Manuel Pellegrini almost delivered on his promise in favour of Manchester City as Premier League leaders Liverpool suffered an uncharacteristic defensive lapse as they only managed a draw against West Ham to boost the hopes of their title rivals.
The Reds extended their lead over second-placed Manchester City to three points but the odds strongly favoured them taking all three against the 12th-placed side.
It started well for Jurgen Klopp’s men when Sadio Mane fired past Lukasz Fabianski in the 22nd minute, although James Milner looked offside in the build-up.
The Hammers showed enough threat in attack to suggest it would not be one-way traffic, and six minutes later they got a deserved equaliser when Liverpool’s defence failed to read Felipe Anderson’s disguised free-kick and spot Michail Antonio’s run into the area. The English winger finished off with a low angled drive which went in off the post.
Liverpool did not put the West Ham defence under severe pressure, with two efforts from Mohamed Salah and a header from Mane comfortably dealt with by Fabianski before Divock Origi shot straight at the keeper when he had a clear sight of goal right at the end.