Classic Match: Volume Nineteen: Liverpool 0-3 West Ham United August 2015

West Ham Classic Match

In the 19th Volume of our weekly Classic Match series, we delve into the archives once more to take you through another memorable West Ham United clash from down the years, this time around, it involves their Saturday opposition at Anfield in Liverpool.

Cast your kinds back to the late summer of 2015, “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”, by Jess Glynne was at the very summit of the British Music Charts and United Kingdom citizen Chris Norman had just been awarded with France’s highest decoration for his heroism in the 2015 Thalys train attack.

Meanwhile, in the world football and more specifically, the Premier League, West Ham United had just begun their final season at the Boleyn Ground, their fifth back in the English Top-Flight and their first under former player turned manager Slaven Bilic.

They had celebrated the landmark term by making a mixed start to the campaign, exiting the Europa League early, but defeating Arsenal away at the Emirates Stadium for the only the second ever time, on the opening day.

Heading into a league trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on Merseyside, the Hammers occupied ninth position in the early standings and were fresh from a thrilling 3-4 home defeat to newcomers AFC Bournemouth the weekend before.

Whereas, the Reds under Welsh manager Brendan Rodgers for the third campaign, their 53rd consecutive season in English Football’s top division, started consistently.

Ahead of the affair, they had most recently drawn 0-0 away at the Gunners, though still sat third in the table, yet to lose a match or concede a goal in the PL.

The encounter was to be played out on a sunny late August Saturday afternoon in Liverpool with the Reds hoping to remain unbeaten and the East Londoners having not won at the stadium for 57 years.

When the two starting Xls were announced in the North West of the Country, one hour prior to kick-off, both team’s real danger men could be clearly pointed out, those with the capabilities to impact the matchup greatly.

For the home side, these included the likes of Brazilian attacking duo of established playmaker Philippe Coutinho and new man Roberto Firmino the latter making his first home start for the Reds.

While the visitors could also boast some names to look out for in their side, the most threatening of them being their own deadly duo in attacking midfield, new signings Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini.

Against the backdrop of a classic Anfield atmosphere, the racy affair could begin and the events of the first three minutes would set the pace for the rest of the afternoon.

With less than 180 seconds on the clock, the visitors had worked the ball down the right side with Payet, the French International’s clever cross eventually finding its way to Aaron Cresswell at the back stick.

The Merseyside-born full-back was able to force it across the face of goal to find Lanzini, who dug out a shot from underneath home defender Joe Gomez and snuck it in the near corner.

The strike was the first of many for the Argentina International in the PL and all the home side could muster up in reply was a Firmino strike that struck the post, things were about to get a lot better for the Irons.

Lanzini was again in the thick of things on the right flank, coming out on top in a tussle for the ball with Dejan Lovren, his run and delivery taking a defection and falling back to the edge of the area.

There to meet it was newly-appointed captain Mark Noble, who opened his body up and delicately passed it into the far corner just before the half-hour mark doubling his boyhood club’s advantage.

Bilic’s men held out smartly to go in ahead at the break and Liverpool’s day would go from bad to worse early in the second period with Coutinho given his marching orders for a second yellow card in the wake of a tackle on Payet.

But, this didn’t stop them from piling on the pressure, to no avail however, and not even the dismissal of goal-scorer Noble for a dangerous tackle on substitute Danny Ings could galvanise them into getting back into the game.

And late on, Senegalese forward Diafra Sakho rubbed further salt into their wounds, twisting and turning away from defenders to guide a low shot past Mignolet.

He then wheeled away in celebration with the 3,000-strong Claret & Blue Army in the knowledge that a historic first win at Anfield since the 1950s had been secured in style by the team from East London.

As a result, they climbed two places up the table to seventh position in the wake of the first of three wins against the Merseyside outfit that season, where they would eventually finish, clinching Europa League football once more.

While the result was the first of many that led to the sacking of Rodgers that winter, it meant that the Reds fell to sixth position, their slide continuing, to finish in May 2016 eighth.

Although one question does remain, will David Moyes’ West Ham United be able to pull off a similar historic Anfield victory against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this afternoon? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your late score predictions and join in with the pre-match discussion.

About the Author

Luke Glanville
Lead Writer and Site Manager of MTJAC, Sub-Editor for the Falbros Media Group.