Liverpool Survives West Ham's Threat to Its Unbeaten Season

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For about a quarter of an hour, Liverpool's run at becoming Invincible was under threat by an unlikely source.

Relegation-threatened West Ham stunned Liverpool by scoring twice after conceding early at Anfield and was threatening the Premier League's runaway leader on its home turf. That is, until a Mohamed Salah equalizer and Sadio Mane goal turned fortunes back in Liverpool's favor for good. With the 3-2 win, Liverpool moves to within 12 points of clinching its first top-flight title in 30 years and keeps Arsenal's 2003-2004 Invincibles in its crosshairs.

Georginio Wijnaldum started the scoring in the ninth minute, heading home a wicked cross from right back Trent Alexander-Arnold, and it looked like the Reds would waltz to three points against a West Ham side that entered the day in 18th place.

The lead didn't last long, though, with Issa Diop pulling West Ham level in the 12th minute.

It stayed 1-1 until the 54th, when Declan Rice served up a ball for Pablo Fornals in the center of the box. The Spanish midfielder whipped in a first-time finish, sending an unusual feeling through the Kop, with Liverpool forced to chase the game.

Chase it did, as Liverpool repeatedly threatened Lukasz Fabianski's goal with chances from Salah, Mane and Alexander-Arnold all coming close to being the equalizer. 

Salah did eventually get it, with help from Fabianski. The Egyptian star struck a close-range chance right at the goalkeeper, who had it squirt through his hands and go through his legs into the back of the net to make it 2-2 in the 68th minute.

Liverpool then went ahead in the 81st minute. Alexander-Arnold beat Fabianski in a foot race to a deflected shot by the right post, with the right back able to cross to the goal mouth. Mane raced into position to volley home into the vacated net and give Liverpool a 3-2 lead.

Alexander-Arnold and Mane appeared to connect again on a fourth for Liverpool minutes later, but Mane was rightly ruled offside upon review.

That nearly proved costly, as Jarrod Bowen timed a perfect run in behind the Liverpool defense to meet Michail Antonio's through ball, only to have his breakaway chance denied by Alisson.

The Reds lead Man City by 22 points with 11 matches to play and remains on course to go unbeaten for the season, something not done since that famed Arsenal side. Arsene Wenger's bunch went 26-0-12, while Jurgen Klopp's current side won its 26th game on Monday–its 18th straight in the league to tie a record–and has dropped just two points all season.