West Ham 1 Liverpool 1: Antonio equaliser opens door to chasing City

Manchester City will go top of the Premier League on Wednesday if it beats Everton after Liverpool failed to win at West Ham.

Michail Antonio scored the equaliser for West Ham after he was found with a smartly taken free-kick.   -  AP

Liverpool missed the chance to move five points clear of Manchester City again at the top of the Premier League as Michail Antonio's equaliser meant it was held to a 1-1 draw away to West Ham United. 

Jurgen Klopp's side went in front through Sadio Mane at London Stadium on Monday, although the goal should have been disallowed for a clear offside in the build-up. 

But Antonio quickly levelled for the Hammers, with his fourth career goal against Liverpool leaving the league leader just three points clear of chasing City, which had defeated Arsenal 3-1 the previous day.

READ | Manchester City under pressure, not Liverpool, says Pep Guardiola

And the result could have been even worse for the Reds, Declan Rice wasting a free header shortly before the interval, although substitute Divock Origi almost won it in added time.

Javier Hernandez wasted two good early chances as Liverpool started poorly, but it took the lead in controversial circumstances in the 22nd minute.

Brilliant skill from Adam Lallana found James Milner, who cut the ball back for Mane to finish well, but replays showed the makeshift right-back was offside when he received the pass.

West Ham equalised within six minutes, though. Felipe Anderson caught out the Liverpool defence with a smartly taken free-kick, sliding a low pass into the right channel for Antonio, who shrugged off Naby Keita and drilled a fine finish across Alisson and in off the post.

Rice and Issa Diop missed headed chances either side of half-time as Liverpool continued to defend set pieces poorly, while Mohamed Salah could not make the most of two second-half openings he created for himself.

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Hammers captain Mark Noble almost snatched all three points, his 73rd-minute drive flying narrowly over Alisson's goal.

But Origi could have settled matters in the 94th minute, the Belgian - a late hero against Everton at Anfield earlier in the campaign - firing straight at Lukasz Fabianski after Keita picked him out with a chipped pass, the flag staying down again despite the striker b offside position.

What does it mean? Liverpool feels the heat

West Ham's inconsistency meant it was hard to guess what Hammers side Liverpool would face, yet it was the Reds - shorn of injured midfield metronome Jordan Henderson - who struggled for fluency in an open game. City will go top if it wins a rearranged fixture away at Everton on Wednesday.

Inventive Felipe Anderson shines again

With talismanic striker Marko Arnautovic ruled out through injury, West Ham relied even more than usual on Felipe Anderson, the club's record signing, to provide a spark. The Brazilian duly stepped up, too. He was a constant menace and it was his clever quick free-kick that created Antonio's equalising goal.

Keita concentration lacking

A constant feature of the game was Keita losing his man at set-piece situations. Antonio rolled the Liverpool midfielder far too easily for his goal, while Keita was often lax on and off the ball as well.

Key Opta facts

- West Ham is unbeaten in three consecutive home Premier League games (W1 D2) for the first time since February 2018 (a run of four games)

- Liverpool has won 62 points from its opening 25 Premier League games this season - only during the 1987-88 campaign has it had more points at this stage of a top-flight season (63).

- Sadio Mane has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances - he had scored just two in his previous 11.

- James Milner has registered 81 assists in the Premier League, one more than David Beckham (80).

- Naby Keita has made more Premier League appearances without losing a game than any other player in the competition's history (18 games, 14 wins, 4 draws).

What's next?

Liverpool will look to bounce back at home to Bournemouth on Saturday after back-to-back 1-1 draws. West Ham, meanwhile, goes to Crystal Palace on the same day.

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