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The BBC's Ian Brown
"Liverpool's prospects were hampered by injury"
 real 28k

Harry Redknap, West Ham manager
"I think both sides could have played better..but a great result"
 real 28k

Saturday, 27 November, 1999, 17:03 GMT
Sinclair ends Reds' run
Liverpool's Stephen Gerrard slides in to deny Paolo Di Canio Liverpool's Stephen Gerrard slides in to deny Paolo Di Canio

West Ham 1-0 Liverpool

Liverpool's seven-match unbeaten run in the Premiership came grinding to a halt at Upton Park, as Trevor Sinclair's goal gave West Ham victory.

Match facts
43 Michael Owen is booked for diving in the area
44 Trevor Sinclair puts West Ham ahead
52 Owen's goalbound strike is ruled out
The in-form visitors were made to pay for their lack of firepower as the Hammers made the most of what few chances were on offer in a largely lacklustre contest.

The game only really came to life in the dying minutes of either half.

And it was in the last minute of the first half that Sinclair made his mark, pouncing from close range after Liverpool keeper Sander Westerveld had failed to hold a shot.

Liverpool were unhappy to be trailing at half-time, though, as just seconds before that Michael Owen had been denied what they believed was a clear penalty.

Berger roasted

Liverpool suffered an early blow when Patrick Berger was forced out of the game after suffering an ankle injury in a challenge from Sinclair.

Goalscorer Trevor Sinclair holds off Patrick Berger Goalscorer Trevor Sinclair holds off Patrick Berger
But the Czech's departure did not appear to unsettle Liverpool and, when Shaka Hislop raced out of area, Owen had a chance to put the visitors ahead - but he failed to lift his effort high enough and the keeper recovered to save.

West Ham offered little in the way of an attacking threat and in one of their few forays forward, Javier Margas headed straight at Westerveld.

But a dull match suddenly burst into life in the last minute of the first half.

Owen sprinted into the opposition area and pushed the ball past Neil Ruddock, who slid into challenge him and appeared to bring the young striker down.

Liverpool were convinced they had earned a penalty - but to the disgust of their players and fans, the referee instead booked Owen for diving.

The decision was to prove even more significant just seconds later.

In West Ham's very next attack, Steve Lomas reached the by-line on the left flank and put a dangerous cross into the area.

When Paolo Di Canio side-footed a first-time shot towards the bottom corner, Westerveld dived low to his left to save - but he could only divert the ball into the path of Sinclair, who netted from close range to put West Ham in front.

Owen denied

Liverpool thought they had equalised right at the start of the second half, as Owen headed in David Thompson's cross from the left - but the linesman ruled that the ball had already crossed for a goalkick.

David Thompson is challenged by West Ham's Joe Cole David Thompson is challenged by West Ham's Joe Cole
With West Ham hanging onto their lead, Thompson then tried his luck from 20 yards out, but his shot drifted just wide.

Liverpool's depleted resources were further stretched when Owen came off with 15 minutes to go.

The loss of the England man, who was replaced by Steve Staunton, left Liverpool with no forwards, following Berger's withdrawal and long-term injuries to Robbie Fowler and Titi Camara.

West Ham should have made victory academic 10 minutes from time.

Joe Cole sent over a teasing cross from the right and Di Canio glanced an angled header against the post. Paulo Wanchope was still well placed to score - but, under pressure from Liverpool's defenders, he sent his follow-up over the bar.

Marc Keller then hit the side-netting after beating the Liverpool off-side trap.

Despite their lack of a genuine striker, Liverpool still had chances to grab a late equaliser but Thompson's hooked shot was well held by Hislop.

A piece of magic from Di Canio almost earned West Ham an injury time second, but Cole blazed over after the Italian's fleet-footed run had carved open the Liverpool defence.

It mattered not, as West Ham hung on to claim three valuable points.

Teams:

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

Liverpool: Westerveld, Song, Hyypia, Matteo, Henchoz, Heggem, Hamann, Gerrard, Berger, Murphy, Owen. Subs: Friedel, Staunton, Meijer, Carragher, Thompson.

Referee: G Barber (Tring, Herts)
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See also:
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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.