liverpool £35m, only to be deemed unsuitable by Klopp’s predecessor and sold by the Reds, should strike the fatal blow in this particular encounter.Step forward Andy Carroll.On 55 minutes West Ham deservedly doubled their lead with another fine header, this time when former Liverpool striker Carroll climbed highest to power home a Mark Noble cross. 9 It was the best possible start to 2016 for the Hammers, while Liverpool fans will be hoping the new year brings a resolution to the glaringly obvious problems that have plagued them all season, first under Rodgers and now Klopp.last_img