Another day, a new center-back pairing.
But none who was completely alien to Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp.
While a sixth starting pair in 12 games this season highlighted the defensive problems the Reds boss has to grapple with, Nat Phillips and Joe Gomez had been partners in the only previous game in the FA Cup win against Everton in January.
It was a big moment for Phillips, making his Premier League debut just weeks after Klopp himself admitted the player was leaving the club.
Notably, the 23-year-old was the senior center-back in terms of age, two months older than Gomez but clearly lagging behind in terms of experience at the elite level.
All nerves were eased by a towering early header, and Phillips stuck to the basics throughout. His dominant air performance was embodied by an emphatic release from a Hammers corner in stoppage time.
Indeed, the mistake for West Ham’s opener came from Gomez, who blurred his hilt with a misdirected header that allowed Pablo Fornals to score with one shot. Alisson Becker might have done more to stay out.
To be fair, Gomez responded well to the mistake, an important trait for any center-back.
The smart money stays with Liverpool, who are moving for a central defender in January. However, Klopp will be satisfied that trust in his current options will continue to be rewarded.
Jones fills Thiago boots
When asked before the game what to expect from Curtis Jones, Jürgen Klopp replied in a branded way.
“Defend like a soldier, attack like a scouser,” said the Reds boss after giving Jones just a second start in the Premier League.
Klopp had to turn to the 19-year-old after Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita failed to prove their fitness.
With West Ham boss David Moyes, who mapped a 5-4-1 rearguard, the pass from Thiago and the cut and thrust from Keita were bought for precisely such games.
Instead, the responsibility lay primarily with Jones.
Unable to shirk responsibility, the youngster regularly looked for the ball and was happy to link the game in the first half without really testing the organization of the visitors.
After the break, and no doubt after a word from the manager in his ear, Jones operated on significantly higher up and showed some encouraging flashes.
What didn’t help was that Roberto Firmino was a little below average before him and even Sadio Mane needed some time to hit some groove.
When Jones was replaced within 20 minutes, the team together needed the impetus from Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota.
It wasn’t a reflection of another step forward in Jones’ young Liverpool career.
The Reds maintain the rulership
There is no place like home for Liverpool. Even if this has nothing to do with the Anfield we all know for those who are still absent.
A hard-won triumph meant the Reds have now hit their club record of 63 games, unbeaten at home in the league.
It’s fascinating how long this sequence is lengthened in the current environment.
Find out more about the Reds 2-1 win over West Ham on our Blood Red post-game podcast HERE
It doesn’t matter that the Reds’ squad, like so many others, is overwhelmed by the relentless game plan for their increasingly tired players.
James Milner noted mid-week that the lack of “12. Mannes “- the trailer – has made life difficult for Liverpool.
And while the same is true of any club, few would argue that Anfield is a place where it can be felt more strongly than most other arenas.
Liverpool have to find their motivation from within and keep focus without the audible support from fans confined to their own four walls.
There were other milestones: The once again impressive Trent Alexander-Arnold played his 100th league game for Liverpool, while Mane played the 200th game in the Premier League.
However, there was only one statistic that mattered. The scoreline.
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