February 4, 2019 / 10:03 PM / in 4 months

Soccer-Liverpool stutter in draw at West Ham

* West Ham hold Liverpool to 1-1 draw

* Javier Hernandez and Aaron Cresswell close for West Ham

* Sadio Mane controversially scored Liverpool’s opener

* Michail Antonio levelled six minutes later

* Declan Rice headed wide of a gaping goal just before the break

* West Ham at Crystal Palace next, Liverpool host Bournemouth

By Martyn Herman

WEST HAM UNITED 1 LIVERPOOL 1

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Leaders Liverpool faltered again in the Premier League title race as they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham United on Monday.

Sadio Mane gave Liverpool a 22nd minute lead but Michail Antonio equalised soon after to earn West Ham a deserved point.

It meant Liverpool extended their lead to three points over Manchester City, but Pep Guardiola’s side will go top on goal difference if they beat Everton on Wednesday.

Javier Hernandez and Aaron Cresswell both shot just wide for the Hammers early on while Hernandez also warmed the palms of Alisson in the Liverpool goal.

Liverpool went ahead in fortuitous circumstances in the 22nd minute when James Milner, who appeared to be offside when he received the ball, crossed low into the area and Mane had time to swivel and fire home past Lukasz Fabianski.

The lead lasted only six minutes though as Naby Keita failed to track the run of Michail Antonio from a free kick and he fired across Alisson and inside the far post.

An edgy Liverpool had a huge let-off minutes before the break when Felipe Anderson’s free kick found youngster Declan Rice completely unmarked but he headed wide of a gaping goal.

Liverpool failed to find another gear after the break and Mark Noble could have won it for West Ham. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Toby Davis)

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