Hammers off the bottom after win

27 February 2011 04:00
West Ham produced arguably their best display of the season to haul themselves back off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League and all but kill off Liverpool's faint Champions League hopes with a 3-1 win. Goals from Scott Parker, Demba Ba, rapidly developing into one of the signings of the January transfer window, and Carlton Cole secured all three points at Upton Park and kept the pressure on the Hammers' relegation rivals. Glen Johnson pulled one back for Liverpool but their late rally was in vain as their revival under Kenny Dalglish suffered its first major setback. Parker gave West Ham a 22nd-minute lead. He and Thomas Hitzlsperger played a neat one-two on the edge of the box and Parker curled a delightful floated finish right into the far corner with the outside of his foot. Liverpool suffered another blow when Martin Kelly pulled a hamstring and was replaced by Cole, Dalglish switching his formation from 5-3-2 to 4-4-2. That was not the end of their woes, though, with the unmarked Ba powering home a header on the stroke of half-time from Gary O'Neil's cross. It was all Liverpool late on and their pressure paid off six minutes from time when Luis Suarez crossed for Glen Johnson to tap into an unguarded net. West Ham ran down the clock by bringing on Cole for Ba but time-wasting was the last thing on the substitute's mind as he left Martin Skrtel in a heap and drilled home at Pepe Reina's near post in stoppage-time.

Source: PA