Mohamed Salah.
Mohamed Salah’s two goals were his first in the Premier League since a double in the 7-0 win at Crystal Palace

Mohamed Salah scored for the first time in seven Premier League games with a brilliant double at West Ham United to help Liverpool move up to third in the table.

A trademark quick shift and curling finish from the Egypt striker rewarded a bright start to the second half from the Reds after Jurgen Klopp’s side had failed to find a cutting edge to their first-half possession.

Salah capped a scintillating Liverpool counter-attack to double his side’s lead 11 minutes later, instantly controlling Xherdan Shaqiri’s looping pass over the top before prodding past Lukasz Fabianski.

Without the injured Sadio Mane and with Roberto Firmino on the bench, the onus was on Salah to end his mini drought and he came through in style.

Firmino came off the bench to set up Georginio Wijnaldum for a slick Liverpool third before Craig Dawson steered home a corner to hand West Ham a consolation.

Liverpool’s second win in London in four days cut the gap to leaders Manchester City – who have a game in hand – to four points before the two sides meet at Anfield next Sunday.

Klopp’s decisions pay off

Eyebrows were raised at the exclusion of Firmino from Liverpool’s starting line-up given Senegal forward Mane was missing with a minor muscle injury.

A toothless first-half display in which Liverpool’s only effort on target was a 20-yard Salah strike straight at Fabianki suggested the reigning champions were suffering from the absence of two of their famed front three.

But the manager’s introduction of Curtis Jones from the bench early in the second half proved a game-changer as the young playmaker neatly played in Salah for the opener.

His surging run through the centre of the pitch put West Ham on the back foot and, after exchanging passes with Trent Alexander-Arnold, he found Salah, who made space for himself against Aaron Cresswell before curling the ball past Fabianski.

Liverpool’s second goal was even easier on the eye, Shaqiri receiving a cross-field diagonal ball from Alexander-Arnold before picking out Salah with a first-time pass as the visitors broke from a Hammers corner with devastating effect.

Georginio Wijnaldum.
Georginio Wijnaldum’s goal was just his second in the Premier League this season for Liverpool

Their third was every bit as impressive, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s backheeled one-two with Firmino set the Brazilian free and the substitute crossed for Wijnaldum to coolly fire home.

The goals, on the back of three at Tottenham on Thursday, suggest Liverpool have found their attacking verve again after going four games without scoring – just in time to breathe life into their title defence.

More to follow.

Player of the match

Mohamed SalahMohamed Salah

West Ham United

  1. Squad number15Player nameDawson

  2. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

  3. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

  4. Squad number21Player nameOgbonna

  5. Squad number20Player nameBowen

  6. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

  7. Squad number3Player nameCresswell

  8. Squad number9Player nameBenrahma

  9. Squad number30Player nameAntonio

  10. Squad number41Player nameRice

  11. Squad number7Player nameYarmolenko

  12. Squad number16Player nameNoble

  13. Squad number24Player nameFredericks

  14. Squad number18Player nameFornals

Line-ups

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Coufal
  • 15Dawson
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 28SoucekBooked at 49mins
  • 41RiceBooked at 47mins
  • 20BowenSubstituted forFredericksat 79′minutes
  • 9Benrahma
  • 18FornalsSubstituted forYarmolenkoat 62′minutes
  • 30AntonioSubstituted forNobleat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Balbuena
  • 7Yarmolenko
  • 10Lanzini
  • 16Noble
  • 23Diop
  • 24Fredericks
  • 25Martin
  • 31Johnson
  • 45Odubeko

Liverpool

Formation 4-3-1-2

  • 1Alisson
  • 66Alexander-Arnold
  • 47Phillips
  • 14Henderson
  • 26Robertson
  • 6Thiago Alcántara
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 23ShaqiriSubstituted forFirminoat 69′minutes
  • 7MilnerSubstituted forJonesat 57′minutes
  • 11Salah
  • 27OrigiSubstituted forOxlade-Chamberlainat 80′minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Firmino
  • 13Adrián
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 17Jones
  • 18Minamino
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 46R Williams
  • 62Kelleher
  • 76N Williams

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