Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Carroll (52), Bellamy (61), Kuyt 78
There was plenty to take from this game. Three points first and foremost, some ground gained at the top of the table, and a welcome amount of goals. There was also some consistency, how many of you had a nagging feeling that after the cup games we might slip back into old ways and get a draw or worse?
Further more one year after that night of surprise it was perhaps appropriate that Andy Carroll should score. This was only his seventh goal for us however, it’s a sign of an increased confidence building to the good form he showed on Saturday and in the Carling Cup? It was also the perfect response to the rumours (or otherwise) about the Tevez swap deal.
Kenny made five changes from the Mancs game. Kuyt kept his place, Bellamy, Spearing, Adam and Johnson started Maxi, Gerrard (rested and not even on the bench), Carragher, Downing and Kelly didn’t.
We began in a confident, business like manner having no respect for Wolves as the home team attacking at every opportunity and having plenty of possession. Wolves had chances via Edwards, Kightly and Fletcher. The latter going closest by heading onto the roof of Reina’s net but these were most certainly against the run of play and only surprise was that it took us so long to score.
In the first half Bellamy was instrumental in most of our chances. His corner saw Agger’s header well saved by Hennessey in the Wolves goal and Enrique was unlucky to get more than he did with the follow up. Bellamy himself tested the keeper with curling free kick and then, from Adam’s ball, unleashed a low shot forcing Hennessey to dive at his near post. Adam set up Carroll who unselfishly knocked his cross back into the danger area rather have go himself only to find that no one was there! Henderson also tested Hennessey with low shot. In the middle of all this we should have had a penalty when Adam was barged over by Frimpong. Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t I don’t think the decision tonight will make Mica Richards feel any better!
It took just seven minutes of the second half for us to turn our superiority into something tangible. It was simple goal, Bellamy’s throw was picked up by Adam on the left, who was allowed to turn and pick his target. He chose Carroll charging in at the far post who, having easily got the “wrong side” of his marker, made no mistake. Nine minutes later Bellamy got the goal he deserved. Having picked up the ball in a wide position level with the centre circle he was allowed to run and run into the danger area as the Wolves defence backed off or were lethargic in their attempts to get back and close him down. His low shot squirmed under Hennessey’s outstretched hand for number two. The keeper should have done better but so should have his defence, it’s not as if this move was something Bellamy has never done before!
With the game, barring an unlikely Wolves rally, in our pocket we could relax. Agger had a good chance to make it three before Adam, Kuyt and Enrique combined clinically on the break. The Dutchman delivered the final coup de grace with a low cross shot from the right. Ebanks-Blake hit a post with a great shot from distance but Wolves were done for and the win at the final whistle was heralded with boos from the home fans directed at their own team.
So good and ultimately comfortable night, no worries, no fuss if only it could always be this way. “Pleasantly boring” was the phrase I was going to use but that’s not it, how about “enjoyably efficient”! We are fifth as I write which could be seventh by the end of today as clubs below us play tonight. Whatever the case, it’s closer order taken and with Spurs and The Mancs lying in wait next we have more chances to make ground. Hopefully after tonight, and the previous two games, we will regard these as opportunities to be taken rather than challenges to be overcome?.
Wolves: Hennessey, Ward, Johnson, Berra, Foley, Edwards, Kightly (Hunt 62), Frimpong (Milijas 84), Jarvis, Jonsson (Ebanks-Blake 62), Fletcher, Substitutes: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Hunt, Milijas, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Jose Enrique, Agger (Carragher 81), Skrtel, Henderson, Spearing, Adam (Shelvey 81), Carroll, Kuyt (Aurelio 90), Bellamy Substitutes: Doni, Aurelio, Coates, Carragher, Kelly, Downing, Shelvey