Despite a dominating performance from Liverpool, a fantastic West Ham defensive display from start to finish secured a well deserved 0-0 draw at Anfield. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
The hosts bossed possession in the first half but were unable to find their way through the Hammers' defensive line, allowing the visitors to hit them on the counterattack with Diame's lofted shot arguably being the best chance of the first period.
Liverpool continued its dominance after the restart and despite a multitude of chances and Daniel Sturridge having a goal rightly ruled out for offside, West Ham held on to pick up a pleasing point.
Liverpool started the strongest of the two sides, dominating the bulk of possession with ease and putting considerable pressure on the rigid West Ham defense.
However, West Ham's tactic of crowding out the Liverpool attack seemingly worked wonders, and it was able to carve out the first real chance on goal after 24 minutes when Diame beautifully weaved his way through the Liverpool defense and into the penalty area before letting himself down at the last minute with a lofted effort that cleared Pepe Reina's crossbar.
The Senegalese midfielder's strike forced the game to move up a gear, but despite exhibiting some wonderful and clever attacking play and having two-thirds of possession, Liverpool was unable to fully breach the terrific West Ham defense for the rest of the first half.
The second half started as the first ended, and both Suarez and Gerrard were on hand to to fire in early chances and put even more relentless pressure on a West Ham defense that was looking as if it was moments away from reaching breaking point.
It continued to hold firm however and Tomkins especially was the most important rock in the rigorous back line, continuously throwing his body into last-ditch tackles and clearing a shot from Gerrard off the line to deny Liverpool an early second-half lead.
After over an hour of dealing with intense pressure, the West Ham defense was finally breached and Liverpool put the ball into the back of the net when Jordan Henderson's low shot on goal hit Sturridge and flew past Jaaskalainen into the back of the net, but Sturridge was rightly flagged for offside and the Hammers were able to breathe a sigh of relief.
The onslaught continued and chances rained down in abundance on West Ham's Finnish shot-stopper, and with 20 minutes left to play Liverpool had a penalty shout turned down when Gerrard appeared to be tripped over by the outstretched legs of Tomkins as he sprinted into the penalty area. The referee pointed straight away for a corner, however, and the visibly tired visitors were able to regroup and regain their composure.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Liverpool threw every available body forward in an attempt to snatch a last-minute winning goal, but, as was the case all afternoon, West Ham stayed composed at the back and hit Liverpool on the counterattack, forcing Lucas to save the hosts from losing the game in the dying moments when he cleared Jack Collison's headed effort off the line.
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Daniel Sturridge