West Ham United vs. Liverpool  2 - 3

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Premier League: West Ham 2 Liverpool 3

9 December 2012 19:20

West Ham's famous academy came back to haunt them as three products of their youth system inspired Liverpool to a 3-2 win at Upton Park.

Glen Johnson scored a stunning opener against his old club to put the visitors ahead in the 11th minute before the Hammers hit back to take the lead at half-time through Mark Noble's penalty and a Steven Gerrard own-goal.

But Liverpool stormed back late on to turn the game, with another former Hammer in Joe Cole scoring in the 76th minute before Jonjo Shelvey's glancing effort looped in off James Collins 11 minutes from time to give the visitors all three points.

The result moves the Reds up to 10th in the Premier League, level with West Ham and just four points behind local rivals Everton in fourth place.

Johnson silenced the crowd with the opener in the 11th minute when, after collecting a Gerrard pass on the right touchline, he cut inside and launched a stunning strike into the top corner from 20 yards as the West Ham defence backed off.

The full-back has scored in his last three games against his former club but refused to celebrate as team-mates mobbed him.

Liverpool, much like Chelsea eight days earlier, dominated the first quarter of the game and could have doubled the lead, Raheem Sterling coming closest when he swept just wide after more good work from Johnson.

In the 36th minute, the hosts drew level when referee Lee Probert awarded a penalty as Joe Allen handled Mohamed Diame's volley from the edge of the box. The visitors protested against the decision in vain before Noble stepped up to calmly slot the kick low into the left corner.

Kevin Nolan headed just over the bar from close range but the Hammers took the lead two minutes before the break in comical circumstances. Matt Jarvis swung in a vicious cross from the right and, as several player strained to get a touch, Gerrard could only head the ball into his own net.

The pace of the game dropped immediately after the break as West Ham looked to consolidate their lead - but Liverpool came storming back.

In the 67th minute, Sterling forced West Ham goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen into a fingertip save with a powerful left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area.

The day was soured for the home team as the excellent Diame was taken off the field on a stretcher 17 minutes from time after picking up what appeared to be a serious hamstring injury.

And it got even worse as Sterling slipped in Cole with a delightful pass, and the forgotten man kept his cool to sweep home a lovely finish into the far corner with his weaker left foot.

Three minutes later, Shelvey got on substitute Jordan Henderson's cross, his flicked effort hitting Collins before spinning over Jaaskelainen into the net.

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Downing frustrated by lack of game time

9 December 2012 16:11

Stewart Downing says he feels frustrated by a lack of starting opportunities at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers.

Downing has made just five appearances in the Premier League this season, with most of his starts restricted to the Europa League where he has bagged two goals so far in the competition.

But he has yet to find the net in the Premier League - something he hopes to improve upon.

"It has been frustrating at times and I have been disappointed this season not to have played more games," Downing told reporters.

"But I am just trying to do my best when I play and to get a goal. It is a great club to play for. Hopefully it long continues."

Downing has been linked with a return to his former club Middlesbrough in January, but it remains to be seen whether he is seen as surplus to requirements on Merseyside.

Liverpool have been in better form of late after a poor start to the season, and have picked up two wins and a draw in their last four Premier League outings.

They visit West Ham on Sunday in search of a victory that would take them into the top 10, level on points with Sam Allardyce's team.

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Shelvey hopes to fill Suarez´s boots

8 December 2012 14:42

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey says he is excited by the prospect of filling Luis Suarez's shoes against his beloved West Ham.

The talismanic forward is suspended for the trip to Upton Park after accumulating his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend, and with the club's shortage of strikers, Shelvey could be given the main striker's role.

The 20-year-old, from Romford, spent three years at Upton Park as a youth player and is relishing the chance to play on his old stomping ground.

"I supported West Ham as a boy so to play against them in any position is good for me, but it is not easy to fill the boots of a player like Luis Suarez," he told Liverpool's official website.

"I will just give it my best shot. I played against Young Boys in that role and I thought I did alright, I was happy to do a job for the team. It is an honour to play wherever you are told to play for Liverpool.

"It is difficult to adjust to that role because you have your back to the defender all the time whereas in midfield you can see your passes. It is difficult in that respect and you need a different type of fitness to play up front but I'll be ready for it."

Shelvey has found it harder to get first-team minutes as Liverpool regain players from injury, but an injury to Nuri Sahin in midweek allowed him to get some game time ahead of this weekend's clash.

Shelvey added: "I'd just got comfy in my chair when they told me to get ready but I was pleased to get on.

"I wanted to start but the manager pulled me aside before and explained why he was putting me on the bench and I understand that. I've just got to get myself ready for Sunday."

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Premier League preview: West Ham v Liverpool

8 December 2012 04:12

West Ham will be eyeing off their second big scalp in a week when they host Liverpool in the English Premier League on Sunday.

Sam Allardyce's men are flying high after their magnificent 3-1 victory over Chelsea last week and will be looking to continue their fine form at Upton Park.

West Ham have only been beaten once at their home ground this season – a 3-1 loss to Arsenal in October – while they held defending champions Manchester City to a draw before last week's win over Chelsea.

After being outplayed for much of the first half, West Ham dominated after the break with Carlton Cole and Mohamed Diame both impressing in the victory.

Diame, who was introduced after the interval, set up Cole for the equaliser before smashing home the go-ahead goal to seal a valuable three points.

The Hammers are now up to eighth place on the table and are challenging for Europe – just four points behind third-placed Chelsea.

While Allardyce's men are flying, the same cannot be said of Liverpool, who are struggling in 11th place on 19 points.

While the Anfield giants have only lost once in their past 10 Premier League matches, they have hardly set the world on fire with a series of draws.

Luis Suarez has been the focal point of attack for Brendan Rodgers and has already scored 10 times this season, but he will miss the clash through suspension.

Without the inspirational Uruguayan, Liverpool may struggle to find the back of the net with Steven Gerrard the only other player to have scored more than once this season.

However, they will head into the match full of confidence after their 1-0 win at Udinese on Thursday that ensured their progression into the final 32 of the Europa League.

Gerrard, Daniel Agger and Lucas were all rested for the trip to Italy, but should all be back to feature against West Ham.

Raheem Sterling came on as a substitute against Udinese, but is likely to start up front in the absence of Suarez.

Liverpool also hold a great record against their opponents with 13 wins and just two losses from the past 18 Premier League clashes between the two sides.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25