London: Liverpool is not giving up on a top-four finish in the Premier League, however unlikely it seems.
A 2-1 win at West Ham Wednesday was a third straight victory for Jurgen Klopp’s team and it was sealed by Joel Matip’s header from a corner in the 67th minute at the Olympic Stadium.
Lucas Paqueta put West Ham ahead with a fierce strike from outside the area in the 12th minute, only for Liverpool to equalize through Cody Gakpo — off another long-range strike — six minutes later.
Liverpool climbed to sixth place and six points behind fourth-place Manchester United, which has two games in hand — the first coming at Tottenham Thursday.
“If we win all our games we will be in Europe,” Klopp said. “People ask me about the Champions League but that’s not in our hands as we don’t play any of the teams above us. It’s important we keep going, playing good football and at the end of the season we will see how many points we have.”
West Ham manager David Moyes was angry at the final whistle after a handball by Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara wasn’t given as a penalty. The ball hit the substitute’s arm as he lowered it to the ground to break his fall.
“You will probably hear some rubbish of how he had to break his fall but he lunged for the ball,” Moyes said. “I think it’s a penalty kick. The hardest thing to take is the disrespect from VAR that they didn’t say to the referee that it’s worth a look. Someone in VAR didn’t have enough football knowledge to know that could be close.”
Some fans came onto the field after fulltime and stewards struggled to deal with them.
West Ham also had a goal by Jarrod Bowen disallowed for a narrow offside against the winger.
Liverpool has found its form in recent weeks, beating Leeds 6-1 and Nottingham Forest 3-2.
“Maybe the boys have found their feet back, and I liked the football we played,” Klopp said. “The first half was the best we have played in ages. It was convincing, it was us.
“We’ve had games this season where people have not recognized us and today we showed it is still in us, and I’m pleased with that.”