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Hammer Blow: West Ham 3, Liverpool 1

Mike Hewitt

Liverpool went down 2-0 to West Ham after seven minutes, and despite playing better after that they couldn't avoid a second straight Premier League defeat. It was more of the same from the Reds: poor marking, poor goalkeeping, and not enough offensive firepower to make up for it. And for West Ham it was a brilliant performance as they took their chances well and did enough defensively to hang on.

Soccer is sport in which a couple of errors often hold more weight than a team's general performance. This was the case again for Liverpool as two catastrophic mistakes -- a team brain freeze defending a free kick and a questionable moment from Simon Mignolet -- pushed Liverpool into an insurmountable hole before they could even settle in.

Brendan Rodgers started out with a 4-1-2-1-2 shape but turned to a 3-5-2 after his side went behind by two, replacing Javier Manquillo with Mamadou Sakho and moving Raheem Sterling to right wing back. Sterling played reasonably well in his new position and scored a predatory goal when he smacked a loose ball into the bottom left corner to give Liverpool hope at 2-1.

In fact there were a few good performances for Liverpool. Mario Balotelli worked hard and created chances for himself and others, and Adam Lallana made a big impact off the bench. But as a collective unit, Liverpool were just average, which wasn't enough to come back.

When Morgan Amalfitano finished off the Reds with a toe poke finish past a rooted Simon Mignolet in the 88th minute, it was a relief because it meant we could all move on to the rest of our weekends. At least United lost to Leicester City which will make us feel slightly better about ourselves. Next up is Middlesbrough in a midweek cup match where Rodgers should give his squad mainstays a rest. Forget this ever happened.