Beware the former player, West Ham.
Liverpool went into Sunday's match at West Ham United without leading scorer Luis Suarez, but the Uruguayan's absence turned out to be no problem for Brendan Rodgers' team. The Reds scored first, lost a lead, stormed back from behind and eventually won 3-2—with all three goals involving former West Ham players.
Let's count them off, shall we?
Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson opened the scoring in the 11th minute with a sweetly struck, right-footed rocket from the edge of the box. Johnson's celebration was muted, and appropriately so. The 28-year-old came up through the West Ham youth system and began his professional career at Upton Park in 2002.
Johnson's goal can be seen in the video above. Click here for a GIF of the goal.
West Ham equalized through Mark Noble's penalty in the 36th minute and went ahead via Steven Gerrard's own goal two minutes before halftime. Then two more former Hammers decided the outcome.
First, former West Ham captain Joe Cole equalized in the 76th minute (GIF here) before James Collins' looping own goal (GIF here) won it for Liverpool. Pressuring Collins on the decisive play was Jonjo Shelvey, another former West Ham youth player.
Together, the three former Hammers rendered the absence of 10-goal striker Suarez inconsequential.
"It was a great win—it's always nice to come back to your old club," said Cole (via LiverpoolFC.com). "I've scored a few against West Ham but never celebrated—the most important thing was getting the win."
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was quick to credit Liverpool, saying it would be impossible to "dominate for the whole game" against the Reds (via PremierLeague.com)
"We lost forward momentum but we defended well and overall the goals conceded were a bit unfortunate," he said. "There was a wonder goal from Johnson and Cole took his well. Unfortunately for us 'Ginger' (James Collins) scored an own goal."
The win puts Liverpool back in the top half at 10th, one spot ahead of West Ham. So, does Sunday's result mean Rodgers' revolution is starting to pick up steam?
Let us know in the comments below.