At the half: West Ham builds 2-0 lead, Liverpool pulls one back

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West Ham opened up a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes of play, as Winston Reid and Diafra Sakho paced the hosts to a lead over Liverpool on Saturday at Upton Park.

But Raheem Stirling struck in the 26th minute to breathe life into the favored visitors.

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Poor marking by Liverpool led to Reid’s goal, as he nodded in a headed pass from James Tompkins.

And Reid started the second goal with a tackle, that led to Sakho’s chipping of Simon Mignolet, and by the 7th minute it was Liverpool trailing by two.

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Mario Balotelli found himself in a bit of controversy after a late tackle on West Ham keeper Adrian. The backstop appeared to kick-out at Balotelli, and then stood over him before the pair went head-to-head. Each saw yellow.

Another Sakho, Mamadou, subbed on for Liverpool in the 22nd minute as Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers acted quickly to try and bring his team back into the match. The Reds went to three backs, and to work.

Stirling made Liverpool’s first shot on target count, latching onto a Balotelli rebound and firing it by Adrian to make it 2-1.

Dejan Lovren left the match in the 39th minute after going head-to-head with teammate Sakho. He was badly shaken up and nearly stretchered off, but had his head taped up and was controversially allowed to continue.

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LINEUPS

West Ham United: Adrian, Cresswell, Reid, Tomkins, Demel, Noble, Song, Kouyate, D. Sakho, Downing, Valencia.

Goals: Reid (2′), D. Sakho (7′)

Subs: Zarate, Vaz Te, Jenkinson, Collins, Amalfitano, Jaaskelainen, Cole

Liverpool: Mignolet, Manquillo (M. Sakho, 22′), Moreno, Lovren, Skrtel, Gerrard, Henderson, Lucas, Sterling, Borini, Balotelli.

Goal: Stirling (26′)

Subs: Jones, Toure, Enrique, Markovic, Lallana, Lambert