David Moyes denies targeting Liverpool 'weakness' in West Ham draw

West Ham United manager David Moyes has refuted claims that his team specifically targeted Liverpool's aerial vulnerabilities during their 2-2 draw at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Despite goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio both coming from headers, Moyes insisted that exploiting Liverpool's defensive frailties in the air was not their primary strategy.

"No, I think there was a lot taken about the [Merseyside] derby because they lost a couple of goals from set pieces, but Everton are so good at them," the Scotsman said in his post-match press conference.

"They've got those big players, so you can expect them to do that, whether it be against Liverpool or anyone else."

However, Moyes dismissed any suggestion of a deliberate tactic to exploit Liverpool's aerial challenges.

"We didn't necessarily make a plan to score from set pieces. We hoped we would, but it wasn't our biggest job today."

In fact, the Irons' set-piece specialist, James Ward-Prowse, didn't even make it onto the field until the 74th minute.

Are Liverpool weak in the air?

In the Reds' 2-0 defeat to Everton in the Merseyside derby, both Jarrad Branthwaite's and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's goals came from set pieces.

Therefore, on Saturday, Bowen's header from a corner just before halftime and Antonio's equaliser in the 77th minute reignited discussions about Liverpool's susceptibility to aerial threats.

However, Moyes was quick to acknowledge Virgil van Dijk's strength in aerial duels, describing him as "probably the biggest and strongest there is in the league just about as far as defending set pieces".

Moyes went on to point out his own side's difficulties in defending set pieces in past encounters between the two sides.

"The last couple of games, we've conceded from set pieces with them because of Van Dijk's strength and power," he said.

In fact, Liverpool's second goal on Saturday came as a result of a set piece after Cody Gakpo's thrice-deflected strike ended up in the back of the net to make it 2-1.

The draw left West Ham in eighth place in the Premier League standings, while Liverpool's aspirations of clinching the title suffered yet another setback, leaving them requiring a collapse of epic proportions from both Arsenal and Manchester City if they are to stand any chance.

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