West Ham United completed their first league double over Liverpool since 1964 on Saturday afternoon, beating Jurgen Klopp's side 2-0 at the Boleyn Ground.
Headers in either half from Michail Antonio and former Liverpool player Andy Carroll decided the destiny of the points, and the Hammers proved good value for their win after another poor away performance from the Merseysiders. The Hammers have now leapfrogged the Reds in the Premier League table.
The visitors probed throughout the first half, but were largely wasteful and let down by poor touches and passes in key areas. Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino were particular sources of frustration and disappointment at certain times, but the visitors will have felt aggrieved at referee Robert Madley for the way in which they fell behind.
West Ham opened the scoring after ten minutes, after launching a swift counter attack. Alberto Moreno sprinted with the ball down the left hand side and was tackled by Antonio - fairly according to the referee - and within seconds the ball was in the net at the other end.
The Hammers broke out down the same side and Enner Valencia clipped in an impressive cross to Liverpool's back post, with Antonio beating Nathaniel Clyne to the ball in the air to powerfully nod home. Manuel Lanzini - who would later suffer a recurrence of a thigh injury and hobble off - nearly doubled his side's lead minutes later; unleashing a wicked shot which rebounded off the post.
Aaron Cresswell went close in the closing stages of the half, but Liverpool had chances of their own in between. Nobody went closer than Emre Can, who hit the bar with a side-footed shot in first half injury time after a neat move. Though despite that attempt and some other close shaves, Jurgen Klopp's side flattered to deceive for the most part.
Liverpool were sent back onto the field four minutes before the start of the second half - a clear indicator of their manager's displeasure with their first half showing - and their talking-to worked for a spell as the Reds got on the front foot. Against the run of play, however, West Ham did end up doubling their lead in similar fashion to how they scored the first.
Though their counter attack wasn't quite as swift, Mark Noble found himself in space on the right hand side and swung in an excellent cross - which Carroll happily met ahead of Clyne - who was also beaten for the first.
West Ham proceeded to sit deeper and defend their lead, but a moment which prompted as big a cheer as their goals was the reintroduction of Frenchman Dimitri Payet with 25 minutes left. Payet had been out of action since the draw with Everton in November, but was quick to remind his supporters of his magic with some impressive skill in the final ten minutes.
en fait Payet c'est trop fort pour l'EDF pic.twitter.com/6MZ7tnlX2v— philippe (@philousports) January 2, 2016
Liverpool spent most of the time after the second goal pressing for a way back into the game, and had a couple of penalty appeals for handball turned down by the official. But the Hammers went closest to sealing the win after a remarkable scramble ended with the ball in the arms of Simon Mignolet, while Cheikhou Kouyate saw an effort of his own denied by the Belgian in the final minute. Joe Allen should have scored at the other end from the next attack.
The third goal wasn't to be, but neither was Liverpool's comeback. Slaven Bilic will have been delighted with what was a comfortable and deserved win in the end, while it's back to the training ground for Klopp and his players.