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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 3 - Prem (Jan 31 2012) - 1st team 2011-2012 - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
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Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Liverpool 3 - Prem (Jan 31 2012)

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Wolves 0 LIVERPOOL 3

Report by Dave Usher

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Scorer(s) – Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt

Half Time - 0-0

Venue - Molyneux

Date - Tue 31 Jan 2012

Star Man – Jose Enrique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great result as this fixture had letdown written all over it prior to kick off. We've made a habit of coming off big wins by shitting the bed against the bottom feeders of this league and after emerging unscathed from two huge cup games against the top two sides in the country, would anyone have been surprised if Wolves had turned us over, or at the very least managed to hold us to a draw? I certainly wouldn't have, my fingers have been burned plenty already this season. In the end though this was very comfortable and it was an excellent performance.

 

The list of positives is lengthy. We did it without Gerrard. Carroll built on his encouraging display at the weekend with an even better display capped by a goal. Kuyt chipped in with another goal giving him two in two after a huge drought. Spearing was back from injury and was very impressive. We kept a clean sheet. Adam was back to the form he'd been showing at the back end of 2011. Enrique bounced back from some below par displays with a fantastic performance. Chelsea dropped two points. And most significantly, this was the last game that Suarez had to sit out.

 

Of course you can temper some of that by pointing out that Wolves were really fucking grim. I accept that, they were unquestionably hopeless, but so are Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan etc and they all took points off us. Wolves are bad and we put them to the sword. That in itself is a positive for me, as it's something we've been unable to do far too often this season. Even at half time this game was in the balance because we'd not made our superiority count. We've been there so many times before, but this time we took our chances in the second half and went home with the three points.

 

The first half was great to watch actually, it was end to end stuff with chances for both teams. It wasn't like watching a first half, the game was so stretched at times it looked like what you see in the closing stages. Wolves had two great chances to score. One when Edwards got in behind but put his shot too close to Reina, and another when Kightly played a one two with Fletcher and shot just wide. Fletcher also had a header from a corner that went just over, although I reckon Pepe had that covered. They played alright in the 1st half though.

 

As for us, we had our moments but were a bit wasteful, both in terms of finishing and final ball. Agger's header was well saved by Hennesey, Bellamy had a couple of chances he didn't take, Kuyt was unable to convert from close range after a Carroll knockdown and we had two very good penalty shouts ignored by a mancunian referee who also booked two of our players in a half in which we committed just three fouls. The two non-penalties were a joke. The first was a foul on Johnson which may have been outside the box, it was certainly debatable as to where the foul took place but we didn't even get a free-kick.

 

We got into a lot of very good positions and I thought we played pretty well. We needed to be more clinical in the final third, and in the second half we were. It took just seven minutes for the goal to come, and it started in our own box when Carroll won a towering header to set up a counter. Bellamy chased a long ball and won a throw in, took it quickly to Adam who whipped in a cross to the far post where Carroll arrived to apply the finish. Encouraging, as one of the main criticisms of Carroll has been that he hasn't busted a gut to get in the box when we attack. He has been doing that much more recently, and this time he got his reward.

 

Bellamy added a second when he ran from halfway as the Wolves defence backed off and he curled a low shot past Hennesey. The keeper should have done better and the defending was laughable. I used to rate that Roger Johnson, but I was wrong. He's absolutely fucking shite. We were in complete control now and Dirk added a third with a brilliantly executed goal on the counter. Enrique was the instigator, making an interception in his own box and then surging past Frimpong. A raking crossfield pass found Kuyt as four Liverpool players advanced on the box.

 

Kuyt rolled it to Adam, who had Carroll and Bellamy to his left but opted to roll it back to Kuyt who's first time shot went through the keeper. It was great football, and even though I thought the keeper should have saved it, it would be churlish to dwell on that. Keepers have played blinders against us for most for the season and even though Hennesey made some good saves it was refreshing to see a couple of avoidable goals go in for once. Coming off the back of De Gea's generosity at the weekend, maybe things are turning around for us now?

 

Carroll's performance is probably the most significant thing to come from the game. He wasn't brilliant, but he played well and there is definitely signs of improvement there. The biggest thing for me was you could almost see him grow in confidence, especially after the goal. Some of his touches were very good, one in particular when he brought the ball down and embarrassed Johnson with a smart turn before running 30 yards and having a shot. The shot was crap, but that's not really relevant, next time it could just as easily burst the net. His shooting is the least of my concerns.

 

It was just good to see him look like he had belief in himself and what he was trying to do. A lot of the good things he does go to waste because we haven't mastered how to make the most of what he does. How many times do you see him knock crosses down into good areas only for us to have no-one following it up? If our players start to anticipate his knock downs and get in positions to capitalise, it will make Carroll look far more effective. He's got a long way to go but at least it looks like he's heading in the right direction now.

 

As for the star man, well Carroll deserves to be in the discussion but it would be pushing it to say he was our best player. Adam did well and had two assists, Bellamy was Bellamy and Spearing played his role to perfection, allowing Henderson and Adam to get forward and support the forwards. Some of Speo's long passing was outstanding too, he's a proper footballer who is very under-rated by a lot of people in my opinion, including a lot of our own fans. In the continued absence of Lucas, Jay has a big part to play between now and May.

 

As well as Spearing played though, I'm going for Enrique as the star performer. He's been a bit ropey of late but he was back to his imposing best at Wolves. He's just so strong and quick, even when it looked like Kightly was about to get the better of him Enrique just seemed to eat up the turf and get back in position to win back the ball.

 

The win puts us above Arsenal and Newcastle (for 24 hours at least) and within touching distance of Chelsea in 4th place. Losing Suarez has undoubtedly cost us points but it hasn't been completely catastrophic and we've not lost much ground. Having him back for the run in will hopefully see us kick on and really put some pressure on Chelsea now. They're not very good, they'll drop points and they still have to come to Anfield. It's up to us to make sure there is no repeat of what happened at Bolton, and plenty of repeats of what we did at Wolves.

 

 

Team: Reina; Johnson, Skretl, Agger (Carragher), Enrique; Spearing, Henderson (Shelvey), Adam; Kuyt, Carroll, Bellamy (Aurelio):

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jay is what i would call a proper liverpool player.

 

nothing flashy, tidy in possession and has a great will to win.

 

definitely has a future here.

 

many a liverpool title winning side had players of that ilk.

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jay is what i would call a proper liverpool player.

 

nothing flashy' date=' tidy in possession and has a great will to win.

 

definitely has a future here.

 

many a liverpool title winning side had players of that ilk.[/quote']

Thought Jay edged it for me. Simple in possession but always looking for a forward pass.

Relieved and delighted after the win.

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I was bigging up Roger Johnson to replace Martin Skrtel last summer. Gulp.

 

Fuckin ell, hope no-one's got the thread it would be seriously embarrassing

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Jay was man of the match for me. He must have had he's best match ever last night. Just his bad luck Carroll would steal he's thunder with a goal I suppose.

Carroll was obviously improving he's game but the opponents was to be honest just as crap as we were at Bolton.

Never the less; I was really happy for both of the lads. You could easily see how their confidence boosted through the match. The taste of succeeding was sweet on them.

 

Great report by the way, as always.

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Have to side with Jay too. He allowed the team to get forward more and freed up Adam and Henderson (who is also starting to find more confidence) and passed well. Delighted for him, he could have fallen away with all the bad luck he's suffered but Jay has kept going and looks comfortable in the team.

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The first time I watched Spearo my thoughts were: Excelent attitude and maybe an OK squad player, but still just not good enough. How wrong was that? The last year Spearing has developed into a first class midfielder. His positioning is excelent. He's quick on the ball, almost never looses the ball. He's got any eye for the good forward pass and the ability to deliver it as well. IMO he's probably the best midfielder we have at our club now, I'll rate him even ahead of Lucas. As a matter of fact he's not that far behind our great Alonso. Jay is turning into one of my favourite players.

 

Underrated? Yes he's probably been for a while. I sence a change of mind from our support though. Jay is a top class midfielder. Had a look at the MOM tread, and it certainly looks like I'm not the only one rating him.

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I have to agree about Enrique, he was back to his best after a few indifferent games.

 

The (very small) thing that always gets me about him is that he seems to hold onto the ball for that little bit too long. He is great at driving us forward, but I think he can release the ball a bit quicker.

 

Anyway, that's a small gripe, otherwise he's been one of the signings of the season.

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