West Ham face a daunting trip to Anfield on Sunday for the first game of the season. Anfield has not been a happy hunting ground for the Hammers over the years, winning only two games in 55 years. The two sides have faced each other in a League Cup Final in 1981 an FA Cup Final in 2006 and twice in the Charity Shield once in 1964 and once in 1980.
Liverpool were a powerhouse in the domestic and European game through the 1970’s and 1980’s perennially winning Championship titles and European Cups and despite their success slowing in the Premier League Era they still maintain a place at the top table of English football.
The two sides have met 137 times in all competitions West Ham wining 28 times and the Hammers have conceded 4 goals in each of the last 3 games against the Merseysiders. So West Ham are underdogs but we have had some great games with Liverpool over the years here are some of the most memorable.
13th May 2006 FA Cup Final – Millennium Stadium Cardiff
Liverpool 3 West Ham 3 AET
Liverpool win 3-1 on Penalties
I challenge any West Ham fan not to read the above and not sigh 2-0 up and then 3-2 up with 3 of the worst goals you will ever see and one goal from Carragher, a tap in from Ashton and a cross come shot from Konchesky as the announcement for injury time is being announced Steven Gerrard scored one of the best goals ever seen in a Cup Final to force extra time. During the Extra time period Pepe Reina made a fantastic save from Nigel Reo Coker header and a heavily limping Marlon Harewood missed a guilt edged chance to give West Ham the lead once more.
Once it went to penalties the chances of West Ham winning against an experienced Liverpool side were slim to say the least. Zamora, Konchesky and finally Anton Ferdinand missed their penalties and Liverpool emerged victorious from the shootout.
This game is now known as the Gerrard Final and is recognised as the one of the greatest final in the long history of the competition, its of scant consolation to West Ham fans though as we have been back to a final since.
30th November 1988 League Cup 4th Round – Upton Park
West Ham 4 Liverpool 1
This was one of the great Liverpool teams Beardsley, Barnes et al, West Ham were in the midst of a relegation fight caught in transition after the heights of 85-86 season. This was a huge upset at the time two goals by a young Paul Ince a Steve Staunton own goal and a brilliant Tony Gale Free Kick gave a rare highlight in what was an abject season for the Hammers that would ultimately end in relegation.
Liverpool would take revenge by beating the Hammers 5-1 in May 1989 which would ultimately relegate West Ham and give Arsenal the seemingly impossible task of winning by two clear goals at Anfield.
14th March 1981 League Cup Final – Wembley
Liverpool 1 West Ham 1 (AET)
10 months after victory at Wembley over Arsenal at Wembley in the FA Cup final West Ham were back at Wembley facing a Liverpool side who were League Champions and only weeks away from winning the European Cup. West Ham were a Second Division side at this point on their way to winning the Second Division at a canter with what many fans believe was the club greatest ever side.
West Ham of course would have been huge underdogs for this game but equipped themselves well against a Liverpool side containing the like of Hansen, Dalglish and Souness only for Alan Kennedy to score a controversial goal in the 118th minutes striking a shot over Sammy Lee who was lying in an offside position in the middle of the penalty area. Referee Clive Thomas over ruled his linesman and gave the goal deeming that Lee was not interfering with play. Fuelled by injustice West Ham went on the attack and just two minutes later, Terry McDermott punched a goal bound Alvin Martin Header over the bar giving away a penalty which Ray Stewart duly despatched to the delight of the West Ham fans packed inside Wembley.
The normally placid John Lyall was very critical of referee Thomas after the game, ultimately West Ham’s fight back was in vain as they lost the replay at Villa Park 2-1.
29th August 2015 Premier League
Liverpool 0 West Ham 3
After 52 Years of waiting West Ham finally won at Anfield and with some style. The last time West Ham tasted victory at Anfield Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst were the scorers and the Beatles were at Number 1 with Love Me Do. At 42 games the Hammers winless run was reaching epic proportions but goals from Lanzini and Noble in the first half and a late Diafra Sahko goal saw the Hammers take all 3 points back to London.
A clearly delighted Slaven Bilic said of the result
“It is three points but it is one of those games for the club and especially the fans when it is more than three points. 52 years without winning at this special kind of stadium and we did it in style. We didn’t nick it, it was a great performance in 90% of the aspects of the modern game. It was one of those victories that will be written about in books in years to come. You can’t ask for more than that.”
West Ham played Liverpool 4 times in the 2015-2016 season and beat them 3 times drawing once and would actually finish one place above Liverpool in 7th place.