It was another routine win for Liverpool last night as they brushed aside West Ham to extend their lead at the top to 19 points.
Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s second-half finish outlined the Reds’ superiority, as they notched up a 23rd win in 24 matches.
The hosts largely frustrated Liverpool for large periods of the first-half, limiting the likes of Salah and Firmino to the odd potshot from outside the area.
Nearing the half-time interval in one piece, the general impression was that West Ham had done extremely well to neutralize Klopp and his players.
However, a naïve foul from Issa Diop on 35 minutes offered Liverpool a perhaps undeserved lead. Mohamed Salah dispatched the penalty with aplomb, scoring his 16th of the season.
The second-half began in similar fashion to the first. West Ham’s back-five and midfield, overloading the half-spaces and preventing Liverpool from carrying out their now trademark incisive interplay.
Good openings for Manuel Lanzini and Robert Snodgrass suggested Moyes’ proverbial half-time ‘kick up the backside’ had prompted a response.
Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Ngakia also impressed on his debut for the club; admirably nullifying Liverpool’s left-side of Andy Robertson and Divock Origi.
Yet despite this, spurred on by their start to the second period, West Ham were caught napping again following a corner.
Young Ngakia was left to deal with a charging trifold of Salah, Firmino and Oxlade-Chamberlain; and it was the England international who finished off the move in slick fashion.
Slotting the ball past the onrushing Lukas Fabianski for his sixth goal of the season, following his long-term knee injury.
Aside from an almost freak own-goal by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the last knockings of the contest, Liverpool were efficient in closing out the game to clinch their 15th successive victory.
Despite the nature of both their victory and their lead at the top, Klopp extinguished any fears of over-confidence in the aftermath of the game.
“Tonight was a normal performance,” he explained.
“I have no idea [if anyone will catch us]. The first target is to get maximum points – there are still a lot of games.
“Yes, we have 70 points, an incredible number, but so many things can happen. I’m not too much concerned about records.”
Drawing comparisons to his time at Borussia Dortmund, Klopp also reinforced the notion that the various records standing in Liverpool’s way are nothing to be worried about.
“We had a record at Dortmund and Bayern beat it the next season. We don’t feel as though anything is done, I promise you.”
Klopp and his players have now remarkably defeated every team in the Premier League this season at least once.
It’s these kinds of stats that beg the question; just how far can this Liverpool side go this season, as they hurtle towards their first league title for 30 years.
Next up on the list? A chance for the double over Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton.
(Featured image courtesy of wikicommons by @cfcunoffical)