Report | Wolves 0-1 Liverpool

Wolves 0 Liverpool 1 (Elliott 13)

Wolves’ journey in the Emirates FA Cup ended in the third round as Liverpool came out on top of the replay at Molineux on a bitterly cold night in the Black Country.

The hosts had the majority of chances, especially in a second-half where Julen Lopetegui’s men pushed several players forward in search for an equalising goal, but it was a first-half strike from Harvey Elliot, which put the Reds ahead inside the opening 15 minutes, that proved to be the difference.

Having been given a pre-game lift with the announcement of Spanish international Pablo Sarabia having put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal at Molineux, the Wolves supporters were in fine voice as they attempted to help their team to an early lead.

Despite a power serge which left Molineux in the dark momentarily, the action on the pitch lit up the stadium as both sides were giving their all to open the scoring.

However, the deadlock was broken by the visitors. Straight after Rayan Ait-Nouri saw his effort on target blocked by the red wall in front of him, Liverpool raced straight up the other end and Elliott unleashed a stunning effort from 25 yards which looped over Jose Sa and into the back of the net.

Moments later, it could have been 2-0 to the Reds as Kostas Tsimikas raced into space beyond Dexter Lembikisa, cut inside on goal and fired a powerful effort which just cleared over Sa’s crossbar and into the North Bank.

Wolves were putting Liverpool under pressure as the half progressed, and it took a strong block to deny Ruben Neves from long range. The Portuguese is well versed in efforts from outside the box with a Mitre ball, and he let fly here from 25 yards on the volley, which was diverted away from Caoimhin Kelleher’s goal.

But it was Jurgen Klopp’s men who believed they had doubled their lead when Fabio Carvalho was played in behind Toti and finished neatly under Sa, but the hosts were given a lifeline as the flag was lifted for offside against the Portuguese.

Wolves’ best chance of the half came with just five minutes remaining. Adama Traore was played behind Tsimikas down the host’s right and having used his pace to get past the Grecian, he bared down on goal from a tight angle, but was unable to find the target with a powerful effort.

Half-time | Wolves 0-1 Liverpool

Lopetegui rang the changes at half-time as he looked to turn the tide in Wolves’ favour, with Nelson Semedo and Matheus Nunes entering the action in place of youngsters Lembikisa and Joe Hodge.

It was the latter whose crunching tackle in the centre of the park set the hosts up for their best opportunity to get back into the game. With an hour gone on the clock, Nunes picked the ball up raced through the Liverpool defence, before laying a pass into the path of Ait-Nouri. He whipped a ball across the face of goal which fell to Traore, but, leaning back, he fired a first time shot well over the crossbar.

Wolves were going for broke during the second-half. Lopetegui’s attacking substitutions saw the hosts push bodies forward in search for an equalising goal. Cross after cross were being driven into the Liverpool box, but they were just not falling to those in the gold and black shirts.

Another opportunity presented itself from a set-piece inside the closing 20 minutes of the 90. But having beaten the wall, Neves was unable to keep his free-kick from narrowly missing over Kelleher’s crossbar – although the Portuguese was adamant the goalkeeper had got his fingers to tip the ball away from goal. Raul Jimenez’s header was also unable to trouble the goal after being found in the box by Traore.

Wolves’ replacement front two almost produced a brilliant one-touch equaliser in the closing stages, as Matheus Cunha played a one-two with Diego Costa over the Liverpool defence, which the Brazilian was unable to turn home from inside the penalty area.

Despite the hosts having the majority of the chances in the second-half, Liverpool could have doubled their lead had Curtis Jones not fired wide from a good position after getting in on goal down the left. Moments later, Cunha had a header on target which didn’t possess enough power to beat Kelleher.

Wolves pushed until the final whistle but they could not find a way to goal, as Liverpool were able to hold on and secure their place in the fourth round and a visit to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Full-time | Wolves 0-1 Liverpool

Wolves | Sa, Lembikisa (Semedo 46), Collins, Toti, Jonny (Podence 64), A. Traore, Neves, Hodge (Nunes 46), Moutinho (Cunha 65), Ait-Nouri, Jimenez (Costa 84).

Unused subs | Sarkic, Kilman, Bueno, Hwang.

Liverpool | Kelleher, Milner (Phillips 86), Gomez, Konate, Tsimikas, Bajcetic (Fabinho 75), Thiago (Doak 75), Keita, Elliott, Carvalho (Jones 86), Gakpo (Salah 86).

Unused subs | Alisson, Matip, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Referee | Andre Marriner