Liverpool continued their revival from the heavy blow dealt out by Tottenham last Sunday, with a 2-1 win at home against Wolves.
A bizarre Roger Johnson own goal opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Charlie Adam’s fierce drive was headed onto the post and in by the former Birmingham defender.
Boosted by their early lead, Liverpool took a hold on the game and in the 38th minute a divine pass from Jose Enrique was met by Luis Suarez who twisted and turned in the box before firing past a helpless Wayne Hennessey.
Wolves made two changes at the break and one of them made an instant impact. In the 49th minute, Steven Fletcher latched on to a Steven Hunt cross and thumped the ball high into the net, past an outstretched Pepe Reina.
Liverpool, who won 2-1 away against Brighton in the Carling Cup in midweek, were made to fight for all three points at Anfield today. The visitors started the stronger and Mick McCarthy’s side were first to get a shot away, however, Jamie O’Hara’s effort was not enough to test Reina in goal.
After the long awaited return of Steven Gerrard, coming off the bench against Brighton on Wednesday, the skipper started this game on the bench. After riding the storm from Wolves, Liverpool found room to attack and Charlie Adam stepped up with a long-range drive, initially heading wide of the post, but for the head of Roger Johnson.
The home side continued to be dominant and showed spells of attacking ingenuity, one of which paid off, when Jose Enrique’s lofted through ball was expertly met by the run of Luis Suarez and taken down with a deft touch. The tricky Uruguayan needed no invitation to serge into the box and after cutting inside, the number seven switched back onto his left foot and quickly shot past a helpless Hennessey. Wolves defence were turned inside out by Suarez and Liverpool looked good for their lead, up 2-0 at the break.
Having found themselves down by two goals in the first 45 minutes, Wolves were in need of a change. Mick McCarthy duly delivered and brought on Steven Fletcher and Matt Doherty to replace Richard Stearman and David Edwards.
It didn’t take long for the double substitution to take effect when Steven Hunt’s low cross was dispatched from close range by the fresh legs of Fletcher. Wolves now had a foothold on the game but their determination to draw level was bettered by Liverpool’s desire to put the game to bed. Kenny Dalglish’s men had a number of chances saved by the Wolves keeper Hennessey, who despite conceding two goals, had a solid game. Suarez and Downing both had efforts denied and Andy Carroll, who started the game, was unlucky when his header hit the upright.
Wolves looked to snatch a point from the game when Jamie O’Hara’s shot glanced over the bar and Christophe Berra also came close with a header.
Liverpool fans were given something extra to cheer about when the club captain, Steven Gerrard, was introduced to the game, replacing Luis Suarez, who showed his disappointment at being taken off by kicking out at a water bottle. Gerrard made his first Premier League appearance since he last played against Manchester United in the 3-1 home win in March and he was unlucky not to mark the occasion by scoring one of his trademark long-range efforts.
For Liverpool, it was a relief to see the game out and claim a much-needed three points after losing two consecutive Premier League games. The Reds need to keep winning games like these comfortably if they are to finish in the top four at the end of the season and challenge for the Champions League positions.
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Enrique, 23 Carragher, 34 Kelly, 37 Skrtel, 14 Henderson (Kuyt 71), 19 Downing, 21 Lucas, 26 Adam, 7 Suarez (Gerrard 81), 9 Carroll
Subs: 32 Doni, Coates, 38 Flanagan, 8 Gerrard, 20 Spearing, 18 Kuyt, 39 Bellamy
Wolves: 1 Hennessey, 5 Stearman (Doherty 46), 11 Ward, 14 Johnson, 16 Berra, 4 Edwards (Fletcher 46), 8 Henry, 12 Hunt (Guedioura 81), 17 Jarvis, 24 O’Hara, 29 Doyle
Subs: 31 De Vries, 3 Elokobi, 30 Doherty, 19 Hammill, 20 Milijas, 34 Guedioura, 10 Fletcher
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