Red fire keeps Wolves a bay.

Liverpool 2
Johnson (og) (11), Suarez (38)

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Fletcher (49)

Objective achieved namely the victory that every red wanted to see after two consecutive league defeats. It caps a week that started badly with defeat at Spurs however progress in the Cup and now this means things are rosier.

Throughout the course of the season we will be called on to display a variety of attributes. Sometimes we will be able to play football and sweep all before us however sometimes we need to dig deep, fight and hold what we have. In the second half Wolves, no doubt inspired by Mick McCarthy’s half time ear bashing / inspirational speech (delete according to choice) came at us however we did what the circumstances required of us and displayed an adaptability that should stand us in good stead for the variety of on field challenges and problems that will served up to us between now and May.

Kenny made two changes in defence from the Brighton game bringing in Skrtel, back from suspension, and Enrique for Robinson and Flanagan respectively. Adam, again back from standing on the naughty step, Downing, and Henderson replaced Maxi, Kuyt and Spearing in midfield. Andy Carroll, despite all the flack, replaced Bellamy up front. Steven Gerrard was on the bench again, slowly does it!

At the start Wolves took the initiative pushing us back but without chiselling out too many bona fide opportunities in the final third. The nearest they came was a scuffed, off balance effort from O’Hara that Reina collected easily. However, slowly but surely the game found the level that many expected and things began to swing our way, a corner here, a charged down shot there and on eleven minutes we finally got our just deserts although, given the nature of the goal, Wolves will probably disagree.

Kelly’s cross was cleared and eventually ended up at Adam’s feet. His shot from outside the area was deflected off Johnson into the net. Adam turned away and celebrated as if as if the deed was his however it was an definite own goal, the ball was going wide before Johnson’s bonce intervened. Wolves, seemed to have good reason to dispute the goal as during Kelly’s cross Carroll clattered and felled Johnson however, although this is sly on the visitors, it was a long overdue piece of good fortune for us. Is it any coincidence that the referee’s surname was Friend?

The goal seemed to buoy us and dishearten Wolves and set off a procession of chances. Carroll was to the fore, heading down Downing’s corner which Hennessey had to dive low to stop, and then providing a dangerous cross that Suarez was unlucky not the get a boot onto. Suarez was perpetual motion giving the Wolves defence plenty to think about he was continually making positive runs and flirting with their off side trap. After a few abortive attempts he hit pay dirt running onto Enrique’s through ball. The Wolves defence got back however Suarez swirled and shuffled produced the footballing equivalent of a rabbit from his sleeve and then a glove puppet from the other, said “look over there” and thus completely bamboozled Berra allowing our man to wrinkle out a gap and thrash it past Hennessey.

Suarez nearly got a second through picking up Downing’s through ball and waltzing through a static Wolves defence before prodding it wide with the outside of his left foot. However, whatever McCarthy said at half time it seemed to have the desired effect. I guess when you are 2-0 down with half the game to go there s only one route you should take and it paid dividends with Fletcher getting on the end of Hunt’s cross. Almost immediately we responded with Hennessey saving point blank from Suarez. Then Carroll hit the post from Downing’s cross.

Carroll’s form hasn’t been the best this season but, for no special reason he seems to be the focus of attention this week perhaps he’s been, unfairly held as scapegoat for the Stoke and Spurs defeats? However in this match, although looking a little behind in the anticipation stakes at times, he got into some good positions and can consider himself unlucky to not to be on the score sheet? More importantly it was a tiny reminder to his critics to not give up him and not be so premature in their judgment.

As the second half unravelled it was clear that Wolves were more of a force to be reckoned with and Doyle should have made more of Jarvis’ cross however, for every chance they had we made one (I think I’m trying to say it was end to end stuff) for example Downing and Carroll (that lazy git again!) combined to set up Lucas whose shot was inches wide. Suarez was eventually substituted by Gerrard. I think he saw this game as a good opportunity to increase his goal tally and in kicking a water bottle showed his frustration at being pulled off! However, in doing so he also missed just how much the fans had appreciated his performance!

Gerrard had a few shots and some good runs however it was more a case of shoring things up and winding things down to ensure that Wolves were kept at bay and not allowed to nick a point. We should be pleased we did this but it was a small reminder, for Gerrard and the team, that it is still work in progress. Nonetheless, for player and team, it was an encouraging day.

Liverpool: Reina; Jose Enrique; Carragher; Kelly; Skrtel; Henderson (Kuyt 71); Downing; Lucas; Adam; Suarez (Gerrard 81); Carroll Substitutes: Doni, Coates, Flanagan, Gerrard, Spearing, Kuyt, Bellamy

Wolverhampton: Hennessey; Stearman (Doherty 46); Ward; Johnson; Berra; Edwards (Fletcher 46); Henry; Hunt (Guedioura 81); Jarvis; O’Hara; Doyle Substitutes: De Vries, Elokobi, Doherty, Hammill, Milijas, Guedioura, Fletcher

Att: 44,922

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2 Responses to Red fire keeps Wolves a bay.

  1. Chan says:

    Lets not kid ourselves, we won the game, barely. I can only remember Carroll for 2 significant moments, where he manhandled the Wolves defence (yes we were lucky) and that header against the post. Now compared that to Suarez. Throughout the match, his movements was clumsy and as usual, impeding our flowing game.

    As for the other misfit Henderson, well he was being himself and being consistent, as usual he was missing during the match.

    KD said before the game that players are selected based on merit and regardless of their price tag. With the continued selection of Carroll and Henderson he contracdicted himself, again.
    Bellamy displayed hunger, good movement and vitally scores. He does not play. Oh yes, he cost us nothing.

    Kuyt when he is playing consistently troubled opposition defence, oh yes, he does not cost 20 mill.

    I had said time and again i have nothing personal against KD, i just want what is best for our club. I had refrained from commenting when he paid 35 mill for a donkey as i figured he nee some time.
    Many fans (who i must say again) continued to live in the past (well in the past, 22 years to be exact) comes to the defence of KD withoutbeing objective and analysing his performance thus far.When posed questions critically, just like KD, they will rant and divert to other issues.

    Again, why does players who does not perform are given a place on the team? Many would say they need time, well did KD gave time and games to players such as Jovanovic, Cole, Mereiless, Aqualani, just to name a few? In the process of accomodating those misfits, better and more committed players such as Kuyt are alienated.

    Is KD a good tactican? If he is why does he plays Skrtel as RB against Spurs? Against Wolves, the visiting manager made a critical change in personnel and tactics after the break and they nearly get something out of the game. KD, well he is contented at just being a spectator, making predictable changes. Againts Spurs, Agger was kept on the field even though injured and we all knew what happened. These are just some of recent examples. Compared that to SAF of Manure, he came from 2 – 0 down in the Charity Shield and won, with inspired substitution.

    These are just 2 questions, there are many more but i would be contented i could have good answers for theses 2, minus the ranting and mumbo-jumbo.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent football at times and Liverpool left Gerrard, Kuyt, Bellamy, Agger, Aurelio, Coates, Maxi, Robinson , Flano, Spearing etc, out of the starting 11, that highlights the power of the squad now, We can really compete with anybody, yes we still need to be more clinical but we are creating so many chances. We need to see 90min performances rather than 45min’s at a time, basically we need consistency!!!!.

    I think the Spurs game was a boot in the arse that we maybe needed, both KK and the team, now we can get back into the mix by beating both Everton and the mancs, I believe we will win both games. United look very open at the back and Liverpool will punish them, Everton are better defence wise but i still see a win there. I don’t see us losing many games if we learn to play the 90mins, If we learn that lesson it can be a great season……YNWA….

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