WOLVES 0-1 LIVERPOOL: MATCH REVIEW
Liverpool found a late winner at the Molineux to snatch victory from the jaws of a stalemate. Divock Origi again came up with a huge moment, as his 94th minute finish saw his side put a frustrating afternoon behind them to bag all three points. We review the game.
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° The approach. Unlike the past two games where the Reds flew out of the blocks, it was a more measured approach here. Wary of Traore’s pace on the counter, Klopp set his side up to methodically break Wolves down instead of flying at them with reckless abandon and banking on his in form forwards to do more damage than Wolves could.
° Disciplined Wolves. This meant it was a cagey first half, with Bruno Lage’s side excellently drilled defensively. They were able to hold out and frustrate Liverpool for most of the game. By halftime neither team had registered a shot on target as Wolves’ resolute defending continued to frustrate their visitors.
° Missed chances. The quality of this Liverpool side means they will always create chances, and create chances they did. Trent blazed over from a good position, Jota headed wide and Saiss somehow beat Salah to a tap in. Second half, Jota missed a sitter whilst Mané and Salah missed chances of their own.
° Not Diogo’s day. On what was Jota’s 25th birthday, he got roundly booed by a home crowd that used to cheer him on. Whether that got to him or not is unclear, but he had a rare poor day infront of goal. He attempted the most shots (4), only managing to get one on target, and that was straight at Coady with the goal gaping!
° Tactical switch. Halfway through the second half, Klopp made his move, sending on Origi for Henderson. It was a bold move going 4-2-3-1 when Fabinho was on a yellow and Traore was causing problems on the counter. Ox felt like the obvious choice but Klopp wanted more. He gambled and it paid off big time in the end.
° Throwing the kitchen sink. That change in shape saw the Reds start to commit more bodies forward. Four attackers, with the full backs also pushing high, as Wolves’ were pinned back in their box. Bruno Lage took off Hwang for Moutinho as he sought to get more bodies in midfield to deal with the onslaught.
° Terrific Thiago. The 30 year old was fantastic throughout, with his exquisite work on the ball, matched by a fierce steel off it. He was crucial in keeping Traore quiet as he was always on hand to nip in and steal the ball back before Adama could stretch his legs. No outfield player in red made more than his 10 ball recoveries.
He also went close to scoring and created openings with probing passes. It was a difficult away day and he guided us through it pretty much. With him and Fabinho being the only midfielders left to thwart counters, it could have gone wrong but Thiago was immense. It will probably be forgotten given the manner of the win.
° Resilience. With time running out and chances going begging, Liverpool could have easily thrown the game into a box marked “one of those days”. Instead, they kept going, believing and backing their quality. In the 94th minute, Van Dijk picked up the ball in defence and swept a 60 yard diagonal Salah’s way.
° Salah, who had missed a good chance minutes earlier, took an unbelievable first touch. Not only did his first touch perfectly control a ball dropping from the sky, it also pushed it past Hoever who was caught on his heels. It was then a foot race, one Salah was never going to lose, as he raced clear of the Liverpool Academy graduate.
Seeing Origi in a better position, he cut it back to the Belgian and Origi fulfilled his manager’s instructions of ‘just go and be Divock’. He took a touch, and with his back to goal, swivelled and rifled a shot past Sa and the desperate lunges of Coady and Saiss. Cue bedlam on the touchline. This was a significant win.
° Title race. People say the Premier League title race is a marathon and not a sprint. That may have been true for so long, especially in the ‘Fergie days’, where a poor start can be remedied with a strong second half of the season. I’ll argue that has no longer been the case for a good few years now.
Dating back to the 2017/18 season when Pep Guardiola’s City broke the glass ceiling for what can be achieved. The centurions opened a new dimension never before witnessed in England’s top flight. They sprinted out of the blocks from the first whistle and maintained that pace through to the end.
Jürgen Klopp took note and set a plan to match that pace. In 2018/19, we saw perhaps the most breathless title race in history, with Liverpool coming 2nd with 97 points and City again coming out on top with 98. Two teams being just 5 points combined away from both hitting 100 in the same season? Nuts!
Klopp tuned his side up to go again. Cue the relentless pursuit of a first league title in 30 years that saw Liverpool win the league with an astonishing seven games to spare in the 2019/20 season. Eventually finishing on 99 points, the Reds had successfully taken the baton from City and shown they could run with it.
City finished a distant 2nd with 81 points. The two sides (and coaches) brought the best out of each other, pushing each other to greater heights. With injuries ruining Liverpool’s defence of the title last season, City cruised to another title with just 5 more points than the previous season’s tally. We were deprived a title race.
These are the new levels set for title winners. Every point in every game matters. It’s no longer a marathon. It’s now more of an 800m race, where you go as fast as you can, twice around the track. You start as you mean to go on, and you go on as you mean to go on, before finishing as you mean to go on.
It’s non-stop. It’s must win game after must win game, and it is that relief we saw on the Liverpool bench after Origi’s winner. It is a new reality Klopp’s Liverpool and Pep’s City have adapted to better than anyone else. If anything, it is a reality they warped into existence themselves, leaving others to catch up.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are the side looking closest to challenging a duo that has shared the last four league titles. They’ve been impressive all season but succumbed to defeat to West Ham, days after a lucky win at Watford. They seem to be rocking and have lost top spot, dropping to third.
They will learn quickly just how relentless you have to be to topple these two. A three way battle to the end will certainly make for interesting viewing, and it is one we’ll be keeping a close eye on. For now, Jürgen Klopp and his men will turn attentions to the San Siro, for a deadrubber Champions League group game.
2 thoughts on “WOLVES 0-1 LIVERPOOL: MATCH REVIEW”
I pray we keep up with this intensity and produce results just like the season we won the league, it won’t be easy, but with the right mindset and mentality, there’s nothing we cannot achieve.
Wolves game was actually a test for us and we fought hard to grind out a win, even with the fixture congestion, that talks a lot about our driving force and mentality at the moment. long may it reign.
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December is crucial
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