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Friday, November 5, 1999 Published at 13:53 GMT

Camara is toast of Anfield

Liverpool's Rigobert Song battles past West Ham youngster Joe Cole

Liverpool 1-0 West Ham

Titi Camara made light of the absence of Liverpool's first-choice strikeforce by wrapping up an Anfield victory over West Ham.

The BBC's Ron Jones: "Liverpool deserved their win but it was a match of variable quality"
With Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen both out injured, the 2.5m Guinean bagged his fourth goal of the season to send the Hammers crashing.

Camara made his mark two minutes before the break, firing beyond Shaka Hislop from inside the six-yard box after Rio Ferdinand had failed to deal with Rigobert Song's low cross.

On an impressive night for the deputy frontman, he had another strike disallowed for a foul on Ferdinand during the second half.

Camara's equaliser earned the Reds a point at Southampton on Saturday and with Fowler and Owen still sidelined, he could be set for an extended run in the side.

The Anfield faithful have certainly warmed to him and he was deservedly given a standing ovation when he was replaced with 11 minutes to go.

Hammers cause home hiccups

But Liverpool, whose home form has been patchy all season, had some nervy moments, particularly in the second half as the visitors at last began to put them under pressure.

[ image: Paulo Wanchope finds no way past Stephane Henchoz and Sami Hyypia]
Paulo Wanchope finds no way past Stephane Henchoz and Sami Hyypia
Goal creator Song produced the goods at the other end when he hacked Frank Lampard's 55th-minute shot off the line after Sander Westerveld had only half-blocked the England midfielder's effort.

But West Ham badly missed the injured Paolo Di Canio, as the strikeforce of Paulo Wanchope and Paul Kitson struggled to get past central defenders Stephane Henchoz and Sami Hyypia.

The Hammers created precious few chances even when they were behind and Hislop was the busier keeper until the final whistle.

He brilliantly pushed Patrik Berger's effort wide four minutes from time, while Kitson cleared Vegard Heggem's goalbound header with the keeper stranded.

Liverpool's win, only their second in the League since August 28, takes them to ninth in the Premiership.

Depleted defence

West Ham, without five senior defenders, were under pressure from the start, as Hislop beat away a fierce David Thompson drive from 12 yards after Song's pass had opened up the visitors.

Camara then came close with a volley and Jamie Redknapp's free-kick curled just wide.

Chances were at a premium for the visitors, but they so nearly took the lead with their first genuine effort after 32 minutes. Wanchope had pulled the ball back from the byline and Trevor Sinclair unleashed a fizzing drive which only just went past Westerveld's far post.

Camara's goal relieved some of the tension around Anfield - but West Ham relaunched an assault on the home goal after the break.

Neil Ruddock headed wide from a corner and Sinclair could not quite get enough on Marc Keller's free-kick.


Liverpool: Westerveld, Song, Henchoz, Hyypia, Matteo, Carragher, Redknapp, Berger, Thompson, Camara, Meijer. Subs: Smicer, Heggem, Murphy, Nielsen, Gerrard.

West Ham: Hislop, Potts, Ruddock, Keller, Ferdinand, Sinclair, Kitson, Lomas, Lampard, Wanchope, Cole. Subs: Foe, Moncur, Forrest, Margas, Newton.

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley)

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