Superb Nunez strike helps Liverpool overcome dogged West Ham


Nicol delighted by a 'real Liverpool performance' in win vs. West Ham

Steve Nicol reflects on three points for Liverpool, as they take down West Ham 3-1 at home.

Liverpool striker Darwin Núñez netted a brilliant goal as his side romped to a 3-1 Premier League win over a dogged West Ham side at Anfield on Sunday, deftly steering home a volley on the hour mark.

The visitors got off to a flying start when Tomás Soucek forced a brilliant save from Alisson with a downward header in the seventh minute, and two minutes later Michail Antonio headed a Soucek cross wide with the goal at his mercy.

Liverpool player ratings: Nunez, Van Dijk 8/10 vs. West Ham

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But the West Ham were left to rue those early misses when Mohamed Salah was felled by Nayef Aguerd in the 15th minute for a stonewall penalty, and the Egyptian attacker stepped up to smash home the resulting spot kick to give Liverpool the lead.

That kick-started the home side, but West Ham still managed to level before the break when Jarrod Bowen dived at the feet of Virgil van Dijk to score with a superb low header for his fourth goal of the season.

The goal was eerily similar to the James Ward-Prowse strike that put them ahead against Manchester City a week ago, but once again it wasn't enough to get them anything from the game.

After spurning a number of decent chances, Nunez finally got on the scoresheet when he latched on to a beautiful lofted pass from Alexis Mac Allister, much to the delight of the Anfield crowd.

That goal took the wind out of the Hammers' sails and substitute Diogo Jota was able to hook home a third goal from Virgil van Dijk's knockdown in the 85th minute, four minutes after coming off the bench.

The win leaves Liverpool in second spot in the table on 16 points, two behind leaders Manchester City, while West Ham are seventh on 10 points.

After going behind in several early-season games, Liverpool looked much more like their old selves in Sunday's win.

"We are working really hard and everyone can see we have improved a lot since the beginning and this is the way, and we will have to keep working," Alexis Mac Allister said in a post-match TV interview.

"(It was a) very tough game. We know them, we know how they play and we knew that they were going to try and defend a lot and try to counter attack. We prepared really well for the game and thank goodness we won it," he added.