After two away defeats in the League Liverpool were happy to return to Anfield against a Wolves side that had started the season brightly, but whose form has dipped recently similar to Liverpool. Wolves beat Liverpool 1-0 last year at Anfield so Liverpool knew it would be a tough game. Liverpool went into the game with some confidence restored after their good win against Brighton in the Carling Cup on Wednesday
Kenny made quite a few changes from the side that beat Brighton midweek. But I think the major change was Carroll coming back into the side at the expense of the very impressive Bellamy. Skrtel came into the centre of defence with Carragher because Agger is injured and Martin Kelly at right back. Gerrard once again started on the bench as Kenny selected Lucas and Adam in the centre of midfield alongside Downing and Henderson on the flanks.
Wolves started the game brightly and almost took the lead on 8 minutes but O’Hara’s effort was just too weak to trouble Reina. But then on 11 minutes Liverpool took the lead with more than a hint of good fortune associated with the goal when Adam hit a long range drive which looked to be going wide until Johnson’s head deflected the ball into his own net.
The goal gave Liverpool a massive lift and they started to dominate and create a lot of chances, moments after taking the lead Carroll had a header well saved from Hennessey. Then Carroll fizzed a superb low cross towards Suarez but the Uruguay striker just failed to connect.
Great play with Enrique and Downing down the left created a chance for Suarez but the danger man failed to hit the target. But then on 38 minutes a superb pass from Enrique released Suarez down the left and some great foot work produced space to fire a shot past Hennessey at his near post, it was a superb goal. Suarez was in the thick of everything and he almost made it three just before half-time but he prodded the ball just wide.
Mick McCarthy made a couple of changes at half-time as he looked to get back into the match and he got an instant response when they pulled a goal back in the 49th minute when Hunt’s low cross found Fletcher who slammed the ball high into the net past Reina.
Liverpool responded as Suarez was denied by a brave save from Hennessey. The game became stretched as both teams went for goals. Next it was Carroll who headed against the post from a Downing cross.
Then Adam found Downing but his effort was well saved. Liverpool were still threatening although Wolves were testing Liverpool’s mettle. Lucas had a 20 yard drive just off target and Suarez slalomed through the defence but his cutback failed to find a Red shirt.
Gerrard came on for the last 10 minutes and almost scored with a trademark volley but Liverpool managed to hang on to their 2-1 lead and felt relief at the full time whistle.
A good win for Liverpool but it should have been a lot more comfortable. We created so many chances but let Wolves back into the game which led to a nervy second half. For a change we got a bit of luck with the first goal, Carroll looked to have fouled in the lead up to the goal and then Adam’s shot was going well wide until Johnson’s header. But we played some great stuff at times and I thought Carroll played really well and linked up with Suarez better than I’ve seen him before. Overall great to get back to winning ways and next up Everton.
Man Of The Match – Suarez – had to be he caused so many problems and what a goal. A constant threat, man of the match by far.
Jamie McLaughlin website at www.anfieldnews.com