Liverpool hammer West Ham 4-0 to move 3rd of Premier League table

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Liverpool beat West Ham at the London Stadium to move back into third place as striker Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal since January.

Philippe Coutinho’s sublime pass on the half-hour mark cut open the Hammers defence and picked out an unmarked Sturridge who went around goalkeeper Adrian before slotting home.

The Brazilian then scored two of his own after the break before Divock Origi fired in a fourth to complete the Liverpool procession.

Victory against Middlesbrough on the final day of the season will guarantee Liverpool a Champions League place in 2017-18.

In a frenetic opening period there were chances for both sides but as both teams settled in the London sun, it was Liverpool’s Brazilian magician who turned up the gears and once again orchestrated a Liverpool victory.

Sturridge, starting for the first time since January, christened his return with a goal as Liverpool dominated possession throughout.

West Ham endured a testing afternoon with Andre Ayew missing the easiest of chances at 1-0, before being left frustrated by some calamitous defending and a refereeing decision.

It was an unhappy end to their first season at the London Stadium as the home supporters flooded the exits before the final whistle and the players were left to do their lap of honour in front of empty seats.

After a stumble last week against Southampton – a game in which they could barely create a chance – the Liverpool attack were back at full throttle in the capital on Sunday.

The Reds began the day in fourth, having been leapfrogged by Manchester City, knowing they needed two wins to guarantee third place in the table.

And with the pressure firmly on, Jurgen Klopp’s side produced one of their most commanding performances of the season in a wholly one-sided affair.

Coutinho, despite playing a slightly deeper role in the Liverpool midfield, was the master of it all with an assist for the opener and two goals of his own.

The playmaker produced an exquisite pass from behind the halfway line for the opener as Sturridge evaded the offside trap and rolled home a tidy finish.

And after the break it was the Brazilian who once again turned up the heat.

Georginio Wijnaldum’s thunderbolt pinged back off the bar and Coutinho was the first to pounce before driving another shot home to make it three after a quick Liverpool counter-attack.

The Hammers woes were compounded when goalkeeper Adrian flapped at a high ball causing chaos in the box before Origi drilled in Liverpool’s fourth.

West Ham’s final home game of the season was a microcosm of their first campaign at the London Stadium – one which began full of hope but ultimately ended in frustration.

Having effectively ended London rivals Tottenham’s title change last week, their supporters could have been forgiven for expecting another performance.

And the home side started the better with the first chance of the match through Sam Bryam, but the right-back fired wide when free inside the area.

Having fallen behind to Sturridge’s goal, the Hammers should have been level at the break – the ball found its way through to Ayew from a corner, but from two yards out the striker drilled the ball against the base of the post, before repeating the feat with the rebound.

The Hammers also have reason to feel slightly aggrieved at Liverpool’s third goal – Wijnaldum appeared to catch Winston Reid with his elbow earlier in the move – but play continued with Reid down and Liverpool scored seconds later.

But West Ham have clocked up seven home victories at their new home – just two less than in their final season at Upton Park.

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