West Ham United and Liverpool both restored some pride in this entertaining, end-to-end encounter but, in truth, a point apiece did little to get their respective European qualification and title aspirations back on track.


Jarrod Bowen gave the Hammers an interval lead with his 20th goal of the season on his 200th appearance in Claret and Blue before the Reds struck back thanks to Andy Robertson’s equaliser and an unfortunate Alphonse Areola own-goal.

In-form Michail Antonio levelled with 13 minutes left - his third goal in three matches - but having simply played too many games now, the fate of each club remains firmly out of their hands.

Both sets of fans arrived at a sold-out London Stadium having endured an agonising week or so witnessing the downturns, derailments and disappointments of their respective teams.

Each club had been eliminated from the UEFA Europa League at the quarter-final stage, while the back-to-back losses to Fulham (2-0) and Crystal Palace (5-2) had also seen the European qualification hopes of the eighth-placed Hammers hit the buffers.

For third-placed Liverpool, a 2-0 midweek Merseyside mauling at the hands of neighbours Everton had all but shunted the Reds title lingering hopes into the sidings, too.

In the Stratford dugouts, with Jürgen Klopp’s successor – Feyenoord’s Arne Slot – now being  identified, fuel had been poured on the fire of speculation over David Moyes’ future with the Hammers hierarchy having reportedly already started their search for a new boss to take the helm next season.

Regardless of the disrespectful din going on around him within earshot, the proud Scot had not concealed his embarrassment at Sunday’s desperately, dismal defeat at Selhurst Park and, with his side returning to the East End, he made two changes as Bowen and keeper Areola returned in place of substitutes James Ward-Prowse and Łukasz Fabiański.

And, with his side returning to the East End, he made two changes as Bowen and keeper Alphonse Areola returned in place of substitutes James Ward-Prowse and Łukasz Fabiański.

Six days on, the Hammers certainly started better than they did at the Palace, where they conceded four times in the opening half-hour.

The lively Mohammed Kudus combined with Antonio to force a couple of early corners, while Bowen served due notice of his return with a pacy run and 18-yard shot that produced a low save from Alisson.

After running Arsenal and Manchester City every step of the way in a three-horse race, Liverpool have faltered in the final furlong of this season’s title-race run-in with lethal losses to Palace and neighbours Everton coming inside their last three games.

Following Wednesday’s derby defeat at Goodison Park, Klopp – facing West Ham for the 20th and final time as Anfield boss - made a quintet of changes to his side which kicked-off five places and 26 points above the Hammers.

In came Waturu Endo, Ryan Gravenberch, Cody Gakpo, Jarell Quansah and Harvey Elliott as Darwin Núñez, Mohammed Salah, Ibrahima Konaté, Dominik Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones all dropped to the bench.

With those five new faces looking to impress their German boss upon their returns, Elliott lashed an angled shot into the side-netting before Gakpo – caught in two minds – sidefooted into Areola’s clutches.

On 20 minutes, Kudus dragged down Gakpo on the edge of the box but despite it being in perfect range for free-kick specialist Trent Alexander-Arnold, the 23-cap England full-back merely succeeded in curling over from 18 yards to the relief of the home supporters.

Shortly afterwards, the Hammers had a double let-off when Alexis Mac Allister was upended in the six-yard box by Ogbonna, who then handled Luis Diaz’s follow-up, but a Video Assistant Referee review ruled there had been an offside in the build-up and Moyes men duly escaped.

At the other end, Endo was booked for tugging back Kudus while Vladimír Coufal embarked on a rare foray forward before unleashing a deflected 20-yarder into Alisson’s grasp.

But in a frantic first-half finale it looked inevitable that the deadlock would be broken before the interval.

First, Liverpool saw Diaz strike the base of Areola’s left-hand upright with an awkward angled 18-yarder before Bowen’s low 18-yarder was tipped aside at full stretch by Alisson with just two minutes of the opening period remaining.

Still the danger was not over, though, and when Emerson rolled the subsequent short corner into the path of Kudus, Bowen eluded everyone on the edge of the six-yard box to meet the Ghanaian’s left-wing cross and plant a well-placed downward header into the net.

The Reds may well have departed at the break trailing but they emerged for the restart undoubtedly having sustained a Klopp coating as Gravenberch soon sent a vicious volley into the travelling fans packed behind Areola’s goal.

It was certainly a warning of things to come and, when Antonio lost possession on 48 minutes, Diaz invited Robertson to stab the ball towards Areola, who could only palm the eight-yarder onto the inside of his right-hand post before it squirmed into the net.

Level and tails up, Liverpool pressed again with Gravenberch coming within a whisker of bundling home at the far post before Gakpo was thwarted by Angelo Ogbonna’s brave block and Alexander-Arnold was denied by Areola’s full-length save.

Gravenberch also unleashed a low 18-yarder that Areola shepherded aside and, from Alexander-Arnold’s consequent corner, the ball found itself falling to Gakpo at the far post, whose angled eight-yarder ricocheted off Ogbonna, Tomáš Soucek and Areola.

After winning that fortuitous round of pinball inside the Hammers six-yard box, the Merseysiders were threatening to put yet more daylight between themselves and their hosts, with Diaz then being denied by Areola’s ankles.

Ward-Prowse replaced Souček for the final quarter of an hour and, although Emerson’s rising volley was beaten away by Alisson after the keeper had misjudged a high ball into the box, it did not take too long for the Brazilian stopper to be beaten.

Having scored one, on 77 minutes, Bowen provided a telling assist with an inviting, hanging right-wing cross that enabled Antonio to charge between Quansah and Virgil van Dijk and power a header under Alisson’s left-hand angle and claim his seventh goal of the campaign.

Left with no choice, Klopp went for the ‘Pools’ treble chance of Salah, Núñez and Joe Gomez who came on for Alexander-Arnold, Endo and, curiously, the ever-darting Diaz but he would reap no dividend from that three-man switch.

Under pressure from Coufal, the newly-arrived Núñez slid behind before Saleh broke upfield from a late West Ham corner ahead of squaring to Elliott who rocked Areola’s crossbar with a rising 20-yarder.

But in the final act of the afternoon, it was Antonio who almost stole a stoppage-time victory with a point-blank shot into Alisson’s ribcage.

“I was incredibly pleased with the character my players showed to stick in there after a stinky result last week,” said Moyes.

"I’m really pleased with the performance.”

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Emerson, Zouma, Ogbonna Álvarez, Souček (Ward-Prowse 73), Paquetá, Kudus, Bowen, Antonio. Unused subs: Fabiański, Johnson, Cresswell, Phillips, Cornet, Ings, Casey, Mubama.

Liverpool: Allison, Alexander-Arnold (Gomez 78), Robertson, Quansah, van Dijk, Endo (Núñez 78), Elliott, Gravenberch, Mac Allister, Gakpo, Diaz (Salah 78). Unused subs: Kelleher, Konaté, Szoboszlai, Jones, Tsimikas, Bajcetic.

Booked: Endo (30) Mac Allister (90+5).

Referee: Anthony Taylor.