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Liverpool thrash lackluster West Ham

French striker David Ngog scores Liverpool's second goal in their 3-0 win over West Ham at Anfield.
French striker David Ngog scores Liverpool's second goal in their 3-0 win over West Ham at Anfield.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liverpool beat West Ham 3-0 in their Premier League clash at Anfield
  • Yossi Benayoun, David Ngog and a Robert Green own goal seal a comfortable win
  • Liverpool move within five points of Tottenham who sit in the last Champions League slot
  • Mallorca go fourth in Spain's La Liga after a 2-0 win over Osasuna

(CNN) -- Liverpool kept their faint hopes of a Champions League place alive with a comfortable 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened West Ham at Anfield.

The win moved coach Rafael Benitez's side to within five points of fourth-placed Tottenham in the English Premier League table, though they have played a game more.

The Hammers remain deep in relegation trouble -- they sit three points off the drop zone -- but the side below them, Hull City, have a game in hand.

Liverpool coped well without their star striker, Fernando Torres, who has been ruled out for six weeks after a knee operation.

It took just 19 minutes for Liverpool to break the deadlock as former West Ham player Yossi Benayoun chested home a free kick from Steven Gerrard.

It was 2-0 ten minutes later as French striker David Ngog fired home from Maxi Rodriguez's cross.

Proof that West Ham's luck was out came in the 59th minute when Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos's effort came back off the post and hit goalkeeper Robert Green on the leg before bouncing over the line.

When we scored the first goal it was easier. The third goal was crucial to kill the game off.
--Rafael Benitez, Liverpool manager
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The action was watched by a crowd of 37,697 -- the first time this season a Premier League game at Anfield has attracted less than 40,000 fans.

After the game Benitez told ESPN television: "When we scored the the first goal it was easier. The third goal was crucial to kill the game off."

Liverpool's next game is the Europa League semifinal tie with Atletico Madrid on Thursday but due to the ongoing disruption to flights caused by an ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland, they will set off by road tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Newcastle United will return to the English Premier League as champions after their 2-0 win at Plymouth secured the Championship title.

Goals from Andy Carroll and Wayne Routledge sealed a comfortable win, which also saw Plymouth relegated to the third tier of English football.

In Spain, Mallorca moved into fourth spot in La Liga after beating Osasuna 2-0.

Ruben Gonzalez and Alhassane Keita scored the goals to move Mallorca above Sevilla and take them them within four points of third-placed Valencia, who were beaten 2-0 by Real Madrid on Sunday.