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Football column

[Match Review] Premier League Match 11: West Hamd vs Liverpool

【マッチレビュー】プレミアリーグ第11節ウェストハムド対リバプールの一戦を紹介

West Ham, the team that will be hosting Liverpool on their home pitch, is still in a great position in fourth place in the league and David Moyes, the manager who took over in December 2019, has been steadily strengthening his squad and establishing the English style of soccer. So far, they’ve won one game and lost one game against the Big Six, but have they been able to get a point against Liverpool? Let’s take a look at the matchup.

Pre-match analysis: West Ham host difficult opponent Liverpool

Analysis 1: Can Moyes’ soccer hold up against Liverpool?

Moyes’s approach to soccer is to play fast, vertical soccer based on a strong physicality. With Angelo Ogbon and Kurt Zouma at center back and Declan Rice and Tomasz Socek at the back, Moyes’ style is to play a meaty game and quickly connect the ball to attackers with great speed and technique such as Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, and Said Benrahma. It’s a style that has become the norm.

At first glance, this style of play may seem like a big deal, but in their 10 games in the league, they have won 6, drawn 2, and lost 2, which is good enough for 4th place. One of the most threatening aspects of their game is their physicality and set plays. About a quarter of the goals they have scored so far have come from set pieces, making them one of their major weapons.

This is the first time West Ham has played against the top teams in the league, such as Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea. Will they be able to show their soccer against Liverpool, a team that has been unbeaten in the league so far? Let’s take a look at the starting lineup.

Analysis 2: Check the starting lineup

While West Ham did not change their starting lineup from the 4-1 win over Aston Villa, Liverpool made three changes from the previous game.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced Naby Keita, who was injured against Brighton, Joel Matip replaced Ibraima Konate at center back, and Diogo Jota, who has been in good form this season, started at center forward instead of Roberto Firmino.

How will West Ham fare against a reshuffled Liverpool side with a familiar lineup? We’ll have to wait and see.

West Ham defeats Liverpool

West Ham defeated their rivals Liverpool at home. West Ham defeated Liverpool at home, playing their own style of soccer without any hesitation against the overwhelming attacking power of Liverpool. They earned three points in the end. Liverpool, on the other hand, could not break down West Ham’s defense. Liverpool could not break down West Ham’s defense and suffered their first defeat in the league.

The home team scored from a corner kick in the fourth minute of the first half to take the lead. The home team scored from a corner kick in the fourth minute of the first half, and although the score was tied at the end of the first half, they still succeeded in scoring in the 67th and 74th minutes to win the game. After that, Liverpool attacked hard, but we were able to hold off their counterattack with only one goal, and the game ended. With this victory, West Ham moved up to third place in the league standings.

What shone through in this game was the perseverance and mental strength of the players who believed in their game plan and stuck to it. Two of the three goals they scored came from set pieces. They were able to equalize at one point, but once they took the lead, they withstood Liverpool’s onslaught with their tenacious defense centered on their defensive line and volante.

So why was West Ham able to stick to their game plan? On the other hand, why couldn’t Liverpool play their own soccer?

Let’s take a look at the three turning points that separated the two teams and analyze the match.

Turning Point 1: The VAR decision on the first goal

The turning point that decided the fate of the match came early in the match.
The first of the turning points was the VAR decision regarding the first goal.

West Ham took the lead in the 4th minute of the first half from a corner kick taken from a long counter from deep in their own half. However, VAR intervened because Ogbonna might have fouled goalkeeper Alisson in a race for the goal. In the end, the goal was allowed and the decision was not overturned, but it was a very delicate decision that could have been a foul.

In the end, the decision had a big impact on the game.
After conceding the first goal, Liverpool went on the attack, but West Ham knew what they were doing. Instead, the game plan was to keep Liverpool in their own half and try to counterattack long.

They were able to equalize in the 41st minute off a free kick by Trent Alexander-Arnold, but it was a good first half for them as they didn’t let their superior opponent take the lead in the first place. They should have had more confidence going into the second half.

Liverpool, on the other hand, would like to avoid dropping points against a lower-ranked team in order to win the championship. It would not be an exaggeration to say that their impatience to get the winning goal as soon as possible led to the ball being lost and they allowed the goal to be scored on the counter.

Turning Point 2: Firmino’s Injury

The second turning point was the appointment of Jota as a starter.
Up until now, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been using Firmino and Jota at center forward in parallel.

He used Firmino in the last Premier League game, but Firmino was injured in the Champions League game against Atletico Madrid in midweek. However, Firmino was injured in the Champions League match against Atletico Madrid in midweek and was not able to play against West Ham, so Jota was selected in the starting lineup for this match.

Jota is a fast attacker, a shadow striker type who moves around the front line and gets involved in the attack. Klopp probably wanted to use Jota to get behind West Ham’s defensive line, which is not very fast, but West Ham completely filled the space by letting their opponents take the lead.

So, what we need up front is a post player who can put away a slightly forced vertical pass. Firmino fits the bill. However, he is not even on the bench due to injury.

This is not to say that Jota is an inferior player, of course. Rather, the Portuguese forward has scored five goals and provided two assists, and he scored one goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. But with West Ham’s relatively low defensive line and the fact that they will be defending deep into their own half after conceding the first goal, Jota won’t be able to show what he can do.

The result might have been different if Firmino had been the starter, as he made some sharp vertical passes with Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho.

Turning Point 3: Attacking and defending at set pieces

I’ve already mentioned two turning points, but the one that most directly affected the outcome of the game was the set piece.

Of the three goals Liverpool conceded, two came from corner kicks. The West Ham kicker aimed for the far side on both occasions. The first goal was inevitable.

The first goal was unavoidable, but I would have liked to have dealt with the second goal when the same ball was kicked. In fact, as a professional, I would have preferred not to repeat the mistake. Moreover, the first goal was scored in the fourth minute of the first half. The second goal was scored in the 74th minute off a corner kick. There was a half-time break in between, so there should have been time to correct the mistakes.

It was probably inevitable that Liverpool would lose this match, as they

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