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Wolves 0-3 Liverpool – Spotlight Match Review

In a match that may be seen as a turning point in their season, Liverpool endured a lousy pitch and some inspired second half play from Wolves to lodge a 3-0 victory.

Wolves v Liverpool 1.22.11 Start Formation Wolves 0 3 Liverpool   Spotlight Match Review

Wolves Form: The home side was organized in a standard 4-4-2. The only change from their previous lineup was the return of skipper Karl Henry to the starting lineup in center midfield.

Reds Form: Kenny Dalglish lined up Liverpool in a 4-2-3-1. Fernando Torres headed the formation, with Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles providing most of the offensive support. Glen Johnson continues to start at left back for Dalglish, a sign that Paul Konchesky has fallen out of favor on the squad.

First Half: Liverpool began the game with a much stronger effort than in recent weeks. Even with that, the center of the pitch was extremely crowded, especially with the central presence of three defensive-minded midfielders: Christien Poulsen and Lucas Leiva for the Reds, and Karl Henry for Wolves. Liverpool seemed to have a better formation to strike into the flanks, with Maxi Rodriguez and Kuyt both running onwards with balls, and even Torres and Meireles moving into flank positions to find the space behind Henry. Wolves didn’t seem to have that kind of momentum going forward. Wing midfielders Stephen Hunt and Matthew Jarvis had some space, but even when they got free their delivery into danger areas wasn’t adequate.

The one player who was most able to find open space was Meireles. He has seemed to thrive in Dalglish’s first few matches. Coincidentally, this has also been a period where skipper Steven Gerrard has been unavailable due to suspension. His forward run in the 36th minute provided the break Liverpool needed to get ahead. Meireles entered the box, and passed across to a wide-open Torres 8 yards out for the easy score. Wolves fans were unhappy with the pass to Meireles, but a mistake by right back Ronald Zubar left the midfielder onside.

Second Half: Wolves came back from the half with a much better effort. Manager Mick McCarthy juggled his wide midfielders, and put the more-effective Jarvis on the left to matchup against youngster right back Martin Kelly. Unfortunately, their home pitch seemed to hamper the wide play towards the end of the pitch, and instead favor the break, which Liverpool worked to success. While new Wolves signee Adam Hammill came in for Hunt late and enjoyed better success in crossing towards threatening zones, they were unable to break through with a goal in the game.

Liverpool was content in the second half to play direct and simply counter off Wolves’ attack, and it was successful. Meireles scored an amazing goal off an aerial challenge at the edge of the area between Berra and Kuyt. Meireles volleyed the ball as it dropped to the ground, and it arced perfectly over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and into the top right corner for 2-0. Liverpool’s final score came on the break, as Kuyt rushed down the left flank against Richard Stearman. Stearman challenged Kuyt, and the ball popped fortuitously to Torres for his second tap-in of the match.

Final Thoughts: One player who had a stellar match for Wolves the week before was Nenad Milijas. The defensive midfield combo of Lucas and Poulsen prevented him from having much impact on the match. It will surprise me if Hammill isn’t in future lineups for McCarthy, he added a level of quality that was lacking in Hunt.

Either way, I think Liverpool was due this victory, and weren’t going to be stopped from attaining it. Their defensive six, as well as goaltender Pepe Reina, worked hard to keep Wolves from having solid goalscoring opportunities. All-in-all, the Reds were the better side today, but Wolves deserved a better showing on the scoresheet.

I like to keep stats when I watch sports, so I’ll include this stuff. I won’t warrant their complete accuracy, but I hope they are close.

Wolves v. Liverpool 1.22.11 Match Statistics1 300x184 Wolves 0 3 Liverpool   Spotlight Match Review

Wolves v Liverpool 1.22.11 Full Stats1 Wolves 0 3 Liverpool   Spotlight Match Review

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Wolves 0-3 Liverpool – Spotlight Match Review

  1. priyavrat says:

    gaffer,
    tell me, are u watching man c match? and what do u think upto now in this match….?
    are u watching this match online?

    • Earl Reed says:

      I can’t speak for The Gaffer, but it’s been a pretty good game thus far. Seems like City is having problems with flow, but still a lot of time left.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Watching it on television. So far, so good. City is looking very confident today despite the scoreline. And how about Mr. Bent? Makes him look like a much better buy than Pienaar for Spurs in just one half.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • priyavrat says:

        wooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        man city lost…..woooooooooo!!!!!!!!
        arsenal now reach on second spot just united to beat….but how? they are continuously winning every match…. but i know they they will surely lost, maybe against chelsea…maybe against our team….
        gaffer wat do u think… i want your articale on this….

        cheers,
        arsenal.

        • The Gaffer says:

          Arsenal still has a LONG way to go, but they’re in a very good position now having one game in hand over Manchester City and they can really push United for the title if the Gunners don’t stumble. I certainly hope Arsenal give United a run for its money to try to win the title. It’d be great to see three teams chasing for that top spot.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • priyavrat says:

            HEY GAFFER, IT IS RIGHT THAT ITS MORE OF CHANCE OF ARSENAL THEN MAN U TO STUMBLE……BUT ANYWAY, NOW IT LOOKS LIKE THIS SEASON IS FAR OVER FOR SPUR AND CHELSEA AND I ALSO KNOW U MIGHT NOT BE SATISFY WITH ME ON THIS BUT IT IS TRUE BECAUSE SPUR AND CHELSEA ARE STILL MANY POINT BEHIND ARSENAL ANS ESP. MAN U WHICH HAVE STILL GAME IN HAND…. IT WOULD REQUIRE THEM TO WIN EVERY MATCHES AND SIDE BY SIDE THEY HAVE TO HOPE FOR ARSENAL AND UTD TO LOSE THEIR POINTS WHICH IS NOT LOOKING POSSIBLE FROM ANY ANGLE…INNIT?…TIME IS ALSO DECREASING DAY BY DAY AS WE SAW TODAY WHERE IT WAS NECESSARY FOR THEM TO WIN AND EARN ALL THREE POINTS BUT THEY COULD NOT DO THIS AND IF THEY KEEP LOSING POINTS IN SUCH A MANNER THEN WHO KNOWS CHANCE MAY ARISE IF THEY COULD NOT EVEN QUALIFY FOR CL….

            CHEERS,
            ARSENAL.

  2. LL says:

    How is beating Wolves a TURNING POINT GAME ?…its a team fighting at the bottom of the table!!! Liverpool beat Chelsea for the first time in a long time and I was told that was going to be their turning point as well. It amazes me how people have such short term memories in this sport. Case in point look at how many Chelsea fans have turned on a mgr that just won the double and because of a couple of bad months they think he now all of a sudden is a bad mgr.

    • The Gaffer says:

      LL, it’s a turning point because Dalglish finally got his first win and Liverpool played today like a team that’s fighting for points. If that had been Hodgson in charge, I think they would have ended up losing.

      Liverpool still has a long way to go, and we have to wait and see whether the Wolves match was indeed a turning point. Only time will tell.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Earl Reed says:

      It was an away game, against a team who had been playing somewhat better football, with a new manager who has been trying to gain traction in league play. The fact they played a full 90 minutes of football is a start for them.

  3. priyavrat says:

    Today liverpool really looks like a total different team… they were moving the ball forward and very quick on their feet… but for last 20min or so liverpool started defending i coudnot understand this approach somewhat but anyway they were good on counters esp. torress was forward and he was imposing the main threat to wolves. and what about merciless volley…..absolutely incredible!!! he reminds me of ronney volley against newcastle…innit?

    Cheers,
    Arsenal.

  4. Dave C says:

    Just a small correction – it’s Stephen Hunt, not Matthew Hunt.

  5. Terry says:

    Gaffer said “If that had been Hodgson in charge, I think they would have ended up losing”.

    Wow! You’ve finally had something negative to say about Hodgson. I think hell is freezing over :) .

    • The Gaffer says:

      LOL Terry. I was supportive of Hodgson up to the point where Liverpool lost to Wolves at Anfield. At that point, it was plain for me to see that the players weren’t playing for him and that Hodgson had lost the plot. He was given enough of a chance to succeed. That’s all I asked for. And the proof is in the pudding.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  6. Dylan Thomas says:

    If they can keep it up and make a few key signings in the summer, they’ll be right back in for European contention next season – as long as they remain consistent. It’s not like this one win fixes everything, but they needed it to boost morale and I think it has done.

  7. dominjon says:

    It wasn’t the result, so much as the result and the performance. We showed grit and didn’t pull out of 50/50s or let ourselves get bullied, and we showed what a lot of us always said to the ‘players are not good enough for anything but a relegation fight’ argument with players throughout the team looking comfortable on and off the ball.
    I know it was against a beaten team but that finals goal had about 30 consecutive Liverpool passes. That is what Kenny and Clarke has brought to the team. I doubt any goal under Roy Hodgson for Liverpool had more than 7 or 8.

  8. Gaz Hunt says:

    Earl,

    I disagree a little with the diagram. Meireles was, obviously, playing in the Gerrard role and pushed up to almost level with Torres (arrow needed indicating forward). Kuyt was not nearly as advanced as he usually is (no arrow). Lastly, I think Poulsen and Lucas were both playing sitting positions – taking turns stepping up the field but only ever slightly (no arrow).

    I know I’m nit-picking and I apologize but thought I’d put it out there.

    It was basically a 4-2-3-1 but played out like a 4-2-2-1-1. Good formation for our players, I believe.

    When Gerrard gets back a hard decision will have to be made – put Gerrard behind Torres and bring Mierles back (in the Poulsen position) or vise versa. I would personally put Gerrard in the Poulsen position and let him spread the passes from there – leaving Mierles where he is.

    • Earl Reed says:

      I guess I haven’t explained my positioning conventions. Not sure whether it’s the right way or not, but it’s the way I do it.

      I note each team’s formation at their most organized time…usually when the opposing goalkeeper is putting the ball into play. I like to note it when the ball is central, because the formation can flow towards the ball.

      So for the most part, the three attacking midfielders for Liverpool were primarily in a flat formation. I do agree that Kuyt slid back a lot…not sure if that’s to help cover the times when Kelly got forward.

      The arrows for me tend to indicate when I think a player is getting active into other areas. Perhaps I should have added a second arrow for Kuyt to indicate that he was dropping back some.

      • Gaz Hunt says:

        Yeah, that’s what I assumed the arrows meant.

        Like I said, I don’t think Poulsen nor Kuyt were getting very far ahead for a typical holding midfielder and left midfielder (no arrows). Plus, I think Mierles was getting very far upfield for a typical center midfielder (arrow needed).

        Again, I’m nit-picking and it doesn’t really matter. :)

  9. R2Dad says:

    Thanks for the formation analysis! I enjoy Spotlight Match Review.

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