LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Striker Luis Suarez scored his fifth goal in two games as Liverpool beat West Ham 4-1 Saturday to keep the pressure on Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
The Uruguay international's shot produced Guy Demel's own-goal just before the interval at Anfield, he won the free kick from which Mamadou Sakho scored his first goal for the club and then added a late goal to calm the nerves after Martin Skrtel had put the ball past his own goalkeeper.
Suarez came close to claiming the fifth goal but the ball deflected off Joey O'Brien for the third own-goal of the match.
Liverpool moved second in the league, ahead of Chelsea on goal difference.
Suarez could have had back-to-back hat tricks after getting four in midweek against Norwich. He has scored 26 goals in his last 25 league matches and 11th in the last four games at Anfield, providing further proof that he is central to the Reds' bid to regain Champions League status.
The only downside to the day was the sight of Steven Gerrard limping off injured midway through the second half, which prompted a period of uncertainty until Suarez's late intervention.
In the first half, even with playmaker Philippe Coutinho pulling the strings, West Ham appeared to have worked out a way to stifle Liverpool's primary threat.
The visitors packed central areas with plenty of bodies and if nothing else that restricted the space in which Suarez had to move.
But even that tactic cannot cut Suarez entirely out of the game.
Having seen a left-footed chip drift wide, the 26-year-old Suarez was a lively presence in and around the penalty area and had a shot from Gerrard's pass deflected wide before getting in the way of Jordan Henderson's effort after he cut in from the left.