West Ham 2 Liverpool 3: Diame’s injury was key to loss – Allardyce
West Ham 2 Liverpool 3: Sam Allardyce admits losing Mohamed Diame was a turning point in their defeat by the Reds
Sam Allardyce lamented the loss of midfield powerhouse Mohamed Diame after the midfielder’s injury-enforced exit paved the way for Liverpool to snatch all three points at Upton Park.
With 73 minutes gone, and the Hammers protecting a slender 2-1 lead, the Senegalese international pulled up sharply clutching his hamstring, before being stretchered from the field.
A week earlier, Diame’s second-half introduction had kick-started a rousing revival against Chelsea, and his departure on Sunday prompted a similarly devastating response from Liverpool.
Two goals in the space of four second-half minutes swung the game decisively in the visitors’ favour, while West Ham now face the prospect of up to three months without Diame’s services.
“The loss of Mo Diame was probably a key element because of all the quality he was showing,” the Hammers boss told BBC Sport.
“He was our basis of starting the attacks with which we penetrated Liverpool today. In the end we’ve lost a game we shouldn’t have.
“Having really taken the game to Liverpool and having recovered from what was a wonder goal from Johnson, to get 2-1 up at half time was a fantastic effort. But unfortunately for us, we couldn’t keep that momentum going in the second half.
“We’re disappointed but the overall performance of the players is still good and we’ve got to recover from this and move on.”
In a tale of many sub-plots, the afternoon belonged, in part, to two West Ham old boys.
Glen Johnson drew first blood, raiding down the right before arrowing a drive into the top corner. But the hosts rallied, levelling matters courtesy of Mark Noble’s spot-kick, while Steven Gerrard then inadvertently nodded Matt Jarvis’ centre beyond Pepe Reina.
Step forward Joe Cole. Repeatedly linked with a return to east London, he gobbled up his only chance, firing hard and low to Jussi Jääskeläinen’s left.
The winner, when it came, was hardly a thing of beauty, as James Collins, on the stretch, toed Jordan Henderson’s cross over a stranded Jääskeläinen.