Maxi Rodriguez put Liverpool three goals up against West Ham in the 38th minute
By Chris Whyatt
Liverpool's first-half barrage secured an easy win at Anfield over a West Ham side which looked worryingly weak.
Former Hammer Glen Johnson cracked a low shot past over-worked Robert Green to give the Reds an 18th-minute lead.
Dirk Kuyt then coolly slotted home a penalty after Fernando Torres had pressured Danny Gabbidon into handling.
Maxi Rodriguez nodded in a simple third before half time, while bottom-of-the-table West Ham created nothing in a largely stale second period.
Now with just one win in 14 Premier League matches this season, Avram Grant's Hammers were desperate for something positive from their trip to the north-west - a performance if not a tangible result - to convince supporters that their team is not destined for relegation.
But, on a ground where they have not won since 1963, the Irons put in a poor show - one which could increase pressure on Grant just days after his board backed him to steer them clear of trouble.
The visitors - who have not won a league match on the road since the opening day of last season - were almost completely compliant, offering little resistance to a club equally in need of some cheer.
And Roy Hodgson's determined team got it, despite the absence of injured captain Steven Gerrard, as they played with intent and energy to claim a fifth win in seven matches.
Impressive French youngster David Ngog forced a good early stop from Green after jinking his way into space before Raul Meireles, who appears to be winning over the Kop faithful, just failed to release Torres.
Grant blames player absence
In the 10th minute, the Spaniard got his first chance after Ngog had danced across a line of dallying defenders.
But the World Cup winner smashed a low shot just wide of the post as the hosts set about dominating possession with almost embarrassing ease.
Radoslav Kovac did make a superb block with Torres ready to pounce again, before Meireles's stinging shot was tipped over by Green.
But the barriers inevitably burst, England right-back Johnson making the breakthrough.
Competing for the ball under more pressure from his team-mates than the opposition, he managed to chest a Meireles corner into space before zipping a low drive firmly past Green with consummate technique.
Johnson then did his defensive duties with a clearing header from a Kovac cross with Obinna lurking, but Liverpool continued to flood forward.
Torres - full of inventive running but still not yet hitting peak form - escaped easily down the wings time after time, but failed to find well-positioned team-mates in the box.
And - when Johnson chipped a cross to the back post - the former Atletico Madrid forward could only scuff a volley into the ground.
But Torres won Liverpool's 27th-minute penalty, chipping the ball over Matthew Upson's foot onto Gabbidon's hand to leave the linesman flagging furiously for a spot kick.
Dutchman Kuyt finished down the middle as Green dived too early.
Full of frustration, West Ham's travelling support even began chanting the name of former player Paulo Di Canio as Lars Jacobson frantically cleared off the line following a desperate scramble in the box.
A decent chance did fall to Carlton Cole soon after, but the occasional England striker could not convert Luis Boa Morte's cross despite climbing high above the hosts captain Jamie Carragher to make a clean connection.
Yet that was a rare opening for a side seeming to lack any inspiration, and Liverpool added a crushing third soon after.
From a narrow angle, rampant Torres forced a smart save from the feet of Green but former Hammer Paul Konchesky steered a cross straight back into the box and Maxi angled a simple header across the visiting goalkeeper.
Grant did make a change at the break, bringing Victor Obinna off for Pablo Barrera, and changed his formation from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2.
But tactics seemed to have little relevance for the ambition-free Hammers as they failed to make any impression on the second 45 minutes, bar keeping a clean sheet and keeping the score respectable.
That tiny chink of consolation was threatened in the 67th minute, when Maxi burst forward into the box and almost lifted an inadvertent chip into the top corner of Green's goal from the left.
We are not a one-man team - Hodgson
But the ball drifted just past the post before going out.
Green then made a stunning double stop when, firstly, he pushed a powerful 20-yard Torres shot onto the bar before tipping Christian Poulsen's equally impressive effort around the post.
The rest of the action resembled a testimonial match as Liverpool closed out a win which will put each club in contrasting moods.
90:00+2:19 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+0:42 The ball is delivered by Pablo Barrera, Close range header by Frederic Piquionne goes wide of the left-hand post.
88:33 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Noble by Jonjo Shelvey. A cross is delivered by Mark Noble, Frederic Piquionne
has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.
85:59 Frederic Piquionne challenges Christian Poulsen unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jose Reina.
85:21 Centre by Ryan Babel, Fabio Aurelio produces a header from inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.
83:46 Substitution Ryan Babel on for Fernando Torres.
82:32 Substitution Jonjo Shelvey joins the action as a substitute, replacing Raul Meireles.
82:20 Effort on goal by Fabio Aurelio from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
81:56 The ball is sent over by James Tomkins, clearance by Glen Johnson.
79:48 Corner taken by Fabio Aurelio from the left by-line, clearance made by Luis Boa Morte.
78:45 Rodriguez Maxi challenges Mark Noble unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Noble restarts play with the free kick.
77:17 Pablo Barrera produces a cross, Jamie Carragher manages to make a clearance.
75:38 Substitution James Tomkins comes on in place of Herita Ilunga.
74:28 The official flags Frederic Piquionne offside. Raul Meireles restarts play with the free kick.
73:36 The official flags Glen Johnson offside. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
72:47 Substitution David Ngog leaves the field to be replaced by Fabio Aurelio.
72:18 Corner taken by Rodriguez Maxi played to the near post, clearance made by Frederic Piquionne.
72:05 Booking Booking for Mark Noble for unsporting behaviour.
71:22 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. Christian Poulsen takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save.
69:17 Herita Ilunga gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dirk Kuyt. Direct free kick taken by Raul Meireles.
68:20 Substitution Carlton Cole goes off and Benni McCarthy comes on.
67:23 Rodriguez Maxi produces a cross.
66:46 Mark Noble delivers the ball, save by Jose Reina.
66:03 The ball is delivered by Frederic Piquionne, save made by Jose Reina. Corner taken by Pablo Barrera from the right by-line
to the near post, clearance made by David Ngog.
64:21 Corner from left by-line taken by Raul Meireles.
63:43 Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the left by-line, Radoslav Kovac manages to make a clearance.
63:01 The ball is crossed by Carlton Cole.
62:24 Shot from just outside the area by Fernando Torres misses to the left of the target.
59:39 Unfair challenge on Glen Johnson by Luis Boa Morte results in a free kick. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
57:04 David Ngog fouled by Daniel Gabbidon, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Rodriguez Maxi.
56:23 Frederic Piquionne produces a cross, save made by Jose Reina.
51:37 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Blocked by Daniel Gabbidon.
51:01 Christian Poulsen challenges Luis Boa Morte unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
50:17 Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line played to the near post, Pablo Barrera manages to make a clearance.
49:06 Mark Noble has an effort at goal from long range that goes wide left.
48:25 A cross is delivered by Glen Johnson.
47:45 Rodriguez Maxi fouled by Lars Jacobsen, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Konchesky takes the direct free kick.
46:00 Outswinging corner taken by Raul Meireles from the right by-line, Glen Johnson has a headed effort at goal from deep inside
the area missing to the right of the goal.
45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
45:01 Substitution Victor Obinna leaves the field to be replaced by Pablo Barrera.
45:00+1:28 The half-time whistle blows.
45:00+0:46 Victor Obinna produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
45:00+0:07 Outswinging corner taken by Mark Noble from the right by-line played to the near post, save by Jose Reina.
44:23 Free kick awarded for a foul by Rodriguez Maxi on Victor Obinna. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Mark Noble from
right channel, clearance made by Dirk Kuyt.
43:33 Raul Meireles has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide left of the target.
42:49 Mark Noble concedes a free kick for a foul on Christian Poulsen. Glen Johnson restarts play with the free kick.
39:04 Frederic Piquionne fouled by Jamie Carragher, the ref awards a free kick. Mark Noble shoots direct from the free kick.
37:37 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green. Assist by Paul Konchesky.
37:37 GOAL - Rodriguez Maxi:Liverpool 3 - 0 West Ham Rodriguez Maxi grabs a headed goal from inside the box. Liverpool 3-0 West Ham.
36:13 Dirk Kuyt produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
36:06 Paul Konchesky produces a cross, clearance by Daniel Gabbidon.
35:35 Luis Boa Morte sends in a cross, Carlton Cole takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.
33:12 Radoslav Kovac challenges Raul Meireles unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Raul Meireles
from left wing, save by Robert Green. Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Matthew Upson manages to make a clearance.
31:59 The ball is sent over by Lars Jacobsen.
30:23 The assistant referee flags for offside against David Ngog. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
29:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Ngog by Luis Boa Morte. Glen Johnson takes the free kick.
28:30 Corner taken by Raul Meireles from the left by-line to the near post, clearance made by Frederic Piquionne.
26:46 Daniel Gabbidon is penalised for a handball. Assist on the goal came from Fernando Torres.
26:46 GOAL - Dirk Kuyt:Liverpool 2 - 0 West Ham Dirk Kuyt scores a penalty. Liverpool 2-0 West Ham.
23:12 The referee gives a free kick against Frederic Piquionne for handball. Jose Reina takes the free kick.
22:41 Christian Poulsen challenges Victor Obinna unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Noble.
22:35 Glen Johnson produces a cross, clearance made by Daniel Gabbidon.
22:13 Fernando Torres crosses the ball, Lars Jacobsen manages to make a clearance.
19:03 Lars Jacobsen crosses the ball, Glen Johnson manages to make a clearance.
17:09 Short corner worked by Raul Meireles. Raul Meireles takes a shot. Save by Robert Green. Outswinging corner taken right-footed
by Raul Meireles, Raul Meireles provided the assist for the goal.
17:09 GOAL - Glen Johnson:Liverpool 1 - 0 West Ham Glen Johnson fires in a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Liverpool 1-0 West Ham.
16:14 Raul Meireles delivers the ball, Lars Jacobsen makes a clearance.
14:33 Fernando Torres takes a shot. Radoslav Kovac gets a block in. Foul by Dirk Kuyt on Robert Green, free kick awarded. Robert
Green takes the free kick.
11:37 Handball by Carlton Cole. Jamie Carragher takes the direct free kick.
11:01 The ball is crossed by Fernando Torres, save by Robert Green.
9:59 Fernando Torres produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.
6:21 David Ngog gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Radoslav Kovac. Direct free kick taken by Mark Noble.
4:02 Rodriguez Maxi has an effort at goal from outside the box which misses left.
2:41 David Ngog takes a shot. Robert Green makes a save.
1:50 Rodriguez Maxi takes a shot. Comfortable save by Robert Green.
0:54 The ball is crossed by Glen Johnson, Lars Jacobsen manages to make a clearance. Raul Meireles takes the inswinging corner,
clearance by Radoslav Kovac.
0:00 The match has kicked off.
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