West Ham 2 Liverpool 3: Old boy Cole and Collins' own goal help Rodgers strike Hammer blows
18:25 GMT, 9 December 2012
Liverpool proved they could win without talismanic striker Luis Suarez as they fought from behind to take three points from Upton Park.
Uruguay international Suarez was serving a one-match ban but the Reds struck twice late in the game to seal a win that sees them leapfrog West Ham in the table.
Former Hammers' defender Glen Johnson opened the scoring for the visitors with a tremendous effort before a Mark Noble penalty and Steven Gerrard own goal turned the game in West Ham's favour before the break.
Dismay: James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen are stunned while Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling celebrate the winner
Turnaround: Joe Cole scored the equaliser for Liverpool before Shelvey (right) helped force the Collins own goal to win the game
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (McCartney 46), Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Taylor (Maiga 86), Diame (Tomkins 73), Nolan, Noble, Jarvis, Cole.
Subs not used: Spiegel, Spence, O'Neil, Moncur.
Goal: Noble 36 (pen), Gerrard og 43.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique (Cole 27), Allen (Coates 86), Lucas (Henderson 71), Gerrard, Sterling, Shelvey, Downing.
Subs not used: Jones, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Morgan.
Booked: Gerrard, Shelvey.
Goals: Johnson 11, Cole 76, Collins og 79.
Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
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It was another West Ham academy
graduate in substitute Joe Cole who pulled the visitors level in the
second half with a James Collins own goal completing the comeback for
Gerrard, returning to captain the
visitors after recovering from illness, saw an early effort deflected
behind for a corner following some good work by Jonjo Shelvey.
West Ham then had a few minutes of
dominance and Mohamed Diame, a one-time Liverpool target, saw his shot
deflect off the back of team-mate Carlton Cole and drift just wide of
Jose Reina's goal.
West Ham's Matt Jarvis was getting a
lot of the ball down the left flank but was soon found wanting when he
was tested defensively.
Gerrard played the ball out to Johnson
on the touchline and the England full-back cut inside Jarvis with ease
before arrowing a strike past the out-stretched hand of Jussi
Johnson did not celebrate out of
respect for his former club but the Liverpool bench was up in unison as
the visitors grabbed an early lead.
Raheem Sterling had two chances to
double Liverpool's advantage, firstly firing wide of Jaaskelainen's near
post as Gerrard's shot was cleared straight to his feet.
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 after 25 minutes and again began testing the Liverpool defence with
a number of high balls into the area, with their equaliser duly coming
nine minutes before the interval.
Screamer: Glen Johnson (right) opened the scoring with a magnificent strike which nestled in the top corner
Cool as you like: Mark Noble slots home his penalty to put the Hammers level
A West Ham set-piece was cleared as
far as Guy Demel whose shot hit the arm of Joe Allen as the former
Swansea man 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.
Matthew Taylor, recalled to the
starting line-up by Sam Allardyce after making an impact as a substitute
against Chelsea last weekend, then headed high and wide from close
range as West Ham started to take control.
The spell of pressure yielded a second goal for Allardyce's side, albeit it in fortunate circumstances.
Liverpool switched off after conceding a free-kick which Noble took quickly and found Jarvis in space on the left.
Topsy turvy: Sam Allardyce (left) saw his side fall behind, go ahead and then fall behind again
Powerhouse: Mohamed Diame was running play in the centre of the park before his injury
The 26-year-old produced yet another
fantastic delivery into the box and the ball was sent flying past Reina
off the head of Gerrard.
Shelvey then had a good opportunity to
level on the stroke of half-time when he was picked out by Stewart
Downing but his shot was well wide.
The second half started with both
sides looking to be more creative in possession although neither Reina
nor Jaaskelainen was tested before the hour-mark.
Sterling came close to levelling as
his left-foot effort from the edge of the penalty area forced
Jaaskelainen to flick the ball over his bar for a corner.
Rising high: Steven Gerrard heads the ball into his own net
Oops: Collins celebrates Gerrard's own goal… but later scored one himself
Sympathy: Carlton Cole pats the England captain on the shoulder after his mishap
Shelvey had worked hard in an
unfamiliar attacking role all afternoon and saw a header flash wide with
20 minutes remaining before Rodgers introduced Jordan Henderson in
place of the ineffectual Lucas.
A serious looking leg injury suffered
by Diame made Allardyce's afternoon even worse, with the in-form
midfielder replaced by James Tomkins after pulling up hurt.
Joe Cole had been introduced by Liverpool before the game was 30 minutes old and was warmly received by the home fans.
Access denied: Matt Taylor's free-kick was kept out
The former Chelsea playmaker 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 and, like Johnson, he refused to celebrate the goal.
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.
Sterling almost burst through to wrap
up the game for the visitors, who saw out the five minutes of stoppage
time to creep into the top half of the table.
Face down: Shelvey, who played in a relatively unfamiliar striker's position, lies in the turf
Back on his feet: Shelvey forces Collins into an own goal
Over the moon: Pepe Reina jumps for joy after seeing the third Liverpool goal fly in