The days of Roy Hodgson are now distant memories.
A superb brace from Fernando Torres, and a dipping volley struck on its sweet spot by Raul Meireles set Dalglish on his first win as Reds’ boss twenty years after his return to the hot-seat.
Much of the pre-match hype was built upon Liverpool’s woeful away record at the Molineux, with the Reds having never recorded a victory in their past 6 outings at the home of Wolves.
Yet it was a clash Liverpool fans were firmly anticipating, in hope and faith that a turnaround would be round the corner. Dalglish, commenting in his pre-match presser, said that he couldn’t be bothered if Liverpool were ‘battered’ and that 3 points took precedence over any positive performances.
However, not only did he get 3 points, but also an all-action, dedicated and gritty performance from all his Liverpool stars as they sought to retify the wreakage their away form as brought them all season.
A clean sheet, three goals, purposeful passing, and last ditch defending. It couldn’t get better than that could it? All players who are bestowed the honour of wearing the Liverbird on their chests demostrated why it is so crucial to uphold the club’s reputation and save this season.
Kenny Dalglish made only one change from the side that drew 2-2 against Everton last week, with Danish international, Christian Poulsen slotting in place of local lad Jay Spearing.
The game started off on an edgy note, with Poulsen picking up a booking just after 3 minutes. As the game started to crawl into life, Liverpool were striving with more endeavour, especially with a reinvigorated Torres threatening in the final third.
Liverpool players were displaying some nifty footwork, and Torres shot warning signs to Wolves’ defence as he drove a shot towards Hennessey, who could only parry it away.
Just under 10 minutes from half time and purpose paid off as a patient Liverpool got their reward.
Poulsen, under fire from Liverpool fans following his poor performances, spotted a run from Meireles and thoughtfully slided the ball through the whole of Wolves’ defence. Screams of offsides bellowed as Wolves’ players waved their hands in frenzy, only for them to see Meireles squaring the ball to Torres who gleefully slotted it into an open net, evading the despairing dive of Hennessey. Advantage Liverpool.
Early on in the second half, Kuyt could have doubled the lead if not for an on rushing Hennessey who made himself look like a giant to deny the Dutchman from bagging a goal.
Yet the Wolves keeper looked on in helplessness, when on the 50th minute, the ball fell to Meireles’ feet, who unleashed an unstoppable, deceivingly dipping volley which rifled to the top corner of the net. There was just no way for Hennessey to save that!
Liverpool were then forced onto the backfoot, with former Liverpool winger Adam Hammill brought on to add fresh impetus to a Wolves’ side sorely lacking in the final third.
For a good spell of twenty minutes or so, Liverpool defended with a lion’s heart, as they seeked to protect their two-goal cushion. They came through that period thankfully, and as the clock winded down, Wolves started to run out of steam and resigned themselves to facing the inevitable.
Liverpool had other ideas. Instead of just trying to protecting their lead they were rejuvenated and hungry for more. Towards the end of the whistle, Liverpool held the ball for extended periods of time, probing with precision and instinct.
And patience paid off once again, as Liverpool strung 30 passes in the build up to Torres’ 3rd goal.
It was magnificient, a joy to watch. That 1:30 min spell was Liverpool at its very best. As they say, ‘Pass and move it’s the Liverpool groove’!
The fans broke into chants of You’ll Never Walk Alone, there was unbelievable support and fans were waving scarves welcoming Dalglish’s second coming.
As the referee blew the whistle, the players heaved a huge sigh of relief. With that away demon now out of the way, the players can built upon this impressive performance and hopefully come away with 3 points on Wednesday night against Fulham at Anfield.
Meireles, a shining star. Torres, El Nino. And the best of Liverpool. With Gerrard to return after serving a three-game suspension, the best is yet to be.