Football: Redknapp eclipses the son

The Premiership: West Ham exploit Liverpool's inconsistency as Newcastle striker recaptures form; West Ham United 2 Liverpool 1 Hartson 4, Berkovic 51 Riedle 88 Half- time: 1-0 Attendance: 29,029

ONCE AGAIN, those impudent East End urchins showed scant respect for title aspirants who came to lord it over them. Any highfalutin ideas that Liverpool, the league leaders before the start, may have harboured of the progress made under the new management pairing of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier were rudely dispelled by a West Ham side, who displayed great qualities of regeneration after the bizarre reversal of fortune against Wimbledon here three days previously.

West Ham's goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, the subject of a degree of criticism after conceding those four goals against the Dons, frustrated the visitors with outstanding second-half saves from Patrik Berger and Jamie Redknapp. With the referee Jeff Winter also rejecting two penalty appeals there was a conviction afterwards in the Liverpool camp that they had deserved to salvage more than Karlheinz Riedle's belated goal from the contest.

But that would have done a disservice to Harry Redknapp's team and the manager admitted later: "We showed a lot of character to come back today after what happened on Wednesday. It could have gone either way because confidence was low and the players were a bit on the floor, but Wrighty geed everybody up and they went out and performed. We got off to a good start and the crowd responded."

How the pages might have unfolded had the German striker Reidle been on the field from the start, rather than being thrust into the fray after 53 minutes in place of Steve Harkness when Liverpool were already two goals adrift, can only be imagined. Evans' fellow joint manager Houllier maintained afterwards that Reidle had been "rested" in advance of Tuesday's Uefa Cup tie. But with the England striker Michael Owen left to mount a lone assault on Hislop's goal in the first half Liverpool's menace in front of it failed to reflect the creative acumen in midfield until it was far too late.

It could have been a different story, too, had West Ham not got off to a flyer from John Hartson, just as they had on Wednesday. On that occasion he took seven minutes to score; here he was on target after just four, although his header from Frank Lampard's excellent corner took a grotesque deflection off Jamie Carragher to deceive the floundering Brad Friedel.

Having scored three times in the first half an hour against Wimbledon before sacrificing the points by conceding four goals in the last hour, West Ham were hardly likely to regard that goal as sufficient against a team of Liverpool's character. And so it proved, as they pressed forward to enforce their advantage. The Hammers faithful, already in rabid mood at the sight of their former midfielder, now Liverpool captain, Paul Ince, who is always assured of a torrid reception at Upton Park, reacted with their customary reserve. Something akin to the atmosphere in a cock-fighting pit. And Redknapp's team responded in kind.

The Hammers manager had conceded before the game that his side might be vulnerable to the absence of the injured the England centre-back Rio Ferdinand, but so deep did Liverpool play and with Owen lacking a striking foil, they failed to trouble Hislop before the break, other than one opening fashioned for himself by the teenage England prodigy which culminated with him driving rather impetuously just over the bar. Owen also so wrong- footed Neil Ruddock that his cross struck the former Anfield man's arm, but referee Winter rejected vehement penalty appeals. It had Evans complaining later that there had been "a very large suspicion of handball."

But these were rare sorties into the West Ham half before half-time. It was Redknapp's side, with Hartson in a typically competitive frame of mind and Ian Wright showing his appetite by being cautioned for a foul soon after the break, who appeared more likely to register further embarrassment on the faces of the Liverpool defenders.

They had to wait until four minutes after the break to do so. Hartson supplied Eyal Berkovic with the pass and the diminutive Israeli lost no time on driving the ball home under Friedel, who appeared to be unsighted by his own defenders.

As in the first period, Liverpool took time to discover their rhythm as an attacking force and Riedle's introduction gave Redknapp and Steve McManaman a new target for their creative talents, but Liverpool remained frustrated with Hislop plunging first to his left and then to his right to deny first Berger and then a well struck free-kick by his manager's son, Redknapp.

With 20 minutes remaining the Liverpool management also threw on Jason McAteer for Vegard Heggem and he produced two typical wicked crosses, the first of which Reidle headed against the post. His header from the second eluded Hislop's fingers, giving Liverpool a chance of retaining their unbeaten record, but they failed to make any further inroads, with Hislop being well positioned to save from Redknapp.

It left Evans to reflect: "We'll carry on doing things the way we have been, because our attitude is right. We're not desperately unhappy about the way the lads played. The creative ability was there and we deserved to get something out of the game. The keeper made some magnificent saves and there were one or two penalty claims which we had. One of them I'm not happy about."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
Sport
Jonny Evans and Papiss Cisse come together
football
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform Engineer - VMware / SAN / Tier3 DC

£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...

Recruitment Genius: Purchasing Assistant

£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger Assistant

£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...

Ashdown Group: Automated Tester / Test Analyst - .Net / SQL - Cheshire

£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life