West Ham moved to the 5th round of the FA Cup after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Liverpool in the 4th round replay at Boleyn Ground. The visitors were guilty of wasting a lot of opportunities, most notably from Christian Benteke and they were punished deep into extra time through Angelo Ogbonna.
Jurgen Klopp’s men settled into the game quicker of the two sides and the first real chance came their way in the 14th minute. After a succession of corners, Darren Randolph was called into action by Benteke, who had ghosted into the far post from a Philippe Coutinho corner, but the West Ham goalkeeper saved well from the Belgian’s side-footed shot.
That save spurred the home team on and just two minutes later, they rattled Liverpool’s post through an unlikely source. Dmitri Payet set up Joey O’Brien on the right, but his shot was deflected on to the post by Liverpool’s captain on the night and makeshift center-back Lucas Leiva.
On the 26th minute, Jordan Ibe spurned a glorious chance when he was found on the penalty spot by Brad Smith. A lightning fast counter attack involving Joao Carlos Teixeira, Couitinho and Smith, found the latter in the box and he set up Ibe for a shot, bu the youngster miscontrolled and the chance was gone. It was Teixeira’s turn near the half hour mark when the ball kindly fell to him, but his shot whizzed wide off Randolph’s near post.
In the 34th minute, Coutinho stole the ball courtesy a poor pass from Winston Reid and the Brazilian was set up by Benteke, but it was the Hammers’ turn to be saved by the post. Liverpool were given a warning by Payet, whose beautifully struck free kick looked set for the top corner, but Mignolet palmed it onto the post and the Liverpool goalkeeper quickly recovered to make another save.
Right at the stroke of half-time, Liverpool’s nemesis, Michail Antonio placed his shot across Mignolet’s goal, into the side net, from Enner Valencia’s cross to ensure the home side go into the break with the lead, against the run of play.
GOAL! 45’ West Ham 1-0 Liverpool: Michail Antonio
Jurgen Klopp’s men equalised right after the restart through Coutinho’s cleverly taken free kick. Benteke was fouled by Chiekhou Kouyate right outside the penalty area and the Brazilian, making his first return to the Liverpool team, passed the ball under the jumping wall and into the net to send the travelling Kopites wild.
GOAL! 48’ West Ham 1-1 Liverpool: Philippe Coutinho
That goal galvanized the Reds as a beautiful move involving their Belgian striker and left back almost gave them the lead. Smith’s adventurous run was spotted by Benteke, who was set up for a shot, but the West Ham defenders put their bodies on the line to deny the 25-year-old. Klopp made a double attacking change soon after with Daniel Sturridge making his long-awaited return along with Divock Origi as the duo replaced Coutinho and Teixeira.
There was a moment of controversy in the 66th minute when Valencia went down under pressure from Tiago Ilori, but the referee waved away any penalty claims made by the Hammers. Replays showed that the Liverpool center back had a hold of the Ecuadorian, but referee Roger East failed to spot it and the visitors could count themselves lucky.
Benteke tested Randolph from a free kick in the 80th minute, a similar area from where Coutinho scored, but the Irishman denied the Belgian for the third time on the night. On the other end, Valencia looped his head over from a delightful early cross by Payet.
Randolph had an easy save to make from Ibe in the first minute of 8 additional minutes at the end of regular time. The rest of the stoppage time went without any major action as the match headed into extra time at the Boleyn Ground.
Ogbonna sends the Hammers through
Mark Noble was allowed to have a free shot from the edge of the box seven minutes into extra time, but the Liverpool goalkeeper parried it away. Benteke missed two glorious chances in the space of a minute – he dragged his volley wide with the first attempt, while he failed to beat Randolph, after Sturridge’s through ball found him one-on-one with the West Ham goalkeeper.
In the 18th minute of extra time, Sturridge ran 20 yards with the ball before unleashing a vicious strike that sailed narrowly wide off the corner of the goal. In the stoppage time of extra time, Lucas’ foul on Valencia earned West Ham a free kick. Dimitri Payet’s outswinging cross was perfectly met by Angelo Ogbonna to set up a clash with Blackburn in the 5th round of the FA Cup.
GOAL! 120+1’ West Ham 2-1 Liverpool: Angelo Ogbonna
Liverpool would have felt hard done by this goal as they looked like the better side for the entire match. This result meant that Bilic won his 3rd match against the Reds this season and their first ever in the FA Cup against the same opposition.