West Ham United moved ahead of Liverpool into third place in the table after edging the Merseysiders in a thrilling 3-2 encounter at the London Stadium on Sunday.
The visitors endured the worst possible opening after falling behind inside just four minutes following an own goal from Alisson, the Brazilian stopper failing to deal with an inswinging corner under pressure from Angelo Ogbonna, with the goal standing despite a VAR check for a possible foul and handball by the Hammers centre-back.
Jurgen Klopp’s men had responded well to that setback yet struggled to find a way through a resilient home defence, before a moment of magic from Trent Alexander-Arnold eventually fired them level just before the break, the full-back curling in a delightful free-kick from just outside the box.
In a frantic, end-to-end first-half, the home side remained a constant threat on the counter, with Michail Antonio squandering an excellent breakaway after failing to sort his feet out, while Jarrod Bowen was denied an attempt on goal by a clean, crunching challenge from Virgil van Dijk.
The drama continued after half-time as West Ham once again threatened from a corner with Craig Dawson’s header striking the crossbar, before Lukasz Fabianski parried away Sadio Mane’s volleyed effort after a teasing ball in from Andy Robertson.
The pendulum eventually swung in the hosts favour as Pablo Fornals fired his side ahead on 67 minutes, the Spaniard latching onto a threaded through ball from the lively Bowen and firing his effort past Alisson – who perhaps could have done better to keep the strike out.
That one-goal advantage soon became two as Kurt Zouma headed in at the back post from yet another corner, before substitute Divock Origi set up a nervy finish for David Moyes’ side with a fine, left-footed strike on the turn.
Heading into stoppage time, Mane then squandered a golden opportunity to draw level after heading wide from Alexander-Arnold’s dinked free-kick, with the Hammers hanging on for the three points to move ahead of their opponents into third place.
Speaking after that remarkable victory, Moyes was full of praise for his side’s second-half performance, in particular, while also admitting his delight at getting the three points after having failed to win any of his last 15 Premier League meetings with the Reds.
“It’s been hard to beat Liverpool over my career, they’ve been a very good side, so I was very pleased to get it today,” Moyes told BBC Five Live.
“Even when it went to 3-1 it was never comfortable, Liverpool were very good and we had to work hard to keep them out.
“We didn’t play well in the first half. Sometimes when you play on a Sunday having played on a Thursday night, you don’t start well.
Only one word for it…
MASSIVE. #WHULIV pic.twitter.com/a85sfIuWYD
— West Ham United (@WestHam) November 7, 2021
“We weren’t as good as we should have been and they were very good. We changed things around at half time.”
The former Everton boss also noted the impressive atmosphere from the home supporters on the day, while also stating his pride at having taken the club from relegation strugglers to top-four contenders.
“I’m smiling at you saying that because a lot of people don’t put that with the London Stadium, its a great stadium and everybody’s just getting used to it.
“What the supporters really want to see is a winning team and they’re beginning to see a team that’s winning a lot more now. It was a terrific effort from the players and we even could have scored a couple more.
“This result shows that we’re really in with a good chance of challenging for the top places.
“I’m hugely proud [that I’ve turned West Ham around]. The way the players have gone about it, you talk about me turning it around, these players were close to relegation. Now we’re pushing for Europe.”
West Ham are next in action away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 20 November, following the international break.