Mohamed Salah scored his 31st goal of the season as Liverpool thumped West Ham 4-1 at home to go second in the Premier League table.

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Matchcast: Liverpool v West Ham United

The Hammers, who handed a debut to Patrice Evra, lined up 4-5-1 with Marko Arnautovic leading the line and the tactics worked in the first half with the Austrian forcing Loris Karius into two good saves.

But the Reds cranked up the pressure with Salah going close and the Egyptian then turned provider to set up Emre Can for the opening goal.

David Moyes’ side fell apart in the second half and the Reds took full advantage with Salah scoring the second with a first-time finish.

Roberto Firmino punished an error from Adrian to make it 3-0 before substitute Michail Antonio pulled a goal back with his first touch of the game.

But it was Sadio Mane who had the final say to finish off a sweeping move and hand the visitors, who slip to 13th place, a hammering.

Are Liverpool in pole position to finish second in the table? The Reds are peaking at the right time and made it four wins from five games to go above Manchester United, who have hit a sticky patch and face Chelsea on Sunday.

Klopp’s side look confident and free scoring in the Premier League and Champions League, in stark contrast to United. But the two sides face off on March 10th at Old Trafford.

MAN OF THE MATCH
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool): Such is his confidence, the Egyptian does not let a couple of missed chances get him down He responded with an assist for Can’s goal before getting on the scoresheet with a clinical finish.

PLAYER RATINGS
LIVERPOOL:Karius 6,Alexander-Arnold 5,Matip 5, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Can 7, Milner 6, Mane 7, Firmino 8, Salah 8. Subs: Lallana n/a, Solanke n/a, Moreno n/a.

WEST HAM: Adrian 5, Cresswell 6, Collins 5, Ogbonna 4, Zabaleta 5, Evra 5, Joao Mario 6, Kouyate 6, Noble 4, Lanzini 4, Arnautovic 6. Subs: Antonio 7, Rice n/a, Hernandez n/a.

KEY MOMENTS: 3’ – SALAH HITS THE POST! Milner finds Firmino who cuts the ball back for the Egyptian who drills the ball against the bottom of the woodwork, Adrian appeared to have got a touch on that.

15’ – STUNNING EFFORT! Arnautovic lobs the keeper from distance and it hits the crossbar. Karius was only five or six yards off his line but he was nearly beaten there and did well to get his fingertips the ball.

29’ – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! From a corner, Salah’s whips the ball in and finds an unmarked Can three yards out to nod it in.

51’ – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Oxlade-Chamberlain shrugs off two players and the ball falls to Salah who fires the the ball in first time to make it 2-0 through Creswell’s legs.

57’ – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Can flicks the ball over the top for Firmino, Adrian comes off his line and misses the ball and the Brazilian puts it into an empty net. The Hammers have capitulated.

59’ – GOAL FOR WEST HAM! Kouyate tackles Can and passes to Antonio who scored with a low effort into the far corner with his first touch since coming on!

73’ – MANE HITS THE POST! The striker should have scored after collecting the Ox’s pass, coming inside but his left-footed shot strikes the post.

77’ – GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL! Mane strokes the ball home after a wonderful sweeping move ending in Robertson’s cross.

KEY STATS
Mo Salah scored his 20th Premier League goal of the season with is left foot, breaking Robbie Fowler’s record.

The Reds have scored at least three goals in a game 18 times this season.

Michael Antonio has scored four goals in five games against Liverpool.

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