Date: 31st October 2005 at 10:27am
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Liverpool finally turned on the style in the Premiership as they eased to a comfortable 2 – 0 win over
West Ham at Anfield. In what has been described as a ‘nightmare week’, with two poor losses against ‘lesser’ sides,
Benitez’s men outplayed the Hammers.

Benitez opted for what appears on paper his best starting XI, and this paid off.

Xabi Alonso scored a cracking goal from 25 yards, and Zenden bagged his first Liverpool goal in front
of an elated Kop.

Liverpool started edgey enough though, with chances coming few and far between for the Reds. Misfiring
Cisse and Morientes were guilty of wasted chances much to the impatience of an expectant Liverpool crowd.

Luis Garcia, in one of his best performances in a Red shirt, was also guilty of trying to score when a
pass would have been the better option.

In the 18th minute up steeped Alonso to blast the ball past a helpless Hislop from all of 25 yards, even
though the ball got a slight deflection from Hammers defender Repka on the way in. You could sense the
relief from the players, and from the crowd.

Liverpool grew in confidence as the first half wore on as West Ham searched in vain for any resemblance
of a chance at a goal. Reina, occasionally looked nervous in goal, barely had a save to make.

The signs were good early in the second half, as crisp accurate passing between the Liverpool midfield
began to give hope to the Anfield faithful. Gerrard, as usual, was the hungriest, and some tough tackling
showed he meant business.

A few half chances fell Liverpool’s way with Cisse looking to find his goalscoring form of late.

Hyypia launched a vicious volley towards the West Ham goal only for it to be cleared, or should that be,
scrambled, off the line by Konchesky.

More neat passing fell the Reds way and 8 minutes from time good control by Zenden found him clear in on
goal, a low hard drive hit the right-hand post a bounced back into the goal – which proved to be the
decisive goal that gave Liverpool all three points.

It left the fans wondering why the team couldnt do this the week before against both Fulham and Crystal Palace.

The
team selection was right, the tempo was right, and the team overall looked much stronger, much more
committed than they have in recent weeks.

A slight sign that our ‘nightmare’ spell is over – and it better be, because the next few weeks of Liverpool’s
season will be shaped into either one of hope and improvement or one of failure and despair.

Now we want to hear your views on the game. Visit our Liverpool FC forum to air your views!

Player Ratings

Reina 6/10
Occasionally looked shakey in goal, but West Ham couldnt musture anything to get past him.

Finnan 7/10
Played a great game.

Ran with the ball well and put in some excellent crosses. Worked his socks off to make the West Ham forwards know they were in for a tough afternoon.

Hyypia 7/10
Back to his best.

Solid, dependable. Nearly scored with a cracking volley.

Carragher 7/10
Liverpool’s Mr Reliable yet again.

Nothing fased him. Very vocal to the other players. Some good forward runs.

Risse 7/10
Not his best game for his Reds but worked hard.

Some good crosses for the Liverpool forwards to get on the end of. Had a couple of half chances to score.

Garcia 8/10
One of his best games for the Reds.

Showed great enthusisam and his work rate was much better than of late. Seemed to be stronger on the ball.

Had a few genuine chances to score.

Some great mazy runs.

Gerrard 9/10
See our star player info above.

Alonso 8/10
Cracking goal.

Fought hard throughout the game. Worked well in tandem with Gerrard.

Some cracking 25 yard passes. Some intricate ball work.

Sissoko 6/10
Had better games in the Liverpool shirt.

Fought hard, tackled well. Will improve over time.

Cisse 7/10
You could see he wanted to score. Had a few great opportunities to do so, but it wasnt to be.

Seems to work better with Morientes.

Morientes
Showed glimpses of his former self, with some great half-chances.

Held the ball well, and distributed it around the park neatly.

He’ll bag a hatful soon enough.

Zenden 7/10
Great commitment shown.

Some superb inch perfect crosses.

Took his goal very well much to his delight!.

Crouch 5/10
Hardly had a touch.

Manager Rating
Benitez – 9/10
Choose his best side, and wasnt tempted to change it before necessary.

Was on his feet all game shouting orders passionately to the team.