...By Enitan Thompson for TDPel Media.
West Ham’s five-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Liverpool at the London Stadium.
The defeat was tinged with controversy after midfielder Thiago Alcantara appeared to have handled the ball in the box, but the VAR officials didn’t feel it warranted a touchline review.
West Ham manager, David Moyes, was left frustrated by the decision, which he felt could have ramifications come the end of the season.
Despite the defeat, the Hammers remain five points clear of the relegation zone and can extend their cushion when they travel to Crystal Palace next.
West Ham’s survival is looking increasingly likely, with Lucas Paqueta’s goal providing hope that he is ready to put an underwhelming season behind him with a vital contribution in the run-in.
Paqueta’s goal was his third in as many games in the space of seven days and his best yet for the Hammers.
His strike was a wonderful team goal, an individual screamer and a sign that the midfielder is finding his feet in English football.
Joel Matip scored Liverpool’s winner with a free header from Andy Robertson’s corner.
Cody Gakpo had equalised for Liverpool six minutes earlier, crashing a shot in off the base of the post.
Moyes praised Paqueta’s goal, saying “We are beginning to see all-round better performances from him and popping up with the goals helps as well.
He is beginning to look like he is settling in much better.”
Although the Hammers’ revival has suffered a dent, the club remains five points clear of relegation and has enjoyed an excellent season overall.
The controversy surrounding Thiago Alcantara’s handling of the ball left Moyes frustrated, but the club’s cushion should be enough to see them through to the end of the season.