Ian Wright believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s added ‘thrust’ made a big difference as Liverpool came from behind to beat West Ham on a dramatic night at Anfield.
The Merseyside giants successfully equaled their English top-flight record with their 18th win on the bounce but the Premier League leaders made life difficult for themselves on Monday evening.
Jurgen Klopp’s men broke the deadlock inside ten minutes as Fabianski failed to keep out Georginio Wijnaldum’s soft header but it was quickly cancelled out thanks to some poor goalkeeping from Alisson.
Issa Diop directed Robert Snodgrass’ in-swinging corner towards Alisson’s goal with his head and the ball squirmed underneath the Brazilian’s body to level up the score.
Pablo Fornals stunned the Reds as West Ham again took the lead in the 54th minute before a pair of strikes from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane sealed a 3-2 victory for the hosts.
Klopp decided to swap Naby Keita for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 57th minute and the substitution paid off as the England international gave his side some much-needed impetus in the final half-hour.
In his post-match analysis, Arsenal legend Wright highlighted just how many players Klopp has at his disposal who can hurt opposition teams and praised Oxlade-Chamberlain’s impact off the bench.
‘Like Liverpool have been doing all season, they’ve been getting it done,’ Wright said on Premier League Productions.
‘They are not panicking, they know they have the players to do it. I think Oxlade-Chamberlain came on and made a difference – there was more thrust when he came on.
‘But you’re still going to get Trent Alexander-Arnold bombing forward, you’re still going to get Andy Robertson bombing forward, you’re going to have Roberto Firmino still trying to do what he does in respects of creating something on the edge of the box and then they probably get something.
‘Then when you’ve got a goalkeeper who – yes, he’s had a poor game today – you’re going to win games.’
Liverpool head coach Klopp praised the contributions Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexander-Arnold made against a resolute West Ham side.
‘The first thing he [Oxlade-Chamberlain] did was a finish,’ Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
‘Then dribbling. His dynamism helped. Our people appreciate that and it helped.’
On Alexander-Arnold, the German added: ‘We’ve passed the moment where we treat him like a young boy.
‘He is a proper member of the squad and everyone has to contribute.
‘That’s how football works at the highest level.’
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