Liverpool slipped further off the Champions League qualification places, following a comprehensive loss to Wolves at Molineux on Saturday afternoon. Jurgen Klopp’s side have been way short of their brilliant best this term and were comfortably undone by Wolves. The victory is a huge boost for the home side’s hopes of avoiding the drop in the Premier League.
Wolves stunned Liverpool 3-0 at Molineux to move out of the Premier League relegation zone, Eurosports reports.
It was a dream start for the hosts as Liverpool defender Joel Matip turned Hwang Hee-Chan’s fifth-minute cross into his own net.
Seven minutes later, debutant Craig Dawson hammered home Wolves’ second, finding space in the box after Liverpool failed to clear a free kick.
Liverpool were a shell of themselves in the first half, but improved in the second.
Naby Keita had time and space in the box to get the Reds back into the game, but his shot somehow was blocked on the line by Max Kilman.
The visitors continued their siege of the Wolves goal, but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
Wolves boss, Julen Lopetegui, changed his approach with the introduction of Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho at the expense of Pablo Sarabia and Matheus Cunha.
Liverpool continued to dominate but were hit by a sucker-punch in the 71st minute. Moutinho stole possession deep in his own half and played an immediate pass to Adama Traore who was racing into a gap in the Reds’ backline.
Traore drove into the Liverpool box and passed to the late-arriving Ruben Neves. The Wolves captain beat one defender before rolling the ball past Alisson for a 3-0 lead.
The defeat leaves Liverpool still searching for their first league win of 2023, with a derby against resurgent Everton next up.
While Liverpool have been struggling for form all season, this was a new low. The Reds looked nothing like the team that has lit up the Premier League for the last four seasons against Wolves. Their energy levels were non-existent, their front line looked toothless, and their defence sat back on their heels, seemingly scared to make tackles.
It is surely impossible to imagine that Klopp has lost the dressing room, given all he has achieved, but this was a shockingly poor performance.
Liverpool have still not won a league match this year, and face a suddenly daunting derby in their next fixture.
Player of the match, Reuben Neves, the all-action Portuguese midfielder was sensational against Liverpool. In the opening period, with his team dominating the ball, Neves was linking play brilliantly. He provided a constant outlet and played incisive, aggressive passes.
When Liverpool had a long spell of dominance in the second half, Neves was seemingly the only Wolves player capable of picking off opposition passes.
Finally, when Liverpool began to flag, Neves was the one to seal victory with a lung-busting, length-of-the-field run to put away Traore’s pass for 3-0.
The hosts, Wolves, made 29 clearances in the second half, including 17 in the first 15 minutes after the break. This was a remarkably resolute performance from Lopetegui’s side, and one that should give them plenty of confidence about their chances of staying up.
The visitors, Liverpool, turned over possession 17 times in the opening 45 minutes, including five times in their own half. Wolves blitzed them with energy and the Reds simply couldn’t match them.