Coming off a hard-luck loss against their nearest rivals in the chase for the league title, Liverpool detoured to Wolverhampton for the third round of the FA Cup. The Reds fell to Wolves 2-1 at Molineux Stadium.
This was a Liverpool side that looked like they saved introductions for the tunnel before taking the pitch. The Reds fielded a mix of veterans and youth with hopes of supplying enough to get the club to the next round. Without much sense of what each other was likely to do, the side faltered. Wolverhampton fielded a side with purpose. The difference was obvious.
The first half found Liverpool uncertain and unassertive, while the home side recognised an opportunity when they saw one. Nine changes from Thursday’s line-up might explain the poor performance as a side but individual struggles compounded the problems too. At the break, Liverpool trailed by a goal that saw self-inflicted errors get punished.
The second half suggested that maybe there was something yet in the contest when Divock Origi equalised. However, it did not take long for Wolves to reestablish their lead and possibly pull the curtain on Simon Mignolet’s time at Liverpool when Ruben Neves beat him from some distance.
Back on top, Wolverhampton rode their luck and the lead until the end. Even adding Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino could not rush to rescue the Reds from crashing out of the cup once again.
Here are four findings from the match.