Joel Matip and Fabinho are back! Liverpool winners & losers as Curtis Jones also gives Jurgen Klopp something to think about

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Joel Matip Liverpool 2022-23
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The Reds continued their recent resurgence with a solid 2-1 win over West Ham at the London Stadium

Whisper it quietly, but Liverpool might just be on the road to recovery. That's three Premier League wins in a row now for Jurgen Klopp's side, the latest of which came with this 2-1 triumph over West Ham at the London Stadium.

They needed to dig deep to secure it, coming from behind after Lucas Paqueta had given the relegation-threatened Hammers an early lead. Cody Gakpo levelled matters soon after, before the returning Joel Matip headed home a second-half winner.

The result lifts Klopp's men up to sixth, and within six points of fourth-placed Manchester United, who play Tottenham on Thursday night.

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GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from the London Stadium...

  1. WINNER: Joel Matip

    Back in the side, and back with a bang.

    Matip's inclusion here may have been due to injury, with Ibrahima Konate the latest Liverpool man struck down with an injury, but he certainly grabbed his opportunity, netting the winner with an emphatic second-half header - his first goal since September.

    It capped a good performance, too. There was a nervy start, perhaps understandable given it was his first game in nearly a month, but as Liverpool got to grips with the game, so too did Matip, who competed well against the robust Michail Antonio and the jinking Said Benrahma as Trent Alexander-Arnold again drifted into midfield from right-back.

    Matip's form this season, like Liverpool's, has been wobbly, and there is a growing feeling that his time at Anfield could come to an end this summer. If that is to be the case, though, he still has time to leave a few more happy memories.

    He certainly left one here.

  2. LOSER: David Moyes
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    LOSER: David Moyes

    At the final whistle, the West Ham boss' rage was such that he almost forgot to shake hands with Jurgen Klopp, his opposite number.

    The subject of Moyes' ire? Referee Chris Kavanagh, who failed to award a penalty for handball against Thiago Alcantara in stoppage time. "A f*cking joke," fumed Moyes, although Kavanagh may point out that a lengthy VAR check backed up the on-field official's decision.

    West Ham will feel hard done by, and certainly penalties have been given in similar fashion this season, but Moyes' frustration may be more with his own team, and in particular the dreadful defending around Matip's winning goal.

    The Hammers remain, for now, in the relegation dogfight, although one more win will surely be enough to keep them up. Saturday at Crystal Palace would be a good time to get it.

  3. WINNER: Fabinho
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    WINNER: Fabinho

    After a season moving backwards, this was a major step forward for Liverpool's midfield 'lighthouse'.

    Fabinho's form has been a source of serious concern for Klopp this term, but the Brazilian was much more recognisable here, delivering the kind of performance we have come to expect from the 29-year-old in recent years.

    Benefiting from Alexander-Arnold's on-ball presence next to him, Fabinho was able to get through all kinds of work out of possession, winning three tackles, making three interceptions, three clearances and winning possession back on half a dozen occasions.

    He used the ball well too, in fairness, completing more than 90 percent of his passes as Liverpool were able to dominate the game for long periods.

    Progress. Much-needed progress, as far as both the player and his manager are concerned.

  4. WINNER: Cody Gakpo
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    WINNER: Cody Gakpo

    If this is Liverpool's Roberto Firmino replacement, then good times lie ahead.

    Gakpo has enjoyed a pretty good start to life at Anfield since his January switch from PSV Eindhoven, and here he grabbed his sixth goal for his new club, and in some style too.

    Receiving a rapped pass from Alexander-Arnold 25 yards out, Gakpo's first touch was perfect, enabling him to arrow a superb low strike past Lukasz Fabianski, and in via the goalkeeper's right-hand upright. A moment of class and perfectly timed too, given it arrived just six minutes after his side had fallen behind.

    Gakpo would provide a few more flashes of brilliance too. Some Firmino-esque hold-up play to take a ball with his back to goal, flick it away from a defender and immediately set Andy Robertson away, for example, or a few gorgeous one-touch lay-offs into Luis Diaz or Thiago Alcantara.

    All very positive. He's keeping Darwin Nunez, potentially Liverpool's record signing, out of the team at the moment, and rightly so. The early signs are that the future at Anfield is bright, and it most certainly includes the Dutchman.

  5. LOSER: Diogo Jota

    LOSER: Diogo Jota

    The life of a striker, eh? Hero one day, zero the next.

    Jota has had a good few days, scoring four times in his previous two games after a 12-month goal drought, but he was out of luck here, missing two good chances and finding himself replaced before the hour mark.

    His first opportunity was gilt-edged, slashed wildly over the bar after Vladimir Coufal's clearance had struck Jordan Henderson and bounced kindly, and Jota would fail to capitalise on another chance soon after, glancing wide after Henderson had flicked on Mo Salah's cross.

    There were a few careless passes in good positions too, and it was no surprise to see Jota's number go up in the 59th minute, as Klopp sent on Luis Diaz to run at the West Ham defence.

    A frustrating night for the Portuguese star, after a fantastic week.

  6. WINNER: Curtis Jones

    WINNER: Curtis Jones

    Liverpool are going to rebuild their midfield this summer, but don't give up on the homegrown star in the No.17 shirt just yet.

    Jones, quietly, is enjoying a stellar run in the Reds team, and a stellar run of form too. This was his fifth successive start, and yet again he played well.

    The ticket into the Liverpool starting XI, according to Klopp, is counter-pressing, and the 22-year-old did it as well as anyone. Off the ball, he was terrific, and on it he was confident, purposeful and precise, boasting the best pass completion of anyone on the field, and completing more passes in the final third too.

    For now, he's keeping Thiago on the sidelines, a testament to the youngster's performance levels. Now, the challenge is to sustain them, and prove he can be part of Anfield's new dawn.