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RAPIDHAMMER: West Ham United 2 Liverpool 3

Sunday, 20 September 2009

West Ham United 2 Liverpool 3

Zwei Comebacks - trotzdem kein Erfolg

West Ham United:
Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson (Gabbidon 25), Ilunga, Behrami (Kovac 28), Parker, Noble, Hines, Diamanti (Dyer 65), Cole
Subs: Kurucz, Spector, Payne, Nouble
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Insua, Mascherano, Gerrard, Benayoun (Aurelio 85), Lucas, Kuyt (Babel 60), Torres (Riera 90)
Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Degen, Dossena
Tore: 0:1 Torres (20.) 1:1 Diamanti (Foulelfmeter 29.) 2:1 Kuyt (42.) 2:2 Cole (45.) 2:3 Torres (75.)
Gelbe Karten: Faubert, Cole / Carragher, Skrtel, Mascherano
Zuschauer: 34,658

From KUMB Match report:
A late winner from Fernando Torres condemned the Hammers to a second consecutive home defeat in this evening's Premier League encounter at the Boleyn.

Torres - who had given the visitors an early lead - struck with just quarter-of-an-hour remaining to win the game for Liverpool after the Hammers had twice come from behind to level the match.

Despite the unacceptable situation with public transport - with the closure of East Ham, Upton Park and Plaistow leaving many thousands of home fans facing a 45-minute walk to the ground from the nearest open tube stations - the Boleyn was a virtual sell-out for a game which the Hammers needed to take something from in order to allay fears after an unimpressive start which left Gianfranco Zola's side in the bottom six prior to kick off.

For long periods they more than matched the perennial title-chasers - but once again fell short at the final hurdle, giving Zola and partner Steve Clarke lots to think about as they contemplate how to add to the side's only win of the season on the opening day at newly-promoted Wolves.

With Valon Behrami and Alessandro Diamanti handed their first starts of the season - plus Herita Ilunga back in the side after injury - Zola was just Luis Jimenez (muscle injury) short of a first choice XI as the Hammers sought to add to their meagre return of just four points so far this term.

The lively Zavon Hines - handed his second successive start - almost brought the house down within 90 seconds when he stole the ball from a daydreaming Jamie Carragher before firing against Pepe Reina's post with just the 'keeper to beat.

The diminutive striker was left to rue his miss on 20 minutes when Torres opened his account for the afternoon. Having received the ball inside the area he turned James Tomkins before burying the ball beyond Robert Green to put the visitors one up.

West Ham received two further blows within the space of two minutes when Matthew Upson (calf) and Behrami (knee) were both forced off; Radoslav Kovac and Danny Gabbidon providing the replacements. However the changes clearly had little effect on Hines who, just 60 seconds later, stole into the Liverpool area where he was unfairly shoved aside by Carragher to win a penalty.

Usual spot kick taker Mark Noble was nowhere to be seen as Diamanti, making his first competitive home start stepped up to fire the ball beyond Reina to level the scores. The Italian was a touch fortunate however as he slipped during his run up and may have touched the ball twice as he fired at goal.

Stung by the goal, Liverpool continued to push on and re-took the lead three minutes before the break. Former Hammer Yossi Benayoun, who received a surprisingly good welcome from the home support sent in a corner that found the head of Steven Gerrard. Herita Ilunga's lapse of concentration allowed Dirk Kuyt to escape his clutches and stab home the ball at the far post.

Undettered, United came back at Liverpool and levelled again on the stroke of half time. A Mark Noble corner found England striker Carlton Cole who met the cross with a glancing downward header to send the teams in level at the break.

The second half was a lively encounter but neither side managed to make their mark - until Torres won the game 15 minutes from time. Zavon Hines was guilty of a lack of concentration for the first time in the game and lost the ball in a dangerous position to an advancing Glenn Johnson. After the former Hammer's initial centre was removed from danger substitute Ryan Babel sent in a second cross that Torres connected with to power into Rob Green's right-hand bottom corner.

As if the defeat wasn't bad enough on its own, Zola also has to contend with further injury worries to two of his most important players - something he can ill afford with his squad already stretched to its maximum. Hardly the ideal preparation for next weekend's visit to high-flying Manchester City.

League worries will however be temporarily forgotten as the Hammers travel to Bolton in midweek for a Carling Cup third round tie. Whilst the league campaign couldn't really have gotten off to a worse possible start, Zola will be hoping to give Hammers fans something to cheer against a struggling Wanderers this Tuesday.

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