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Liverpool return for Joel Matip increases pressure on Joe Gomez to perform

(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

English Premier League

Liverpool return for Joel Matip increases pressure on Joe Gomez to perform

The Cameroon international played for the first time since October in the Premier League during Monday’s win.

Liverpool made hard work of beating West Ham at Anfield on Monday night but the 3-2 victory did maintain their 22-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

It was a rare off night for Liverpool’s defensive unit as West Ham shocked Anfield into silence by taking the lead in the second half.

One man who did put in a rare mediocre performance was centre-back, Joe Gomez. The youngster was making a 12th consecutive appearance alongside Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League.

(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

He lost his man for Issa Diop’s goal and was then caught napping as Pablo Fornals fired the Hammers in front during the second half.

Joel Matip was introduced as a late substitute and after losing his place through injury earlier in the season, he will surely be chomping at the bit to get his shirt back.

It was the first league appearance for the £100,000-a-week defender since a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in October.

 

The Cameroonian was a real unsung hero as Liverpool romped to Champions League glory last season and will be disappointed not to have been restored to Jurgen Klopp’s side following his return to fitness.

With Matip firmly on his heels, Gomez must now up his game again. The England performer has been brilliant during his prolonged run in the side but he can’t afford many more performances of Monday’s nature.

(Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

At 28, the man with 27 Cameroon caps will see this as the stage of his career where he is in his prime. As a result, he will be desperate for his place back and will hope to capitalise if Gomez does drop off the pace.

Headache

With Liverpool still fighting for the treble, there will be plenty of opportunities for Matip to play some games.

After his heroics last season, however, he will want to get back in the side on a consistent basis and Gomez must forget his West Ham showing and get back to the form that won him a place in the side in the first place.

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