Michail Antonio has revealed how West Ham United prepared for Liverpool and why they can replicate it against the best teams in the league.
West Ham stifled Liverpool on Monday night, holding the Premier League table toppers to a 1-1 draw after exposing their opponents on set pieces and on the counter-attack.
Michail Antonio scored the equaliser just six minutes after Sadio Mané’s first-half opener, finding himself in acres of space after a well worked free-kick routine.
The winger was able to shake off his marker Naby Keita thanks to a clever block from Mark Noble, allowing him plenty of time to find the back of the net and earn the Hammers a much-needed result.
Antonio revealed the set-piece scheme was practised on during the week to exploit Liverpool’s penchant for defending high up the pitch.
“We worked on the free-kick in training,” Antonio told whufc.com.
“We saw the space they leave behind them because they keep a high line. So we worked on that this week and it managed to work out for us.
“We know that they like to play through the middle and that when they cross they want to cross it along the ground.
“What we wanted to do was show them wide and counter attack on them.”
Antonio added that the performance shows they can compete with any side in the league, including those above them in the table.
“It’s an important point, it shows we can compete against the top six teams and now we need to do it against the teams around us.
“We need to not be complacent, keep pushing forward and be consistent. Obviously when you play the top six teams you know you need to be on top form otherwise you’ll be torn apart. So we need to have the same mentality when you play the teams around you.”