Liverpool always knew they were in for a tough encounter at Upton park that would require grit and determination. Added to the fact that West Ham had the size superiority, West Ham also had players that had something to prove, Downing and Carroll. A solid performance overall and Liverpool were unlucky not to keep a clean sheet. Again goes to show how Liverpool are not completely reliant on their star strikers, and once again reinforcing the fact that they can churn out the wins when needed. 9 wins in a roll, but their next match will tell if they are truly worthy of being champions.
Simon Mignolet: 7.5/10
Though seemingly bossed around in his own box by players way bigger than him, he made the best of the situation and was unfortunate to not have been awarded a foul when Liverpool conceded a goal. A few decent punches, good communication with his back four. Overall, a decent performance and he deserves a clean sheet.
Jon Flanagan: 6/10
His youth and inexperience is exposed once again and he will certainly be targeted against better opposition next week. Did decently well during his link up play with his team mates. Earned the second penalty and managed to deal with Matt Jarvis when he came on. Often caught out on the break when he marauded forward to join in the attack and would have been duly punished if not for his centre-halves covering for him.
Glen Johnson: 6.5/10
Did attack as much as he would have liked and was caught napping by Downing a few times. Experienced performance and churned out a decent shift defensively. Towered over by the giant Carroll in West Ham’s best chance of the game but you can’t blame the man. Linked up very well with the midfield.
Martin Skrtel: 7/10
Did a fine job of marshalling Carroll around the field, and was calm and composed when Carroll managed to control or chest the ball to the oncoming attacker, Nolan or Nocerino. Took care of a few dangerous situations but was indefinitely out-muscled by the brawn of West Ham attackers. Fine defensive performance overall.
Mamadou Sakho: 6.5/10
Gave away a few unnecessary fouls in dangerous areas and obviously not as good with the ball compared to Daniel Agger. However, a good showing defensively, which is starting to become insufficient as a Liverpool playing. Sakho needs to be better with the ball. Matched the West Ham players physically throughout the entire game and provided the Liverpool back line with much needed muscle.
Steven Gerrard: 9/10
Captain fantastic struck again. Twice. Kept his composure with the game hanging with the balance and put in a tireless shift. Tracked back very well when needed and in recent games has improved marginally on his defensive game. His pin-point passes did wonders for the game, noticeably when he started and ended the move for the first Liverpool goal. Classy player who outclassed and bossed the West Ham midfield. Man of the match.
Jordan Henderson: 6.5/10
Indeed, Henderson is Dirk Kuyt reborn. His 4 lungs churning out another tireless performance and covered well for Flanagan when the young full-back was caught out of position on numerous occasions. Not one of his best performances this season but his incredible work rate has obviously done wonders for the Liverpool squad. A tactically disciplined game goes to show how far he has come as a footballer, but much is left to be desired in terms of his passing game.
Lucas Levia: 6/10
Still easing his way back to the Liverpool squad, and was brought on at half time in place of the ineffective Philippe Coutinho. Provided some shape at the back and played his usual passing game. Never proved to be a threat going forward, but covered well defensively for his team, especially when Steven Gerrard marauded forward. Still a curious decision as to why Gerrard and not him was in the holding role after 45 mins.
Philippe Coutinho: 6/10
Struggled to impose himself on on the game and was constantly out muscled by his opposition. Did not influence the game as much as he could and was taken off at half time to be replaced by Lucas Levia. Defensively, he has improved and tracked back to great effect on several occasions. His final passes lacked his usual precision and seemed bereft of ideas in the final third.
Raheem Sterling: 8/10
Apart from speed, this young hotshot has once again displayed his passing range in the game. His ability to run rings around the opposition and his wonderful acceleration helped him to get out of tight situations more than once. Contributed a lot both going forward as well as defensively, and despite his size, was not bossed around as much as people expected him to be. If this fine streak of form continues, he might just have a few games in Brazil come June.
Daniel Sturridge: 6.5/10
Definitely not one of his better games in a Liverpool jersey. Did not play much part in the first half and was unable to impact the game much. Missed a few good opportunities throughout the game and wasn’t able to influence proceedings much. Came close to scoring and adding to his enormous tally for the season but was taken off late on.
Luis Suarez: 9/10
Hit the woodwork twice with 2 excellent attempts, displaying his brilliance in the final third once again in a game with few clear cut opportunities. Earned his team a penalty but needs to stop looking for a penalty every single time he thinks the opponent handles the ball. Excellent ball control and was unlucky not to score. Managed to get more time on the ball despite close attention from the West Ham centre halves compared to his strike partner Daniel Sturridge. Threatening on the break and was a constant menace to the West Ham defence. Yet another solid performance from a stand-out player.