West Ham's struggles at home, against top teams endure vs. Liverpool
West Ham endured a torrid afternoon at the London Stadium as Liverpool ran out easy 4-0 winners.
The Hammers failed to show any of the passion and desire they produced against Spurs last time out in Stratford, and once Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring, the home side struggled to match the visitors. Slaven Bilic's injury-hit side had little answer to Philippe Coutinho's double, and the Stratford ground emptied alarmingly after a fourth by Divock Origi 14 minutes from the end.
For many, this win, in which Liverpool moved to third in the Premier League, will prompt talk of Champions League football and a return to a theatre in which the Merseyside club were once supreme.
For Hammers fans, though, this was a miserable experience that neatly tops a poor season of little entertainment and some bad defeats. Liverpool might have had the greater aspirations and skill, but that was no excuse for the home side's lack of application and pride.
More will be expected next season.
It was the last home game of the season. Supporters have some time to recover from the embarrassment.
It was another thrashing at home. West Ham have struggled all season against the top teams, and more effort is required in games in which there is an obvious gap in class.
5 (out of 10) -- Bilic might get another chance at the London Stadium next season, but he needs to produce more next campaign. Poor signings and a lack of trust in the Academy have hit the club badly this season, and the manager needs to take a large portion of the blame.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Adrian, 6 -- Could do nothing about the goals and pulled off some good saves to keep the score down. Embarrassingly, he was probably West Ham's Man of the Match.
DF Sam Byram, 4 -- Dragged a good early chance wide and struggled to contain Liverpool down the flank.
DF Jose Fonte, 4 -- Was the player taken off after 55 minutes as Bilic switched to a back four. It could have been any of his fellow defenders, but the Portuguese international's poor positioning for Sturridge's opener didn't help.
DF James Collins, 5 -- Tried hard and got a few blocks in, but like his colleagues, struggled to contain the Liverpool forwards. Coutinho in particular enjoyed himself against the Welsh defender.
DF Winston Reid, 4 -- A poor day's work by the New Zealander, who looked as if he might have had his thoughts on a summer trip home.
MF Aaron Cresswell, 4 -- Like Byram on the other flank, Cresswell wasn't able to stem the tide.
MF Havard Nordtveit, 4 -- Held the ball up well at times, but the Hammers are looking for more.
MF Edimilson Fernandes, 4 -- Given an opportunity with Mark Noble out but offered little. The Swiss player never seems to contribute enough, and his future at the club must be in doubt.
MF Manuel Lanzini, 6 -- West Ham's only bright spark, but this was a day when most of the team's attention was aimed behind him.
FW Andre Ayew, 3 -- West Ham's problem in a nutshell. In trying to solve a long-standing goal-scoring problem, the club paid Swansea £20 million for Ayew last August -- a sizable sum for a club like West Ham. A minute before half-time, with the goal gaping and the ball at his feet, the Ghanaian international contrived to hit the post from a foot out. It was a staggering miss that had supporters open-mouthed. If this is what £20 million buys, then the board might need to stump up three times that amount to get someone who actually scores.
FW Jonathan Calleri, 2 -- Utterly ineffective. Surely West Ham have Academy players able to offer more?
Ashley Fletcher, 4 -- On for Fonte but produced little in Bilic's switched formation. The former Manchester United player seems to be going backward at the London Stadium.
Sofiane Feghouli, 6 -- Part of a double substitution with Fletcher, Feghouli actually looked quite productive when he came on and wasn't afraid to try to prompt some attacks.
Robert Snodgrass, NR -- Came on for Ayew on 77 minutes, another talking point for fans. With the club's injury problems and Mark Noble, Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang all out, the £10 million Scottish international's form is so poor, he still can't get into the team. Is the move up from Norwich and Hull too much? The player's less-than-impressive 20-minute showing suggests just that.
Peter Thorne, aka Billy Blagg (@BillyBlaggEsq), is ESPN FC's West Ham blogger.