Liverpool marched forward yesterday with a 2-3 away win against the Hammers which was anything but convincing.
A brace from Fernando Torres gave the Reds their second consecutive 2-3 away win of the campaign.
Liverpool's attacking play was inspired by a striker looking to be coming back to his lethal best. His first goal was a quite superb finish from the acutest of angles, expertly dispatched into the only place where it could possibly have resulted in a goal.
Believing he had all his angles covered, a truly bamboozled Robert Green was left with an expression of "how did he do that?" Which coincidentally was the same question that the LFC fans were asking, as Torres spun away to celebrate his fourth goal of the season.
The Spaniard's second of the afternoon and fifth of the season was a brave header. Liverpool's forgotten man Ryan Babel, enjoyed a good run out coming on in the 61st minute for the ever steady Dirk Kuyt.
The Reds' winger showed a fine piece of skill to beat his man and float over an inviting cross that Torres needed no second invitation to attack. Surrounded by two defenders as the cross came in, Torres angled a powerful header into the corner giving Green no chance.
Torres was quick to heap praise on Babel, describing the Dutchman as a "fantastic player" who put in a "fantastic cross."
Sandwiched between Torres's brace was Kuyt's poached goal at the far post following a towering leap from Gerrard. This goal was a lesson for the men from Anfield.
Almost every corner, this season, has been taken by Steven Gerrard. At Upton Park with half time approaching it was the diminutive figure of Yossi Benayoun that trotted over and placed the ball in the corner.
As Benayoun's out swinging corner came across, it was the Liverpool captain who rose highest to win the header that led to Kuyt's goal. The men from Anfield had learnt their lesson.
The following corners were taken by Benayoun. It is strange that the Reds have not employed Gerrard in the box before as he has shown in the past and did so again yesterday, that he is an excellent header of the ball.
If Liverpool's attacking play clicked into gear yesterday, their usually reliable rock solid defense was all at sea.
Mr. Liverpool and Martin Skrtel were run ragged by the power of Charlton Cole and pace and trickery of Zavon Hines.
The West Ham duo capitalized on a lack of pace in the centre of Liverpool's defense that was cruelly exposed by Hines when he surged past Carragher who could do little but to concede a penalty.
Carragher, without doubt the most vocal of all the Liverpool players, did not even muster the obligatory objection when Mr. Marriner pointed to the spot.
In Hines, the Hammers had a player that attacked the Liverpool back line with a directness that they were, at times, powerless to handle. He is certainly one to keep an eye on for the future. Although, Jamie Carragher is probably glad to see the back of him, which coincidentally was the view he had of him for most of the afternoon.
Liverpool gained a valuable away win, which prior to the match would have been expected given that Upton Park has been a happy hunting ground for the The Reds in the past.
Rafa Benitez had his attacking players to thank and rightfully praised Torres, Kuyt and Babel.
The words that he had with his central defenders have remained in the dressing room, needless to say they would not have been too complimentary. His usually solid defensive duo were made to look pedestrian and at time desperate by the speedy Hines and powerful Cole.
Despite Liverpool leaving Upton Park with all three points and notching up their fourth win on the bounce since losing at home to Villa, the Liverpool defense found that in Zavon Hines West Ham have a player that is full of beans.