The game started in an intense fashion, with both teams going at each other with serious attacking intent. West Ham kept feeding the ball to their star, Dimitri Payet, who has been on fine form this season. Liverpool had playmaker Philippe Coutinho back in the side after a month out through injury, but still played quite a few young players throughout the team. The game went back and forth throughout the first half, with Liverpool having the best of the chances, however in the 45th minute Enner Valencia snuck to the byline and produced a cross that found Michail Antonio unmarked at the far post. He volleyed the ball into the corner to give West Ham a 1-0 lead going into halftime. The second half started in the same manner as the first. In the 48th minute Christian Benteke won a free kick on the edge of the box. Coutinho snuck the ball under the wall of the West Ham defence and the ball nestled in the bottom corner to make it 1-1. The game stayed as intense as it was throughout the second half, and a big boost came to Liverpool as both Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi were brought on as substitutes after a long time out through injury. Neither side could be separated during regular time so the match went to extra time where Liverpool had the best of the chances, most of them falling to Christian Benteke, but they could not find a way to get the ball in the back of the net. In the 122nd minute Dimitri Payet swung in a free kick and Angelo Ogbonna headed the ball into the far post to win the match for West Ham. It was a very cruel defeat for Liverpool, as they had the better of the chances and possession throughout the contest, but couldn’t find a way score. West Ham now go on to play Blackburn away in the next round of the FA Cup.Post-Match Manager Reactions:
“It’s hard. We were the better team, created chances and played good football, but we didn’t use them,” said Klopp.
“There were lots of decisions that on a better day I’d say were funny decisions.
“It’s not easy because we were only here to win. You don’t have to show your best, you just have to go to the next round.
“The door was wide open for us because we did well, but it was not enough. We have to carry on and fight to the next game.” (BBC)
“It will go into the history of West Ham’s greatest games,” said Bilic. “Against Liverpool, the last season at Upton Park, night kick-off, a goal in the last minute.
“They left their heart on the pitch.”
“The players made the fans proud of them and we want to progress even further. If we produce a performance like this then we are capable of beating any team in England.” (BBC)Man of the Match:
Michail Antonio (West Ham)- Antonio scored brilliantly in the first half and worked tirelessly as a makeshift right back when the real right back Joey O’Brien had to go off injured. His contribution to the West Ham team certainly did not go unnoticed and he thoroughly deserves all the praise he got after the match.
Lucas Leiva– A
Apart from the one mistake in giving away the free kick that lead to the match-winning goal, Lucas played fantastically as a makeshift center back in a team that needed his calm presence and knowledge as an experienced professional. It was very cruel that it was he who gave away the free kick with lead to goal because he put in such a stellar performance.Kevin Stewart– B
The young Englishman gave a fine account of himself throughout the 120 minutes. He played with great energy and provided defensive solidity in the midfield against the attacking presence of players like Dimitri Payet and Enner Valencia. He made a few mistakes, including being outmuscled by Ogbonna for the winning goal, but these little nuances will improve with first team experience. He is definitely one to watch for the future.
Christian Benteke– C+
When the first half ended, Benteke was playing well. He was moving and getting into dangerous positions, and Liverpool were unlucky to find themselves 1-0 down, but he showed lots of positives. He did very well to win the free kick which lead to Coutinho’s equalizer, and so things were looking good for the big forward who has been struggling to fit in with Jurgen Klopp’s style of play. However he kept squandering chances, especially in extra time when he was played through on goal, and somehow managed to miss. He is left thinking about what could have been after the defeat and is giving Jurgen Klopp a lot of thinking to do because he has potential, but he cannot recapture the form that made him so successful at Aston Villa. The question is: will he ever recapture that form under Jurgen Klopp?West Ham-
Aaron Cresswell– B
The West Ham right back had a solid performance against Liverpool, putting in some fine crosses and defending well against the threat of Jordon Ibe. He struggled with the fast feet of Daniel Sturridge towards the end of the match as he was tiring, but was still able to contain the threat for the most part.
Dimitri Payet– C
Despite putting in the ball for the winning goal, Payet played less of a role in the match than many West Ham supporters would have hoped. His usual trickery and skill was not on show, as Liverpool defenders Jon Flanagan and Brad Smith were able to contain him throughout the contest. He did show some flashes of brilliance, but West Ham will need him back to his best if they want to progress in this competition or challenge for the top four spots in the Premier League.Michail Antonio– A
Liverpool just can’t seem to see the end of this fine player. He scored against them earlier in the season and did it again this past Tuesday. He put in quite a shift both defensively and offensively, and really contributed to the team’s success over the course of the match. He was a great buy by West Ham, and certainly has paid immediate dividends for them.