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17:51 22nd January 2011

Clinical Finishing Puts Paid To Wolves

Wolves 0

Liverpool 3 (Torres 36, 90+1, Meireles 50)

Whilst the 3-0 scoreline flattered Liverpool, there can by no arguing with the fact that their clinical finishing proved the difference between the sides as Wolves slumped to a home reversal.

Mick McCarthy's team enjoyed plenty of possession and numerous crosses were played into the visitors area but Liverpool's defence stood firm.

Karl Henry started in place of Dave Jones as the only change from the team that started against Manchester City a week earlier. New signing Adam Hammill was named as a substitute.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the South Bank end and for the first few seconds Liverpool were stationed on the edge of their own box trying to clear the ball.

When it was eventually played upfield, Fernando Torres was penalised for a high kick as Richard Stearman went in for a header.

Nenad Milijaš's free-kick was safely gathered by Pepe Reina who once again proved to be out of favour with the home fans.

A Raul Meireles corner was cleared to Stephen Ward whose sprint down the left was halted by a crude challenge from Christian Poulsen that earned the Dane a yellow card.

Christophe Berra had to leave the field for treatment to a cut head and on his return he had to clear a dangerous low cross from Lucas as Dirk Kuyt homed in.

In the 21st minute Meireles played Torres through on goal. The striker lined up his shot on the edge of the area but Wayne Hennessey made a great save to beat the ball away with Henry completing the clearance.

Milijaš was too high with as free-kick after Daniel Agger had fouled Kevin Doyle three-yards outside the Liverpool area, and then Matt Jarvis chased back into his own half to intercept Glen Johnson's charge down the left wing.

But the threat wasn't cleared and Meireles was only a couple of feet wide after he had taken a swing at the ball some 20-yards out.

Hennessey was forced into action again as he dived low to cut out Maxi Rodriguez's shot on the turn after he had been played in by Torres but in the 36th minute Wolves fell behind after Poulsen's ball to Meireles tripped the offside trap. He squared the ball to Torres who had the easiest of tasks in scoring.

Wolves almost hit back after a snapshot from Steven Fletcher that was well saved by Reina. Then Torres was booked for fouling Ward on the left and when Stephen Hunt's free-kick dropped to Milijas at the far post, the midfielder couldn't get enough power behind his shot and Reina saved with his legs.

Half-Time: Wolves 0 Liverpool 1

Both keepers were called into action in the opening minutes of the new half. Reina cut out a dangerous cross from Jarvis as Fletcher threatened, and Hennessey made a great block just inside the area to deny Kuyt who was clean through.

But it's doubtful if any keeper could have saved Liverpool's second goal which arrived in the 50th minute. Berra's header dropped to Meireles 25-yards out and he hit a first time volley that flew into the net.

It was hard on Wolves but they missed a good chance of getting back into it when Lucas felled Milijaš just outside the box. Hunt's free-kick hit the wall and the ball bounced to Zubar who, from an angle, smashed a shot way over the bar.

Fletcher's swerving volley almost caught Reina out but the keeper held the ball at the second attempt, and another volley from Meireles went straight into the arms of Hennessey.

Hammill made his debut in the 73rd minute when he replaced Hunt and at the same time the visitors switched Poulsen for Jonjo Shelvey.

Within a minute, both made their presence felt. Hammill delivered a sweet cross from the right that The Reds defence only cleared with difficulty, then Shelvey shot wastefully wide after Meireles had set him up.

Fletcher pulled back a Jarvis cross into the path of Hammill whose moment of glory was thwarted by Agger's block.

A drive from Torres hit Berra's shoulder and took a hefty deflection but Hennessey managed to smother the ball.

Meireles became the third Liverpool man to go into the book after he had fouled Doyle, before Torres shot into the roof of the net for Liverpool's third.

The Molineux men never gave up and they were caught upfield as Kuyt broke on the left. Hennessey saved at the Dutchman's feet but the ball broke for Torres who made no mistake.

Wolves: Hennessey, Zubar, Ward, Milijaš, Berra, Stearman, Jarvis, Henry (capt), Doyle, Fletcher, Hunt (Hammill 73).

Unused subs: Hahnemann, Craddock, Jones, Vokes, Mouyokolo, Davis.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Meireles, Agger, Torres, Rodriguez (Aurelio 81), Kuyt, Lucas, Poulsen (Shelvey 73), Kelly, Skrtl.

Unused subs: Gulacsi, Cole, Pacheco, Kyrgiakos, Spearing.

Bookings: Poulsen (4 - foul), Torres (45 - foul), Meireles (86 - foul).

Referee: M. Atkinson.


Wolves Academy Under 18s v Crewe Alexandra Postponed - frozen pitch

    Data provided by Press Association


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