West Ham boss Slaven Bilic believes his relegation-threatened side have paved the way for a surge up the Premier League after preying on Liverpool’s defensive frailties to leave Anfield with a priceless point.
A Dimitri Payet free-kick and smart Michail Antonio finish cancelled out an opener from England midfielder Adam Lallana, only for a Darren Randolph error to present Divock Origi with a leveller early in the second period.
The draw was enough to lift the Hammers above Swansea and out of the bottom three, while Liverpool lost ground in their pursuit of leaders Chelsea and now trail the Blues by six points.
“We needed to get something out of those last four games [against Tottenham, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool] and we got two points,” said Bilic. “It’s a big boost for us before our next two games [versus Burnley and Hull].
“We showed a great reaction after Liverpool were one up, in the first half we were very good. I wasn’t happy with the second half because I expected us to be better on the ball. In the end, well done for the players.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, shrugged off the disappointment of two dropped points, although accepted that surrendering leads, as also happened at Bournemouth seven days earlier, is an unwelcome habit.
“Below our best? Yes that’s right,” said Klopp. “Actually we had this in other games where we were ahead and clear. The situation is what it is. A draw doesn’t feel too good, but it doesn’t feel too bad either.”
Lallana swivelled and fired past Randolph to give Liverpool a fifth minute lead, which lasted until shortly before the half hour mark when Payet whipped what appeared to be a saveable free-kick beyond the jittery Loris Karius.
More slack Liverpool defending allowed Antonio to steal in and flick deftly beyond the German stopper, although Randolph dropped a Sadio Mane cross which allowed Origi to pounce and equalise.