x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Liverpool to 'kick on' after West Ham scare

Shelvey stood up as Liverpool proved they could win without their main striker Luis Suarez.

Glen Johnson, centre, put Liverpool ahead in the 11th minute but the visitors trailed West Ham for most part of the game.
Glen Johnson, centre, put Liverpool ahead in the 11th minute but the visitors trailed West Ham for most part of the game.

Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey is confident the team will continue to improve following their 3-2 win over West Ham United at Upton Park last night.

Glen Johnson had given the visitors the lead before Mark Noble converted from the spot following a handball by Joe Allen.

The Hammers went into the interval ahead thanks to a headed own goal from Steven Gerrard before the second-half turnaround.

First West Ham old boy Joe Cole levelled in the 76th minute, before No 9 the day in Luis Suarez's absence, Shelvey pressured James Collins into putting the ball into his own net three minutes later.

"I'm going to claim it [the goal], but the main thing is we got three points and it is important we kick on," Shelvey told Sky Sports 1.

"We got a new manager [in the summer] with a different way of playing.

"It is very exciting to be in it and the longer the season goes on the stronger we will become."

Liverpool proved they could win without Suarez. The Uruguay international was serving a one-match ban but the Reds struck to seal a win that sees them leapfrog West Ham in the table.

Gerrard, returning as captain, saw an early effort deflected behind for a corner following some good work by Shelvey.

West Ham's Matt Jarvis was getting a lot of the ball down but was soon found wanting when he was tested defensively.

Gerrard played the ball out to Johnson on the touchline and he cut inside Jarvis with ease before arrowing a strike past Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Raheem Sterling had two chances to double Liverpool's advantage, firstly firing wide of Jaaskelainen's near post. Moments later, Johnson again got the beating of former Wolves winger Jarvis and rolled the ball into Sterling's path, but the 18 year old's low drive was just off target.

West Ham started to get more into the game, with their equaliser coming nine minutes before the interval. A set-piece was cleared as far as Guy Demel whose shot hit the arm of Allen as he closed him down.

Referee Lee Probert deemed the block to be intentional and pointed to the spot, with Noble stepping up to coolly convert the penalty.

West Ham started to take control and the spell of pressure yielded a second goal for Sam Allardyce's side, albeit it in fortunate circumstances. Jarvis produced a fantastic delivery into the box and the ball was sent flying past Reina off the head of Gerrard.

Former Chelsea playmaker Cole has struggled during his time with Liverpool and had little impact on the game until he struck a venomous equaliser after being played in by Sterling.

The turnaround was completed just 12 minutes from time as Henderson swung in a low cross that Shelvey and Collins competed for with the balling looping up off the boot of the West Ham defender and over a helpless Jaaskelainen.

* Press Association