FULL TIME: West Ham 2 – 2 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s men were once again punished for wayward finishing and dire defending in a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium

Liverpool’s hopes of winning the Premier League are well and truly over after a bitterly frustrating 2-2 draw with West Ham on Saturday afternoon. The Reds may have responded well to their demoralising derby defeat at Everton in midweek, but they were still guilty of profligacy up front and incompetence at the back.

Liverpool’s defence fell asleep at a corner shortly before the break, allowing Mohammed Kudus to cross for an unmarked Jarrod Bowen to score, but they turned the game on its head with a well-worked goal from Andy Robertson just after the restart before a mishit Cody Gakpo shot resulted in Alphonse Areola putting through his own net.

Jurgen Klopp’s team should have gone on to win the game, but they wasted several chances before more poor defending led to Michail Antonio equalising from a Bowen cross.

Liverpool sit third in the table with three games remaining, two points behind leaders Arsenal, who face Tottenham on Sunday, while Manchester City are second but have two games in hand.

Liverpool’s title hopes appear to be all but over, with the Reds relying on both of their title rivals to slip up to get back in the race.

With Dutchman Arne Slot poised to replace Jurgen Klopp this summer after Liverpool agreed a £9.4m compensation deal with his current club Feyenoord, Klopp suggested his successor would be helped by the Reds’ season “not finishing on a high”.

Having won the Carabao Cup in February, the Reds looked on track to fight for a European trophy and stake a strong claim for the Premier League title in Klopp’s last season.

But in the space of about three weeks those hopes have almost completely unravelled and this latest result surely denies Klopp the fairytale ending.

Liverpool were not at their best in the first half, despite captain Virgil van Dijk’s scathing review of his team-mates’ desire following the loss to Everton.

But they emerged from the break more like the Klopp side that fans have come to be familiar with, playing with more intensity and hunger.

After Robertson quickly got his side on level terms, Ryan Gravenberch saw his effort drop agonisingly wide and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long-range effort was well saved by Areola.

A scramble in the West Ham penalty area gave Liverpool the lead, and they could have been out of sight with Diaz and Alexis Mac Allister going close before Vladimir Coufal denied Darwin Nunez a simple tap-in.

But, for all their chances, Liverpool were once again left disappointed as the reign of Klopp risks coming to an end with a whimper.

Mohamed Salah failed to make an impact from the bench after being dropped from the starting line-up and appeared to clash with Klopp on the touchline before coming on in the 79th minute as speculation around the forward’s future at the club continues.

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