Carroll heads West Ham to 2-0 win over former club Liverpool
LONDON (AP) West Ham striker Andy Carroll scored against his former club as the Hammers defeated Liverpool 2-0 Saturday in their first Premier League double over the Merseysiders since the 1963-64 season.
Carroll, still Liverpool's most expensive signing, led the line impressively for West Ham in his 150th Premier League match, while Christian Benteke was mostly anonymous up front for the visitors.
Winger Michail Antonio scored for the second straight match to put West Ham ahead in the 10th minute at Upton Park, heading in at close range from Enner Valencia's swooping cross.
Mark Noble launched an inviting ball for Carroll to powerfully nod in at the back post in the 55th, doubling the lead for West Ham, which beat Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield. It was the second goal in two games for Carroll, who joined Liverpool in 2011 from Newcastle for 35 million pounds (then $56 million) and went on loan to West Ham in 2012 before permanently joining the London club in 2013.
''The whole team was great, and Andy Carroll was brilliant not just with the goal, but with his whole performance, defending, holding the ball up,'' said West Ham manager Slaven Bilic.
Liverpool tried to force its way back into the match, with Emre Can clipping the bar just before halftime.
Despite losing Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini to injury in the first half, the home crowd was buoyed by the 64th-minute return of French star Dimitri Payet for the first time since an ankle injury in November.
Liverpool pressed hard toward the end, with Noble clearing off the line from a Lucas header and Benteke firing over. But Liverpool was unable to pierce the West Ham defense as James Collins led the backline with distinction.
''It was not enough, because in decisive moments we were not there 100 percent,'' said Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp.
With its eye on a European spot, West Ham has 32 points and is now unbeaten in 7 matches.
Liverpool stays on 30 points.