Liverpool and West Ham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
If there wasn’t before, there have to now be serious questions asked about Loris Karius. Liverpool went from the rosy position of having a lead inside ten minutes, continue to dominate the ball and lay siege to West Ham’s goal, and yet they found themselves 2-1 down at half time.
Once again, Karius is partly to blame for both goals. The first was an inch-perfect strike from Dimitri Payet that was only made to look better by the fact that the former Mainz goalkeeper was stood too far over in the first place.
The second is a product of nerves and hesitancy, as the ball goes in behind the Liverpool defence, the central defenders will be looking for an athletic ‘keeper like Karius to come and collect. Instead Antonio is allowed to latch on, and all of a sudden the Anfield crowd is silenced once again.
In both Karius and Simon Mignolet Liverpool have the same issues: they probably just aren’t good enough.
As Jamie Redknapp quite rightly said at half time, it’s been a while since we saw this kind of backbone from West Ham.
They could have collapsed after going a goal down early and showing the defensive frailty that has deprived them of any momentum this season, but the response from Bilic’s men was full of intent.
For a team that averages just over a goal per game this season, the Hammers threatened Liverpool and put the title challengers on the back foot for periods of the first half.
Ulitmately, they could not hold onto their lead, but Bilic will be well aware that his side have shown enough to suggest their current league position is something that will change soon.
A wonderful Payet set piece and some opportunism from Antonio; two goals that sum up the Londonders quite fittingly.
Chelsea fans will have been watching the afternoon’s events unfolding at Anfield with a smile on their faces as another title rival dropped valuable points.
The gap between the Blues and the Reds is now up to six points after Antonio Conte’s men recorded a narrow 1-0 win over West Brom at Stamford Bridge earlier on Sunday.
The way that the Italian has them playing, and the cracks being shown in their rivals is enough to get Chelsea fans dreaming.
Of course Manchester City and Liverpool will hit purple patches and Chelsea will likely have their own tough spell, but from having limited expectations at the start of the season, things might be slowly falling into place…