Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Malik Ouzia

West Ham punished for the same mistakes despite encouraging signs in Liverpool defeat

West Ham’s away form in the early part of this season has been unrecognisable with that of most of the last, David Moyes’s side already having won more often on the road than they had going into April last term.

A trip to in-form Liverpool, though, was always set to provide the stiffest of tests, Moyes having visited Anfield 18 times as a Premier League manager without ever leaving with all three points.

That drought goes on, after second-half goals from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota earned Jurgen Klopp’s side a 3-1 victory and made it five wins on the spin since the opening weekend draw with Chelsea.

As in defeat to Manchester City last weekend, there were positives for Moyes, mainly in the fine hold-up play of Michail Antonio and the continued goalscoring form of Jarrod Bowen. That pair are vital to the Hammers’s fortunes beyond the London Stadium in particular and Bowen’s first-half equaliser, cancelling out Mohamed Salah’s penalty, was his fourth goal in as many away games so far this term.

The concern for Moyes will lie in the similarity of his side’s downfall. As against City, the vital go-ahead goal midway through the second period came from a straight ball played over the top of the centre-halves, this time acrobatically steered home by Nunez rather than Bernardo Silva. As against City, a tiring side could not summon a response and instead conceded a late clincher.

Nayef Aguerd’s struggles continue

It has not been a happy start to the season for Nayef Aguerd. The centre-back was sent off during the home victory over Chelsea back in August, missed the superb win at Brighton through suspension and was then at fault for Silva’s goal to put Man City in front late on at the London Stadium last weekend.

Here, it was the Moroccan caught out by Salah’s cute touch inside to win Liverpool’s penalty, unable to slam the brakes on in time after a flick off the heel of Darwin Nunez sent the ball into the Egyptian’s path.

Aguerd gave the penalty away as a difficult start to the season continues (Getty Images)

Too often, stretching back to latter part of last season, Aguerd has produced otherwise excellent displays marred by freak errors or, in particular, lapses in concentration. His manager suggested regularly last term that such slack moments were inevitable while Aguerd adjusted to the intensity of the Premier League but more than a year on from his arrival, they appear to be becoming, if anything, more frequent.

Angelo Ogbonna’s clanger in midweek means he is hardly hammering on Moyes’s door demanding a place in the League XI but with cup and European commitments now in full swing, summer signing Konstantinos Mavropanos will have ample opportunities to stake his own claim and Aguerd will know his performances must sharpen up quickly.

Salah shows Bowen how to be ruthless

Much has rightly been made of James Ward-Prowse’s productive start to his West Ham career and the Englishman’s fine run of scoring or assisting in six consecutive Premier League games would have extended here had Bowen not headed tamely at Alisson early in the second half.

For yet another reminder of the consistent brilliance of Salah, though, consider that his opener here took his own equivalent run to a dozen matches stretching way back into last season. The last player to manage such a streak in the division? Salah himself, in 2021.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.