Randolph stars as Hammers hold Liverpool in FA Cup
Matt Haynes | January 30, 2016
Liverpool 0-0 West Ham United
- West Ham fail to capitalise on opening opportunities
- James Collins taken off for visitors after clashing heads
- Randolph outstanding in goal for Hammers
Hammers dominate opening period
West Ham came to Liverpool clearly confident that they could get a result in this FA Cup fourth round tie, having beaten the Reds twice already this season in the Premier League.
While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp retained faith in his youth, opposite number Slaven Bilic also made changes to his starting XI.
It was, however, the visitors who started the strongest, with West Ham creating a flurry of chances in the opening 20 minutes with Enner Valencia twice going close, following crosses into the box.
Meanwhile, Dimitri Payet almost caught out goalkeeper Simon Mignolet at the near post with a cheeky, low free-kick which the Belgian only just covered.
Minutes later Christian Benteke had a great chance from a corner, with his header cleared off the line. The half, though, was marred by a James Collins head injury after the centre back clashed heads with Joe Allen, with the former having to end his involvement in the match.
Not long after, Cameron Brannagan stung the gloves of Darron Randolph from long range, with both managers getting more and more animated on the touchline.
The last action of the half was a Pedro Obiang volley which crept narrowly wide of Mignolet’s post, with referee Martin Atkinson bringing the opening 45 minutes to a close.
Remarkable Randolph in second half heroics
Liverpool, 14/1 with Coral to win the FA Cup, upped the pressure in the following period, though not before Payet caused trouble from a testing set piece which bounced around the Reds area.
As such Randolph exceeded expectations between the sticks, pulling off a triple save to deny Benteke twice and Allen in quick succession, with the goalkeeper springing back up in between saves.
It was clear that Liverpool didn’t want another replay, though the Hammers stood firm and could have snatched it in injury time, with Antonio hitting the post from a header, with the linesman failing to notice that the cross had gone out and come back in again. On balance, it was probably a fair result and the Hammers can be confident of nicking the replay.