Football: Liverpool escape West Ham scare with streak intact

Liverpool have fought back from a goal down at Anfield to beat West Ham and maintain their unbeaten run in the English Premier League.

Mo Salah and Sadio Mane scored late second-half goals in a thriller that ended 3-2 and left the Merseysiders four wins from a first league title since 1990.

Liverpool have now taken 79 points from a possible 81 this season and their 18-game winning run matches the record 2017 effort from Manchester City.

Pablo Fornals scored a second-half goal for West Ham
Pablo Fornals scored a second-half goal for West Ham Photo credit: Image - Getty

But victory was not without a scare, despite the 'Reds' taking a 1-0 lead through an eighth-minute Gini Wijnaldum headed goal.

The relegation-threatened 'Hammers' equalised through Issa Diop 10 minutes later and held firm for the rest of the half, despite Liverpool's possession dominance.

The league leaders paid for failing to captalise on their chances, when Pablo Fornals struck from inside the penalty area to give West Ham a 2-1 lead with 35 minutes remaining. 

But Liverpool threw caution to the wind and was rewarded, when the impressive Lukasz Fabianski ruined a near flawless performance in goal, letting Salah's scuffed shot slip through his hands to draw level.

A 26th win from 27 games was sealed, when Sadio Mane calmly slotted a loose ball inside the six-yard box in the 81st minute.

A few minutes later the outstanding frontman thought hhe had a second, only for VAR [Virtual Assistant Referee] to rule it out for offside. 

Liverpool survived one more scare in injury-time, when keeper Allison made a fantastic save to deny substitute Jared Bowen and ensure West Ham remained in the relegation zone.

Liverpool's Man of the Match Alexander-Arnold was delighted with another win, but critical of some of his side's defending.

"We felt like we dominated the game, but it's football," the right-back told Sky Sports. "We've let them have two chances and they scored off a set-piece. 

"Set-pieces are probably their best chances of scoring today, so we need to look at that, but we've dominated the game and tried to create as many chances as possible.

"We're happy with the win - that's the main thing - but there's a lot of things we need to get right."

Liverpool travel to Watford on Sunday morning (NZ time), as the bid to break City's consecutive wins record.