Five things learned about Liverpool in their FA Cup defeat to West Ham

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Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup fourth round in extra time against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.

Liverpool suffered heartbreak at the hands of West Ham United in the FA Cup last night as a Angelo Ogbonna header put the Hammers into round five where they will face Blackburn Rovers.

The Reds will feel they could have progressed to the next round as Philippe Coutinho cancelled out Michail Antonio's opener while several chances came their way but went begging. 

As a result, the Reds have a weekend off this month during a period where they will prepare for the resumption of their Europa League campaign and the League Cup final after they've faced Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday. 

Many will be downhearted by the result, but there were some positives from the Liverpool performance. Here are five things we may have learned: 

Striking options make Reds more of a threat, and can spook their opponents

A front three of Divock Origi, Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge at the end and it was noticeable just how much the West Ham defence were put on the back foot when the Reds were in possession. You can say what you like about the form out of any individual, but the Reds carried a significant amount of purpose and goal threat as a result. With that, of course, brings the challenge that sides will probably want to sit in even more against them going forward, but they at least have options to open sides up. 

Liverpool were more aggressive, and need to stay like that

Liverpool just simply haven't been aggressive enough this season but last night they were aggressive. They were dwarfed in terms of physical presence against West Ham but took no backward steps, when at times they have done this season and conceded goals off the back of it. Both Lucas Leiva and Tiago Ilori played on the front foot and stopped a significant threat at times. 

Potential Sturridge and Benteke partnership

That chance in extra time summed up Benteke's season really. He has been lacking a strike partner, as soon as he gets a strike partner he has a top class chance, but the Belgian is so devoid of confidence that he can't put the chance away - though it was a decent bit of goalkeeping as well.

A lot of focus has been on Benteke and many are up for getting rid of him it seems. He did everything but score but the light that he can revive his career is the return of his teammates. Someone with pace and intelligence alongside him might just see him find some kind of form.

Familiar failings let the Reds down regardless of personnel

Let's look at the two goals. A cross and a set-piece have been familiar ways that Liverpool have conceded goals this season, it's mostly down to lack of height which needs to be addressed. I do say 'failings', but they were both very well executed by the home side and it may well have been difficult for any side to deal with the way the two goals came about.

Liverpool have little pockets of class, now to turn it into a classy outfit

Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi all returning to the side are all massive plus points, and can all odd the little bits of class that can help a side, now Jurgen Klopp needs to find a way to get them all on the field at the same time alongside other members of the Liverpool side, especially Roberto Firmino - rested for last night's game - who seems to be in a decent vein of form.

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