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Sunday, 23 January 2011
Wolves 0-3 Liverpool Match Report
With Dalglish still looking for his first win in his second spell in charge of Liverpool this wasn't going to be the easiest of places to get it. Mick McCarthy's Wolves team are a team of battlers and don't make things easy for anybody. Although they find themselves at the wrong end of the table they have had some great results against some of the so called "big teams", beating Liverpool at Anfield at the end of the year and also having a great win away at Chelsea to name but two. Liverpool with a dire away record this season with only one win away from home all season were looking for better fortunes away from home in 2011. But Liverpool not having won at Molineaux since April 1979 knew it would not be easy.
Great to see Kenny trying to keep as settled a side as he can. With only one change from last week with Spearing making way for Poulsen. Once again Johnson on the left with the impressive Kelly keeping his place on the right side of defence.Gerrard serving the last game of his suspension.
With anticipation of a first win for Dalglish there was a great travelling support for the team and they were making themselves heard. The game started in very scrappy fashion with both teams struggling for any kind of possession. But Liverpool did create the first chance of the match with Poulsen having a shot blocked after good work from Johnson and Lucas down the left. Chances were at a premium after this as the game remained scrappy on a difficult surface. Then on 21 minutes a superb Meireles pass over the top of the Wolves defence sent Torres clear but his shot was saved by Hennessey. Liverpool were having the best of the chances now and on 31 minutes Meireles hit a volley just wide of the target, then Maxi had a shot blocked by Hennessey from 8 yards. But then in the 36th minute Liverpool made the breakthrough when Poulsen played a defence splitting pass which Meireles ran onto with the Wolves defenders looking for offside. Meireles unselfishly squared a pass to Torres who passed the ball into the net. It was only what Liverpool deserved, but they had to endure some sustained pressure from Wolves just before half time as Reina made a good stop to preserve the lead.
Liverpool started the second half better than they did last week with Hennessey making a good save from Kuyt early in the half. Then on 50 minutes Liverpool doubled their lead when Agger hit long from a free kick which was headed down by Berra only to be smashed on the volley by Meireles from 25 yards into the top corner of Hennessey's net. It was a spectacular strike. Typical of this Wolves team was their reaction to losing another goal as they pressed Liverpool back and put them under severe pressure. Fletcher hit a stinging drive from the edge of the Liverpool box which Reina saved well from. But Liverpool were still looking dangerous on the counter attack Meireles tested Hennessey at the other end. Shelvey who came on for Poulsen had a great chance to finish the game after good work from Meireles and Torres he was sent clear on goal but he failed to hit the target with only Hennessey to beat. With the let off Wolves went all out attack and and forced Liverpool back but with all their pressure Wolves never really threatened Reina's goal as Liverpool's defence stood firm. Then in stoppage time Liverpool finished Wolves off after a 31 pass move ending up with Torres firing a third Liverpool goal from close range.
I was so pleased with this result and performance from Liverpool, like I said earlier not an easy place to go and you know you have to battle to get anything from Wolves and that is exactly what Liverpool did. So often we have wilted under pressure from teams with this attitude this season so I was so pleased to see no shrinking violets in this team today. Dalglish has installed a fresh attitude in this team and that is the most pleasing thing also with the players seemingly having a freedom to attack as we even witnessed holding midfielder Poulsen getting forward at times. The defence as a unit defended stoutly as Wolves put us under extreme pressure at times, with Wolves rarely troubling Reina. Lucas, Poulsen and Meireles battled brilliantly in the midfield and Meireles in particular having such an influence in the game. What a different player Torres is looking,puting his self about and running himself into the ground and now getting his reward with goals. Its a big win for Liverpool and hopefully now we can get some sort of run going with two home games coming up. But with the season we have had there is no way we will be getting carried away.
Man Of The Match - Meireles - his best game yet as a Red he was superb he covered every blade of grass and created so many good attacks and also got on the end of many. Superb performance capped off by that brilliant strike giving Liverpool their second goal.