Today’s blast in the past includes a 2-1 victory on the 12th of September 1998, with West Ham United welcoming Liverpool to Upton Park facing 26,029. Robbie Williams was number one with ‘millennium’, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels topped the UK box office and The Royle Family made its TV debut two days later.
The Irons went to the game after throwing away a three-goal lead to lose 4-3 at home to Wimbledon three times previously. Liverpool, with a joint management team of Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier, arrived in east London with an unbeaten record from their first four games of the season. Neil Ruddock was in the West Ham starting eleven, having signed from Liverpool that summer, while Paul Ince returned to his former club and Jamie Redknapp confronted the team managed by his father.
The Hammers took the lead after just four minutes, Frank Lampard’s corner was met by a John Hartson header and the ball ended up on the web via a deflection off Jamie Carragher. The 23-year-old Welsh striker went close again soon after, sending his header over the bar after his own colorful hold-up play had supplied Trevor Sinclair with a chance to cross. Ian Pearce skied an attempt over before Liverpool’s Michael Owen, fresh from his 1998 World Cup exploits, also fired too high.
The hosts doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, Israeli schemer Eyal Berkovic played a one-two with Hartson before sending a low shot beyond Brad Friedel. Neil Ruddock sent a shot before Karl-Heinz Riedle headed home a Jason McAteer cross with two minutes remaining. The Irons held on to end Liverpool’s unbeaten record and defeat them at Upton Park for the second successive season. The action from this game can be seen in my video below.
Harry Redknapp’s West Ham would end the season in fifth place while Liverpool finished in seventh. Ian Wright was the Irons’ top goalscorer in 1998/99 with nine goals from 25 appearances. Manchester United won a Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League Treble.
West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Ian Pearce, Steve Potts, Neil Ruddock, Trevor Sinclair, John Moncur, Frank Lampard Junior, Eyal Berkovic (Tim Breacker), Stan Lazaridis, Ian Wright, John Hartson (Marc Keller).
David Moyes has confirmed that Lukasz Fabianski and Robert Snodgrass are in contention for tonight’s match. West Ham United are though without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson, while Arthur Masuaku is a doubt. West Ham are winless in six Premier League matches against Liverpool, drawing two and losing four since winning 2-0 at Upton Park in January 2016 beneath Super Slaven Bilic. Michail Antonio has scored in four of his five Premier League appearances against Liverpool, netting four goals; the only players to have scored more top-flight goals against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane, with seven and five respectively.
Liverpool are without Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, and Sadio Mane, while Adam Lallana and Xherdan Shaqiri doubts. Mohamed Salah scored in his first four Premier League games in London for the Reds but has since failed to find the net in his past nine matches in the capital.
Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Diop, Balbuena, Ogbonna; Zabaleta, Rice, Noble, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Antonio; Haller.
Potential Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Origi.