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00:01 27th January 2010

Reds Held By Battling Wolves

Wolves 0

Liverpool 0

Wolves took a more than well deserved point after a battling display against Liverpool on a night of few chances at Molineux. After withstanding some heavy pressure in the opening stages, Wanderers gradually forced their way into the game and enjoyed the best of the second-half.

Mick McCarthy opted for a 4-3-3 formation as he made half a dozen changes to the team that had started the FA Cup tie against Crystal Palace.

Liverpool kicked-off attacking the North Bank end and there was a moment of danger after just a minute as Alberto Riera flashed a near post header across the face of goal from Steven Gerrard's corner.

Dirk Kuyt looked on to test Marcus Hahnemann from the 18-yard line but Jody Craddock had spotted the danger and he blocked at the expense of a corner.

In the 14th minute Matt Jarvis beat Jamie Carragher on the left but Emiliano Insua cleared at the near post as Karl Henry waited behind him for a slip. Jarvis was accidentally caught by Carragher as he crossed and he looked to have a serious problem as he stayed down. But he was able to resume after a brief break, without treatment.

Liverpool began to pile on the pressure although Hahnemann wasn't seriously tested. The American easily coped with a centre from Riera before a Wolves attack ended with Sotiros Kyrgiakos blocking then clearing Kevin Doyle's flick on from Ronald Zubar's cross.

After 33 minutes Doyle met a low centre from Jarvis at the near post and shot a foot wide at the near post his effort deflecting behind off Insua although the referee failed to notice as he gave a goal kick.

Riera tried his luck with a long range effort that took a double deflection - first off Henry and then Gerrard before going behind.

Nenad Milijaš, with a cross field pass, picked out Jarvis on the left and he delivered a cross that Kevin Foley, at the far post, could only direct into the arms of Reina.

In stoppage time Gerrard slipped a pass to Maxi Rodriguez but Craddock was in to block before the Argentinean could get a shot in.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Liverpool 0

Three minutes after the resumption, a hopeful flick from Riera had Hahnemann running back towards his goal. He knocked the ball up into the air and then caught it as it dropped.

The keeper then had to race from his area to boot the ball clear after the Liverpool forwards threatened to latch on to an underhit back pass from Stephen Ward.

There was a chance for Henry when he chested the ball down on the edge of the area. He got a shot in but the ball hit a defender and then bounced away off Foley.

Then Christophe Berra nodded down to Doyle who worked a shooting position for himself before firing over the bar from 20-yards. A minute later Pepe Reina comfortably saved a header from Doyle after Zubar had crossed from the right.

On the hour mark Doyle headed on to the edge of the box where Foley and Insua tussled for the ball which broke for the Wolves man who was denied by Reina who saved at his feet.

The Spaniard appeared to take a kick to the 'nether regions' and was in obvious discomfort much to the delight of the home crowd. The keeper had been given the bird throughout following his length of the field run to the referee in the Stephen Ward sending-off incident at Anfield in December.

A 20-yard drive from Kuyt swerved a yard wide before Skrtel managed to cut out a Zubar centre that would have left Doyle in the clear.

Doyle then fooled Skrtel with a clever piece of footwork and he sprinted into the box but lifted his shot over the near angle of bar and post.

Skrtel became the only player to be booked in the game when he clattered into Berra, and before play restarted Dave Jones replaced Milijaš.

Kyrgiakos fouled Doyle 25-yards out from the Liverpool goal but the free-kick came to nothing with Jones hitting the wall after he had tipped the ball to Henry and latched onto the return.

With time running out, Zubar cut out a through ball that would have left Gerrard in the clear and, after new signing Adlene Guedioura came on as a last minte replacement for Jarvis, Carragher was way off the mark with a low shot from 35-yards.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Ward, Milijaš (Jones 73), Craddock, Berra, Foley, Mancienne, Henry (capt), Doyle, Jarvis (Guedioura 89).

Unused subs: Hennessey, Stearman, Vokes, Iwelumo, Mujangi.

Liverpool: Reina, Gerrard (capt), Riera (Ngog 67), Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, Kuyt, Mascherano, Lucas, Insua, Carragher, Skrtel.

Unused subs: Cavalieri, Aquilani, Babel, Degen, Darby, Pacheco.

Booking: Skrtel (72 - foul).

Referee: P. Walton.

Attendance: 28,763.

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.