West Ham United vs. Liverpool: Final score 1-2, Reds go top

Mike Hewitt

They were made to work hard for it, but Liverpool earned all three points at Upton Park to top the Premier League table.

Liverpool are still at the mercy of Manchester City's opponents in the Premier League, but they're top of the table temporarily after Sunday's win. While Brendan Rodgers' side were hardly at their best, they managed to win two penalties en route to a 2-1 victory.

Unsurprisingly, West Ham set up to defend and counter, though they didn't actually do a great job of keeping track of Luis Suarez. Somehow, he didn't score in the first half, despite the decent amount of space that West Ham gifted to him. However, that doesn't mean that West Ham contained him. Suarez hit the bar on one occasion, in the 20th minute, then went on to win a penalty.

In the 43rd minute, Suarez flicked the ball up in the air at James Tomkins, who had his hand raised. The ball hit his arm and the referee had no choice but to give a penalty, which Steven Gerrard converted. Liverpool probably thought they were headed into the break with the lead at that point, but the Hammers struck back in controversial fashion.

Simon Mignolet appeared to claim the ball on a corner kick in first half stoppage time, but Andy Carroll knocked the ball free by swatting at Mignolet's arms. The referee didn't spot the infraction and the ball fell to Guy Demel, who scored his first Premier League goal in a West Ham shirt.

Liverpool were in control in the second half, but it took them a while to find the eventual winning goal. When they did, it was on another penalty, and this one perhaps a bit soft. Adrian went in aggressively on a low challenge with John Flanagan and certainly got a lot of the ball, but in the estimation of the referee, he also clipped Flanagan's feet, and the Reds were granted a penalty. Once again, Gerrard stepped up and buried.

West Ham weren't exactly adept at chasing the game -- especially since Lucas Leiva had replaced Philippe Coutinho for Liverpool at halftime -- and the visitors held on for three points in rather comfortable fashion.

West Ham: Adrian, Armero, Reid, Tomkins, Demel, Noble, Diame, Nolan (Nocerino 68'), Downing, Carroll, Taylor (Jarvis 78')

Goals: Demel (45')

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Sahko, Skrtel, Flanagan, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho (Lucas 46'), Sterling, Sturridge, Suarez

Goals: Gerrard (penalty 44', penalty 71')

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