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Liverpool 2-1 West Ham: Jota seal victory for the Reds

Diogo Jota came off the bench to score a late winner as Liverpool rallied from a goal down to beat West Ham 2-1 at Anfield. 

The Portuguese linked up brilliantly with fellow substitute Xherdan Shaqiri five minutes from time to ensure the champions denied their in-form opponents a share of the points. 

Liverpool were forced to come from behind after Pablo Fornals’ well-taken early goal, which was cancelled out by Mohamed Salah’s penalty moments before the break. 

The turnaround helped Jurgen Klopp’s men prevail as they extended their unbeaten league run at Anfield to 63 games, equalling a club record streak set between February 1978 and December 1980.

As they would have expected, Liverpool started the game by taking complete control of possession, probing a penned-in West Ham defence. 

But after holding firm throughout their early examination, the visitors showed that they only needed one chance to get on the scoresheet, Fornals latching onto a poor Joe Gomez clearance and steering the ball in off a post. 

Indeed, the Hammers were the best side for large parts of the first half, finding their way deep into opposition territory with worrying regularity from the hosts’ perspective. 

Still, they could not entirely manage the Liverpool threat and, with a half-time lead seemingly in the bag, conspired to give away a penalty as Arthur Masuaku clumsily clipped Salah, who converted from the spot. 

Despite that setback, the Hammers’ first-half performance meant they had every reason to come out for the second period brimming with confidence, and they wasted little time in underlining their ambition after the restart as Masuaku’s cross was almost poked home by Fornals. 

With Liverpool still struggling to find their cutting edge by the 70th minute, Klopp looked to the bench, introducing Shaqiri and Jota. 

And the Reds manager thought that move had paid off handsomely when the latter turned the ball home after Sadio Mane had been denied from close range. 

However, a VAR check showed the Senegalese to have fouled goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in following the ball in, prompting referee Kevin Friend to chalk the goal off after checking replays. 

Jota would simply have to wait a little longer for his big moment, though, with an inch-perfect Shaqiri ball setting him up to thrash the ball home at the Kop end with five minutes remaining.

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