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TORRES INSPIRES DRAMATIC WIN

A Fernando Torres double and a poacher's goal from Dirk Kuyt earned Liverpool a dramatic 3-2 win at West Ham.

The Spanish hot-shot headed home his fifth of the season on 75 minutes to earn the points for the Reds after the Hammers had twice levelled before the interval.

El Nino had opened the scoring with a magnificent solo effort before Kuyt's close range finish was sandwiched by goals from Alessandro Diamanti (penalty) and Carlton Cole.

The victory means Rafael Benitez's men move up to third place in the Barclays Premier League table, six points behind leaders Chelsea, who beat Spurs on Sunday.

Prior to kick-off Jamie Carragher had spoken of the Reds' recent defensive improvement, but on a day that would prove difficult for both rearguards, it was his error that almost gifted the Hammers a dream start on two minutes.

Youngster Zavon Hines dispossessed the vice-captain on the edge of the area before racing in on Pepe Reina and crashing a shot against the near post.

It was a huge let off for the visitors and they responded on seven minutes when they manufactured an opening that should have seen them take the lead courtesy of a former Hammer.

Yossi Benayoun got in behind Julien Faubert on the left-hand side of the West Ham area and latched onto Torres' clever through ball, only to hit his shot straight at Robert Green.

El Nino looked like a man keen to make an impression and he had a penalty appeal turned down minutes later when his shot on the turn seemed to strike a West Ham arm.

Suddenly it was the Reds who looked the more likely and Emiliano Insua came close to opening his account for the club when he drove infield and sizzled a 25 yard shot just wide of the right-hand post.

Both sides were enjoying spells of dominance in a lively first-half and Gianfranco Zola's men came back into it when Glen Johnson almost turned Faubert's cross into his own net, while a desperate challenge by Carragher on Cole was followed by a wayward attempt from Diamanti.

On 15 minutes the travelling Kop were treated to their first sight of the Torres-Steven Gerrard partnership in full flow, with the Reds' number 9 smashing his shot wide at the near post after the skipper won possession and crossed from the right.

At this point a goal was inevitable and after looking dangerous throughout the opening exchanges, it was no surprise that it arrived courtesy of Torres.

A good move down the left saw Insua feed the ball into the path of the Spain international, who took on James Tomkins before surging into the penalty area and firing a sublime individual goal beyond Green at his near post.

If that was bad news for the home faithful, then it got worse five minutes later when skipper Matthew Upson and Valon Behrami were both forced off through injury.

With Torres in seemingly irrepressible form it looked like turning into a nightmare evening for the hosts, but a piece of wing wizardry just shy of the half hour mark gave them the opportunity to draw level.

Hines outpaced Carragher down the left-hand side and in his desperation to make amends, the Reds' number 23 pulled the home-grown star to the floor resulting in a spot-kick to West Ham.

Up stepped Diamanti to scuff home the penalty and ruin Reina's hopes of marking his 150th league appearance for the club with a shut-out.

It was the type of goal that can so often change the complexion of a match, but credit to Benitez's men, they regained their composure and the lead three minutes before the interval.

A right-wing corner was headed goalwards by Gerrard, with Kuyt on hand to make sure it crossed the line at the far post.

The Reds were back in the driving seat but before the away support had a chance to digest the mechanics of the goal, the hosts ensured they would go in at half-time all-square when Cole flicked home a corner from the left.

The second period had a lot to live up to if it was to come anywhere near matching the first 45 and after conceding two goals apiece, it was almost predictable to see both sides make a more composed start.

In fact, there was little by way of goalmouth action until Benayoun threatened to score the type of goal Diego Maradona would have been proud of on 63 minutes.

The Israeli cut in from the left and jinked beyond several challenges, only to delay his shot and lose possession at the vital moment.

By now, Liverpool had re-asserted their dominance and continued to probe for the winner, although West Ham, and in particular Cole, remained dangerous on the counter-attack.

With time running out, Benitez introduced Ryan Babel as a substitute and it was his run and cross on 75 minutes that saw Torres rise above two defenders to power a header into the bottom corner.

The hosts pushed for yet another equaliser late on, but this time the Reds' defence stood firm to secure a third league win on the spin.

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You deserved your win. However, you are a team that depends too much on Torres and Gerrard and fear you will have problems if they have injury problems. It also seems that Carragher is not the player he was and our youngster Zavon Hines caused him a few difficult moments.

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You deserved your win. However, you are a team that depends too much on Torres and Gerrard and fear you will have problems if they have injury problems. It also seems that Carragher is not the player he was and our youngster Zavon Hines caused him a few difficult moments.

Agreed Carragher played badly. I think West Ham are going to struggle to match last years achievements however.

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Hines was fouled when clean through on goal. Skrtel’s rugby tackle denied a goalscoring opportunity but Marriner amazingly waved play on. If he gave a foul he would ha

ve had to sent Skrtel off.

Sorry John but that is even less convincing than a Jack White photo analysis :lol::lol:

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Hines was fouled when clean through on goal. Skrtel’s rugby tackle denied a goalscoring opportunity but Marriner amazingly waved play on. If he gave a foul he would ha

ve had to sent Skrtel off.

Sorry John but that is even less convincing than a Jack White photo analysis :lol::lol:

What is your interpretation of what is going on in this photograph?

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Hines was fouled when clean through on goal. Skrtel’s rugby tackle denied a goalscoring opportunity but Marriner amazingly waved play on. If he gave a foul he would ha

ve had to sent Skrtel off.

Sorry John but that is even less convincing than a Jack White photo analysis :lol::lol:

What is your interpretation of what is going on in this photograph?

It clearly shows a West Ham player attempting to dupe the referee. Surely you can see that too?

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West Ham have now lost every game they have contested in September. Tonight may well be crunch time with an away fixture at Manchester City. I predict a heavy defeat followed by calls for the manager's head :lol:

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West Ham have now lost every game they have contested in September. Tonight may well be crunch time with an away fixture at Manchester City. I predict a heavy defeat followed by calls for the manager's head :lol:

We might well be beaten tonight but we will not call for the manager's head. A recent poll of via the KUMB forum shows that Zola enjoys overwhelming support from the club's fans. The reason we are not doing that well as that we cannot afford to replace the good players we have had to sell. Just imagine what Zola would be able to achieve if he had the resources enjoyed by Liverpool.

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West Ham have now lost every game they have contested in September. Tonight may well be crunch time with an away fixture at Manchester City. I predict a heavy defeat followed by calls for the manager's head :lol:

We might well be beaten tonight but we will not call for the manager's head. A recent poll of via the KUMB forum shows that Zola enjoys overwhelming support from the club's fans. The reason we are not doing that well as that we cannot afford to replace the good players we have had to sell. Just imagine what Zola would be able to achieve if he had the resources enjoyed by Liverpool.

Wait a few months and see what he achieves at Chelsea!

West Ham have been pretty fickle with their managers in recent years. I don't imagine that your fans will tolerate too much more defeat.

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I was travelling back from Heathrow Sunday.

As ever I had the footy on the radio. While West Ham wasn't the main commentary game, the brief reports coming out of Upton Park were all very positive.

One up, controlling the game. Very encouraging. Then, just before half time it emerged that Fulham were down to 10 men.

"Great" I thought, "if I put my foot down I'll be back home in time to watch a stream of the second half".

How I wished I hadn't bothered. The picture came through just in time to see the equaliser hit the back of the net. What transpired after that took me back to the previous low of all lows...the 2-5 home defeat to Barnsley in the League Cup back in the 80's.

I thought we were an absolute shambles (against 10 men) and scarcely deserved the rather fortuitous equaliser in stoppage time. My only hope is that snatching a draw may prove to be some kind of turning point in preventing a poor run developing in to a cause for serious concern. The highlights on Match Of The Day 2 later that evening didn't even come close to accurately portraying the abject 2nd half performance

It's hard to imagine any other team making such a dog's breakfast out of a seemingly dominant position.

Mind you, over the years I seem to have said 'only West Ham' a helluva lot

Oh well, at least West Ham (and Liverpool) can 'concentrate on the Cup' now.

Mark

PS: I have a feeling this story will lighten the mood for West Ham (and Liverpool) supporters.

Barry Mason was at one of the gigs this weekend and told me this story...

Way back in the 60's "Delilah" was # 1 in the charts. He was at Paddington Railway Station and had to pop into the loo while waiting for his train.

There was already another man in there who happened to be whistling "Delilah". Barry was very pleased about that (all will be revealed in a moment) and as they were both washing their hands he said "excuse me but I couldn't help noticing you were whistling the tune to Delilah"

The man looked at him suspiciously and said "Yeah...what's it to you ?"

Barry said "well, I wrote it !."

"No you didn't," came the reply "Les Reed wrote Delilah."

Barry said "well, yes he did...but I wrote the lyrics"

At this, the man dried his hands and said,

"Yeah, well I wasn't whistling the fackin' lyrics !"

Edited by Mark Haley
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