West Ham 2-2 Liverpool: Michail Antonio equaliser dents Reds' title hopes

Jarrod Bowen scores for West Ham
Bowen has scored 16 Premier League goals this season [Getty Images]

Liverpool's Premier League title hopes seem all but over after Michail Antonio scored to rescue a point for West Ham at London Stadium.

Jarrod Bowen opened the scoring just before the break when he rose highest to meet Mohammed Kudus' cross into the area as Liverpool showed little evidence that their Merseyside derby loss in midweek had done much in the way of spurring them on.

But the visitors were much improved in the second half and Andy Robertson equalised when he scored from Luis Diaz's low pass into the penalty area.

They were then rewarded for their pressure when Cody Gakpo's effort from a corner ricocheted off Angelo Ogbonna, Tomas Soucek and Alphonse Areola before finding the back of the net.

It looked like they were on their way to bouncing back from back-to-back defeats in the league until Antonio's thumping header put the Hammers back on level terms.

Liverpool sit third in the table with three games remaining, two points behind leaders Arsenal, who face Tottenham on Sunday, while Manchester City are second but have two games in hand.

Liverpool's title hopes appear to be all but over, with the Reds relying on both of their title rivals to slip up to get back in the race.

Liverpool's season petering out

With Dutchman Arne Slot poised to replace Jurgen Klopp this summer after Liverpool agreed a £9.4m compensation deal with his current club Feyenoord, Klopp suggested his successor would be helped by the Reds' season "not finishing on a high".

Having won the Carabao Cup in February, the Reds looked on track to fight for a European trophy and stake a strong claim for the Premier League title in Klopp's last season.

But in the space of about three weeks those hopes have almost completely unravelled and this latest result surely denies Klopp the fairytale ending.

Liverpool were not at their best in the first half, despite captain Virgil van Dijk's scathing review of his team-mates' desire following the loss to Everton.

But they emerged from the break more like the Klopp side that fans have come to be familiar with, playing with more intensity and hunger.

After Robertson quickly got his side on level terms, Ryan Gravenberch saw his effort drop agonisingly wide and Trent Alexander-Arnold's long-range effort was well saved by Areola.

A scramble in the West Ham penalty area gave Liverpool the lead, and they could have been out of sight with Diaz and Alexis Mac Allister going close before Vladimir Coufal denied Darwin Nunez a simple tap-in.

But, for all their chances, Liverpool were once again left disappointed as the reign of Klopp risks coming to an end with a whimper.

Mohamed Salah failed to make an impact from the bench after being dropped from the starting line-up and appeared to clash with Klopp on the touchline before coming on in the 79th minute as speculation around the forward's future at the club continues.

West Ham bounce back with deserved point

West Ham have won only one of their past nine home league games and suffered a heavy defeat by Crystal Palace last time out, their second consecutive loss.

But the return of Bowen, who missed last week's match with a back injury, proved crucial, with the winger heading home from the middle of a crowded area before setting up Antonio's equaliser.

His 16 top-flight goals this season will surely have increased his hopes of going to the Euro 2024, with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on in London.

West Ham now sit eighth in the table, with a fourth consecutive season in Europe in their reach.

Despite that success under David Moyes, speculation around the Hammers boss has once again emerged this week, with Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim reportedly in London to discuss replacing the Scot, although the Portuguese said on Saturday the talks were "a mistake".