LONDON (Agencies): Liverpool settled for a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Monday night, leaving them three points ahead of second-placed Manchester City in the Premier League standings.
A win for Liverpool could have given them a five-point cushion over the defending champions, but instead City could go top on goal difference should Pep Guardiola’s men beat Everton on Wednesday. Mexico international Javier Hernandez had a couple strong chances for the Hammers in the first 15 minutes at London Stadium, including slipping past Virgil van Dijk for a just-wide bend and then a booming shot from outside the penalty box that was deflected by Reds keeper Alisson.
Liverpool managed to finally find some space between the home side’s midfield and defence in the 19th minute, but Roberto Firmino’s running strike was easily saved by Lukasz Fabianski. Three minutes later Liverpool got on the board when a seemingly offside James Milner served a low cross to Sadio Mane, who turned around to slot it past Fabianski. West Ham pulled it back in the 28th minute when Michail Antonio ran around the Liverpool wall to pick up Felipe Anderson’s short free-kick pass and finish off the effort into the far post. In another set-piece opportunity at the 42nd minute, Declan Rice shook off his marker but missed a chance to give the Hammers the lead when his header narrowly sailed over the net.
Following halftime, neither side capitalised on some decent build-ups and chances. In the 62nd minute, Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah outpaced Rice and Robert Snodgrass in the penalty area but the Egyptian’s shot lacked enough punch to get past Fabianski. West Ham’s late substitution of former Liverpool record signing Andy Carroll wasn’t enough for the hosts, who remain in 12th place in the table.