Mohamed Salah benefits from Sadio Mane return in Liverpool victory

Liverpool never quite hit top gear, but still had far too much for a dispirited West Ham side who look like they could be in real trouble this season. Mohamed Salah did most of the damage with two well-taken goals, but it was a solid all-around team display from the Reds to cap a good week.


The return of Sadio Mané paid immediate dividends as he raced clear to create the opening goal for Salah. Having him back makes Liverpool infinitely more dangerous, and with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana also close to comebacks, things are looking much brighter than they were a fortnight ago, when the Merseysiders were embarrassed by Spurs at Wembley.


It was straightforward in the end, but for a time, this was threatening to get edgy because of Liverpool's inability to take the sting out of the game. The goal they conceded was predictably poor, but sometimes you need to just slow the game down and not look to attack with every possession. It didn't cost them in this game, but it might in the future if they don't become a little more streetwise.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- It was a bold team selection by Jurgen Klopp, and he was rewarded with a convincing win. He picked a team with counterattacking uppermost in his mind, so the opening goal was especially pleasing. Starting Mané was a gamble, but it paid off.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Simon Mignolet, 6 -- Handed the captaincy for the day by Klopp, but looked a little skittish in the first half on the couple of occasions he was needed. Improved after the break and made a decisive claim from a high ball aimed toward Andy Carroll. Had no chance with the goal.

DF Joe Gomez, 6 -- Not the ideal way to end a week in which he was handed his first call-up to the full England squad. He was performing well and Liverpool were cruising, but then he was beaten far too easily by Manuel Lanzini and West Ham were right back in the game, albeit for less than a minute as the Reds went straight up the other end and restored their two-goal advantage. Recovered well and didn't let it affect him, though.

DF Joel Matip, 7 -- Kept a cool head to fire past Joe Hart from close range to make it 2-0, and then stood firm in the second half under an aerial barrage after Andy Carroll was summoned from the substitutes bench.

DF Ragnar Klavan, 6 -- Efficient enough with the ball and rarely called upon defensively.

DF Alberto Moreno, 7 -- Celebrated his first call-up by Spain with another solid display. Got forward throughout -- although the ball didn't come his way as much as it should have -- and did what he had to do defensively.

MF Emre Can, 8 -- Powerhouse display from the German. Provided excellent cover in front of his two centre backs, particularly in the second half, when he helped deal with the threat of Carroll. Took a couple of painful blows to the face for his trouble, but never wilted and was still driving forward in the closing stages.

MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 7 -- The Dutchman was not supposed to play, having been forced off with an ankle injury in midweek, but the late withdrawal of Jordan Henderson forced him into action and he did not disappoint. A very disciplined performance playing through the pain.

MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 7 -- Much of his best work in the first half was without the ball, but he came into it after the break and his persistence was rewarded with a goal when he beat Joe Hart at the second attempt to immediately end West Ham's comeback almost as soon as it had started.

FW Sadio Mané, 7 -- Surprisingly named in the starting lineup after a quicker than expected recovery from injury. Understandably rusty at times, but still brought that extra dimension that Liverpool's attack has been missing in his absence. Created two goals for his pal Salah and was a constant danger until he was replaced with 15 minutes to go.

FW Roberto Firmino, 8 -- Tormented West Ham's defenders with his work rate as much as his skill. The Brazilian never stopped running and was popping up all over the pitch. Superbly created a goal for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but should also have scored himself when he dragged the ball wide after a brilliant run. He also had another late effort go just over the bar. A goal was the only thing lacking from a fine performance.

FW Mohamed Salah, 9 -- Another two goals for the Egyptian, who was deployed centrally in a front two for the first time this season. His pace terrified the home defenders and his finishing was clinical. Perhaps we'll see him in a front two more often.


MF James Milner, NR -- Replaced Mané for the final quarter of an hour and made his presence felt immediately. Strong in the tackle and intelligent in his running.

FW Dominic Solanke, NR -- Lively as ever after being given a late run-out. Almost scored and had he been on the field a little longer, probably would have.

DF Dejan Lovren, NR -- Klopp sent him on for the closing minutes, presumably just to get him back out there after his last outing ended so badly at Spurs a fortnight ago.