LIVERPOOL proved they could win without talismanic striker Luis Suarez as they fought from behind to take three points from Upton Park.
West Ham United 2 - 3 Liverpool
Scorers: West Ham - Noble (36), Gerrard (43 og); Liverpool - Johnson (11), Cole (76), Collins (79 og)
Uruguay international Suarez was serving a one-match ban but the Reds struck twice late in the game to seal a win that sees them leapfrog West Ham.
Former Hammers’ defender Glen Johnson opened the scoring for the visitors with a tremendous effort before a Mark Noble penalty and Steven Gerrard own goal turned the game in West Ham’s favour before the break.
It was another West Ham academy graduate, substitute Joe Cole, who pulled the visitors level in the second half, with a James Collins own goal completing the comeback for Liverpool.
The Reds took the lead on 11 minutes. Gerrard played the ball out to Johnson on the touchline and the England full-back cut inside Matt Jarvis with ease before arrowing a strike past the out-stretched hand of Jussi Jaaskelainen. Johnson did not celebrate out of respect for his former club.
West Ham started to get more into the game after 25 minutes and again began testing the Liverpool defence with a number of high balls into the area, with their equaliser duly coming nine minutes before the interval.
A West Ham set-piece was cleared as far as Guy Demel whose shot hit the arm of Joe Allen as the former Swansea man closed him down. Referee Lee Probert deemed the block to be intentional and pointed to the spot, with Noble stepping up to coolly convert the penalty.
Liverpool then switched off after conceding a free-kick which Noble took quickly and found Jarvis in space on the left. The 26-year-old produced yet another fantastic delivery into the box and the ball was sent flying past Pepe Reina off the head of Gerrard.
The second half started with both sides looking to be more creative in possession although neither Reina nor Jaaskelainen was tested before the hour-mark.
Joe Cole, who had been introduced by Liverpool before the game was 30 minutes old, had little impact until he struck a venomous equaliser after being played in by Raheem Sterling and, like Johnson, he refused to celebrate the goal.
The turnaround was completed just 12 minutes from time as Jordan Henderson swung in a low cross that Jonjo Shelvey and Collins competed for, with the balling looping up off the boot of the West Ham defender and over a helpless Jaaskelainen.