Liverpool 0-3 West Ham, it certainly has a nice ring to it for all West Ham fans who, for many of them, wouldn’t have seen their side win at Anfield ever in their life time.
And when they last won there in 1963, the Beatles were top of the charts – fast forward 52 years and the Hammers have another win on Merseyside to celebrate at last.
There would have been many aspects of the Hammers’ game that would have pleased boss Slaven Bilic, like their defensive cohesion, pace on the break, and the team spirit that was clearly missing against Leicester and Bournemouth in previous weeks.
But perhaps something that would have pleased Bilic most was the return to goal scoring form of last season’s top goal scorer Diafra Sakho, who rounded off the most impressive of wins with a neatly taken left foot finish to seal the three points for Bilic’s men.
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It was a welcome sight to all Hammers fans, as the Senegalese striker has indeed struggled with off field issues this season and has been unsettled so far; having been arrested twice and failing to score in his first four games, it is fair to say it wouldn’t have been the start Sakho was looking for.
But a goal at Anfield will have meant a lot for the striker who is now up and running this season and will be looking to score as many, or if not more, than he did last season, and for West Ham’s chances this season it is crucial that he keeps on finding the back of the net, even more so when you consider the injury to Enner Valencia and Andy Carroll just coming back from injury himself.
The reliance on goals from Bilic’s star striker is well and truly on his shoulders. The arrival of Nikica Jelavic from Hull will take some pressure off the Senegalese’s shoulders, but the bulk of the goals are still expected to be from West Ham’s number 15.
This means it is crucial that the former Croatian manager can get the best out of Sakho, though that’s is easier said then done. He isn’t capable of running through packed defences and needs support from his team mates, who will have to carve chances our for him. When he does get a presentable chance his does usually convert – it is one of his main strengths, along with his pace and aerial ability.
If Bilic can ensure that his side play towards their striker’s strengths, then Sakho will certainly keep on finding the back of the net.
Playing to his strengths means getting crosses into the box, with good accuracy and quality, playing through balls in behind and ensuring he isn’t isolated up front.
With the signings of Dimitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini, and with Aaron Cresswell delivering crosses in, it does already look like the Hammers are well set up to do just that, and you would have to say that if Bilic can get the best out of Sakho, the Hammers will do just fine.