West Ham were left to rue their famous youth production as three former players helped Liverpool come from behind to win 3-2 at Upton Park.
Liverpool flew out of the blocks with Glen Johnson seemingly on a mission to derail his former club’s hopes.
And after just 10 minutes he had the travelling fans in raptures as he stepped inside and unleashed a venomous strike into the far top corner leaving Jussi Jääskeläinen stranded.
Buoyed by their own comeback against Chelsea last week West Ham did not let their heads drop and wave after wave of attack eventually paid off when Joe Allen gave away a penalty after a handball.
Up stepped the Hammers’ very own Mark Noble and he made no mistake as he squeezed the ball past Pepe Reina’s dive.
Sam Allardyce’s men were in full flow with Matt Jarvis finding space frequently down the left wing and the former Wolves man had a decisive say eight minutes later when he whipped in a teasing ball which Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could only help head home.
However, out of nowhere former Hammers maverick Cole pulled Liverpool back into the game. The 31-year-old has struggled at the Reds but he showed all of the confidence of bygone days as despite a tight angle he brought Liverpool level with a well placed shot after being picked out by Raheem Sterling in the 75th minute.
Minutes later and the Upton Park faithful was stunned into silence after Shelvey stole a march on James Collins to help divert a ball high into the net and give Liverpool a fortuitous lead.