West Ham’s hopes of Champions League qualification were dealt a fresh blow by Liverpool on Saturday.
Sadio Mane’s first-half goal proved to be the winner at Anfield, with Manuel Lanzini missing a ‘big chance’ to level the game in the second half.
The Irons remain just two points off fourth place, but they’ve played a game more than Manchester United and four games more than sixth-placed Arsenal, with whom they are level on points.
Here at The Transfer Tavern, we delve into the three worst-rated starters for the Hammers as per statistical specialists SofaScore, with players required to feature for at least 45 minutes for ranking. This trio won only two of their 15 ground duels combined and had a 14% crossing accuracy between them.
Nikola Vlasic – 6.3
Vlasic was making just his fifth Premier League start of the season and his first since the 3-2 defeat against Leeds United on 16 January (Transfermarkt), but he failed to seize a rare opportunity to impress.
The Croatian lost five of the seven ground duels he contested, misplaced four of his 13 passes (31%), failed to find a team-mate with either of his crosses and conceded possession nine times overall.
Aaron Cresswell – 6.4
Cresswell returned to his more natural left-back berth after starting at centre-back against Wolves in the previous game, but this wasn’t one of his stronger performances.
Like Vlasic, the 32-year-old misplaced 31% of his passes (11 out of 36) and misfired with all four of his attempted crosses. The Englishman came off second best in both of his ground duels and handed Liverpool the ball 19 times in total.
Jarrod Bowen – 6.4
Bowen only lasted 53 minutes at Anfield before David Moyes withdrew him following an injury. In truth, though, the winger had failed to make much of an impact up to that point.
He was slightly better than the aforementioned duo when it came to passing, completing eight out of the nine that he played and picking out a team-mate with his one cross of the evening.
However, the 25-year-old won only one out of his six ground duels and failed to test Reds goalkeeper Alisson with either of the shots he attempted.
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