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Liverpool survives West Ham scare to win 3-2 and match English top flight win streak


Liverpool might be 22 points up and they might be 26-1-0 but their journey to having that mark hasn’t come easy. On any given night, a team who might be fed up by all the praise heaped upon the Reds might want to come in and pull off a historic upset. West Ham did just that and really gave Liverpool and the Anfield faithful a scare. But in the end, West Ham fell just short and Liverpool enjoyed a 3-2 win.

With the win, Liverpool is now unbeaten in 44 Premier League games and now matches two records. At 18 straight Premier League wins, Liverpool ties Manchester City for most consecutive top flight wins. At 21 straight Premier League home wins, Liverpool matches their own top flight record set in 1972.

If the start was any indication, it was set to be a dominant Liverpool win. They had possession and controlled the game throughout. And because of that, Liverpool was rewarded with a skillful ninth minute header by Georginio Wijnaldum.

To West Ham’s massive credit, they really stayed tough throughout the game. They didn’t get nearly as many shots as Liverpool did (25-7) but West Ham made the most of their limited chances. Just three minutes after the Wijnaldum goal, Issa Diop equalized on a terrific header of his own. Diop threaded the needle and got the shot past Alisson for the equalizer.

In as good a position anyone in the Premier League has had over Liverpool this season, West Ham started the second half tied 1-1 with a chance to lead. This wasn’t going to be a Liverpool blowout and West Ham showed that as Pablo Fornals took the lead as he sat right in the middle of the box.

Now it was real. The chance of an unbeaten season, the win records, all of that was in the balance and legit had a chance to end. And then Liverpool became Liverpool. Even though Liverpool has all the skill in the world, sometimes a bit of luck helps too and that’s what Mohamed Salah got when his shot went through Lukasz Fabianski’s legs. It was a shame because Fabianski had an incredible game up to that point but Liverpool has shown that any mistake can be costly.

Now tied 2-2, West Ham was getting a bit desperate on defense. With Liverpool pushing up and West Ham conceding corner after corner, the Hammers were hanging on by a thread just hoping to pull it out. Their fate was sealed in the 81st minute when a deflected shot reached Trent Alexander-Arnold and he crossed the ball to an open Sadio Mane for the 3-2 win.

Even though Liverpool got the win, this game and last week’s Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid shows that Liverpool is beatable. Yeah, the opposing team can’t make any mistakes but Liverpool can be beaten and any team can do that. West Ham has just five points since mid-December so if they can push Liverpool to the brink, any team can on any given day.

Liverpool’s win now has them at 79 out of a possible 81 points. Regardless of how second place Manchester City does, Liverpool can win the Premier League on March 21 against Crystal Palace if Liverpool defeats Watford, Bournemouth, and Merseyside rival Everton.

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