Along with Gakpo, Liverpool’s “dominant” 101-touch brute was the true hero against West Ham, according to some.


This evening, the Liverpool defender made an explosive return to the starting lineup

Liverpool won an exciting Premier League match against West Ham United at the London Stadium last night, and Jurgen Klopp will be pleased with his team’s resilience in crucial moments.

With six games remaining, the Reds are chasing to keep their outside chances of securing Champions League football alive, as they are now just six points behind Newcastle United and Manchester United ahead of their games tonight.


Despite being away from home, Liverpool dominated in every way at the London Stadium, with 72% possession, more shots on goal (20 v 7), more accurate passes (732 v 216), and more duels won (59 v 50), which resulted in a well-deserved victory.

In the first half, Lucas Paqueta punished the Liverpool defense with a fantastic 12th-minute strike to give West Ham the lead, but the perfect response was quickly delivered by newcomer Cody Gakpo, who continued to prove his worth in the competitive forward line just six minutes later.

The game remained wide open for the final 45 minutes, with both teams battling for the winner, with the Reds getting lucky when Jarrod Bowen’s strike was ruled offside early in the second half.

With a bullet header tucked away in the 67th minute, returning centre-back Joel Matip delivered the crucial winning goal in East London to confirm three points for Liverpool at full-time.

How did Joel Matip fare against West Ham?
Gakpo was undoubtedly the day’s standout performer, but the returning Matip deserves every bit of credit as well.


The Cameroonian hasn’t appeared in the starting lineup since the 0-0 draw with Chelsea earlier this month, with Klopp preferring to pair Ibrahima Konate and Virgil van Dijk in the center of defense.

However, the tall defender earned his spot due to Konate’s injury woes, and the manager’s decision to start Matip proved to be a blessing in disguise on Wednesday.

Not only did he score the winning goal, but he also put in an outstanding defensive performance, making him the team’s true hero.

In a composed progressive 90-minute performance, the £100k-per-week ace – who is truly “dominant” in the words of former Red Sami Hyypia – had 103 touches of the ball and completed 76 accurate passes.

He was not only skilled with the ball at his feet, but he was also confident in his defensive duties, winning 11 duels, one tackle, and three clearances and interceptions.


When combined with the game-winning goal, it was a near-perfect performance.

With Tottenham Hotspur visiting Anfield on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if Klopp makes any additional changes to his team for the Merseyside clash or tries to maintain the consistency that has been the foundation of their recent success.

In any case, Matip’s performance has given the manager plenty to think about if Konate is available for selection the next time around.

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