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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:18 24th September 2011

A Brave Effort

Liverpool 2 (Johnson-og 11, Suarez 38)

Wolves 1 (Fletcher 49)

Brave Wolves pushed Liverpool to the limit but they left Anfield as losers. After conceding two in the opening half, the Molineux men dominated possession in the second period but only had a goal from substitute Steven Fletcher to show for their efforts.

Mick McCarthy made two changes from the team that started against Queens Park Rangers with Dave Edwards and Stephen Hunt replacing George Elokobi and Michael Kightly.

Wolves kicked-off attacking the Kop end and in the first minute Charlie Adam fouled Jamie O'Hara to the left of the home area. O'Hara took the free-kick himself but the ball was headed clear.

Then Lucas tripped Hunt some 25-yards out and this time O'Hara's free-kick bounced back off the wall and the midfielder picked up an early yellow card for a high challenge on Andy Carroll as they challenged for the loose ball.

Wolves had made a bright start to the game and O'Hara figured again with a shot that was saved by Pepe Reina after Kevin Doyle had pulled the ball back.

Liverpool responded with two Adam corners - the second of which was punched clear by Wayne Hennessey.

But the danger wasn't cleared and the home side moved into a somewhat fortuitous 11th minute lead. Carroll appeared to push Roger Johnson as they went for a cross and when the ball fell to Adam he hit a 20-yard drive that Johnson deflected into his own net as he attempted to head clear - the ball going in off the inside of the post.

Hennessey made a fine save to keep out a bouncing header from Carroll and then Christophe Berra was well placed to clear from Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan had beaten Johnson and hit a low cross into the six-yard box.

Suarez just failed to get a touch to Carroll's teasing cross and when Wolves went forward Martin Skrtel upended O'Hara 22-yards out from the home goal. This time Hunt took the free-kick but once again the home wall did its job.

Suarez scooped a low shot wide of the far post after a cross from Stewart Downing before Karl Henry was harshly booked for a harmless looking challenge on Skrtel. A minute later Lucas went into the book for felling Richard Stearman.

Lucas conceded a foul on Doyle right on the 18-yard line and with the home defence expecting Hunt to lift the ball into the middle, the midfielder instead squared the ball to Edwards whose well struck shot bounced clear off Lucas.

Wolves went two behind in the 38th minute when Jose Enrique's lofted through ball released Suarez who beat the offside trap and ran into the box, dummying Berra before drilling the ball past Hennessey.

Hunt was yellow carded for a late challenge on Adam and, in stoppage time, Suarez flicked the ball narrowly wide.

Half-Time: Liverpool 2 Wolves 0

Wolves made a double switch at half-time with Matt Doherty making his Premier League debut when he was sent on for Stearman, and Fletcher replacing Edwards.

And it took Fletcher just four minutes to make his mark. O'Hara's centre was punched out by Reina but only as far as Henry. His attempted cross was blocked by Enrique but the ball ran to Hunt and he laid it into the path of Fletcher who lashed it into the roof of the net (pictured).

Seconds after the restart Hennessey and Carroll collided as they went for Downing's cross. The ball dropped for Suarez who looked odds on to score only for Hennessey to pull off a brilliant reflex save.

In the 52nd minute Wolves were fortunate not to concede a third when Carroll headed powerfully against the post following another Downing centre.

Wolves were almost caught out as they piled forward for a corner leaving Liverpool with a four on one break. Adam slipped the ball to Downing but he was denied by the impeccable Hennessey.

Doyle latched on to a Matt Jarvis cross but his shot on the turn was blocked by a defender and the ball trickled through to Reina.

Carroll was shown the yellow card after clattering into Doherty as the Irish youngster attempted to clear.

On the hour mark Skrtel caught Fletcher in the ribs with a high challenge. The referee didn't even award a foul and after treatment the striker made a point of lifting his shirt and showing the official the marks on his chest.

After a well-constructed build up, O'Hara fired over the bar and then Martin Kelly was booked for a crude challenge that spread-eagled Jarvis.

O'Hara's free-kick caused chaos in the home box before the ball was finally cleared whilst, at the other end, Lucas brushed the post with a low shot from the edge of the box.

Doherty showed calm and composure as he cleared a dangerous ball into the heart of the box from Suarez, and Hennessey had little difficulty in dealing with an effort from Liverpool substitute Dirk Kyut.

Wolves were still enjoying plenty of attacking play but the Liverpool back four were holding firm.

Adlene Guedioura was a late replacement for Hunt and shortly after his introduction he sent a volley high over the bar.

Few in the home crowd could have complained if Wolves had taken a point from the game, but it wasn't to be. But at least the travelling fans saw a performance that was vastly improved from the one against Queens Park Rangers a week earlier.

Liverpool: Reina, Enrique, Suarez (Gerrard 81), Carroll, Henderson (Kuyt 71), Downing, Lucas, Carragher (capt), Adam, Kelly, Skrtel.

Unused subs: Doni, Coates, Spearing, Flanagan, Bellamy.

Bookings: Lucas (33 - foul), Carroll (57 - foul), Kelly (67 - foul) .

Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman (Doherty 45), Ward, Henry, Berra, Johnson (capt), Edwards (Fletcher 45), O'Hara, Doyle, Hunt (Guedioura 81), Jarvis.

Unused subs: Elokobi, Hammill, Milijaś, De Vries.

Bookings: O'Hara (4 - foul), Henry (32 - foul), Hunt (43 - foul).

Referee: K. Friend.

Attendance: 44,922.

Wolves Academy Under 18s 0 Liverpool 4

    Data provided by Press Association

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