Saturday, September 24, 2011

Live Thoughts: Liverpool vs Wolves (Premier League)

I covered this match live. Here are my unedited thoughts as the match took place.

Hey there, here's another live thoughts section from me. After two away defeats, we struggled but successfully fought off a valiant Brighton in the Carling Cup. Let's hope that we can build on that win with our first home fixture in around a month, against Wolves. It was announced today that our next opponent in the Carling Cup is Stoke away, the same fixture we lost two weeks ago. Hopefully we can cover some ground and beat them at the Britannia next time. It's not an easy fixture though.

Enough about Stoke, here are the lineups for today:

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Lucas, Adam, Downing, Carroll, Suarez. Subs: Doni, Gerrard, Coates, Kuyt, Spearing, Flanagan, Bellamy.

Gerrard still not fit enough to start, but I'm sure he's going to play some part today. I'm disappointed not to see Kuyt play from the beginning after his goal against Brighton, and possibly the same for Bellamy. But it's a decent lineup. Best thing about it? Martin Kelly is back. We've missed him a lot, and I'm starting to think he has a realistic chance of taking over Glen Johnson as our main right back. There's still room for improvement though. Definitely better than Skrtel there though!

Wolves: Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Henry, Hunt, Edwards, O'Hara, Jarvis, Doyle. Subs: De Vries, Elokobi, Fletcher, Hammill, Milijas, Guedioura, Doherty.

Wolves beat us here last season, and they have improved a bit since. That being said we also have improved a lot since that fixture, and anything other than three points today is simply a disappointment. Their danger lies in Hunt and O'Hara, who are very dangerous when on form. Kevin Doyle is also an underrated striker in the Premier League.

2' - Wolves have had the better of the play so far. Not the best start for us.

4' - We counter attack with Suarez and Carroll but it leads to nothing. It's frustratingly the furthest we have gotten so far.

7' - You wouldn't think we're the home side at the moment based on how much pressure Wolves are putting on us. They're not dominating, but we are second best at the moment.

8' - Finally a decent burst of pressure. Adam had a shot saved and it goes for a cortner. Nothing comes of it, but we manage to put their defence under that little bit of pressure as we pass around their box.

10' - More pressure; another corner. Wayne Hennessy punches the ball nicely out of the box. Good keeping.

10' - GOAL! Liverpool 1-0! Charlie Adam takes a pot shot from around 20 yards that looks like it took a deflection! There's a possibility that Wolves should have had a free kick before, as Carroll put some pressure on Roger Johnson earlier.

11' - It's been put down as an own goal by the way. We are lucky to be winning this match. Wolves have been the better side and there is an argument to be made that the goal shouldn't have counted. My take was actually yes, it should have been a free kick for Wolves. But as a biased Reds fan... yay! We're winning!

13' - Adam! Close. We're on top now. That bit of luck has put the confidence in the Reds.

16' - They just showed the Carroll replay. It was a foul. But these things happen. These decisions go for and against teams all the time.

19' - That was excellent from Suarez then. Pepe Reina kicks the ball probably 100 yards up fron to Suarez, who drags the ball to the right of the penalty area, before backheeling, taking his defender away and tries to pass the ball. Wolves clear but it was a piece of magic by Suarez then, and Reina, once again, proving why he's one of the best kickers of all the keepers in the world.

22' - Suarez! Another close effort! Carroll and Suarez combine nicely, with
Carroll passing from the left but it's just a bit too long.

25' - Carroll clears the ball in our own box this time as Matt Jarvis puts in a cross. He's been great so far today Carroll, a justified selection from Kenny Dalglish.

27' - Dangerous free kick territory for Wolves. Around 20 yards out, slightly to the left. It hits our wall and nothing comes of it.

30' - Downing has a nice run down the left wing and crosses it to Suarez who scuffs it wide. Shame.

32' - Carl Henry gets a yellow card. Martin Skrtel makes a run down the centre of the pitch and Henry tugs him down. It's not really worthy of a yellow but the protests didn't help.

33' - Lucas is now yellow carded. There's a flurry of cards now, the players are a little agitated. Lucas has done a few challenges today mind.

34' - A very dangerous free kick for Wolves. It was on the outside of the penalty area, on the right. It goes over the wall and Lucas blocks it. Wolves should have done better with that.

36' - The possession apparently is 67%/33% to Liverpool in these past five minutes. It doesn't feel as we were as dominant now as we were 15 minutes ago.

37' - GOAL! Luis Suarez finally gets his goal! He completely times his run to perfection, taking the ENTIRE Wolves defence out. Enrique was the passer. Suarez is 1 to 1 with the keeper he takes his time, one of the Wolves players get to him, he takes him on and slams it into the centre of the net, keeper no chance! What a player!

39' - Suarez is on fire at the moment, he takes on a few players and passes to Carroll, but the ball completely missed it. No one is on his level on the pitch at the moment, not even Carroll knows what he's about to do!

42' - Yellow card for Stephen Hunt, he takes out Charlie Adam really late. A justified decision from the referee.

45' - Two minutes of added time.

45' - SUAREZ! Great save by Hennessy. There was some good movement from Downing and he gets the ball to Suarez, who with little space around passes the ball round the keeper but with a desperate hand, Hennessy saves well.

45+1' - Andy Carroll takes a wild shot that goes no where as there were too many Wolves players around him. He's had a good half though, no critisicm from me.

45+2 - Half time.

My thoughts on the first half are that we are on top of this game now. It took the second goal really for that to become official. Our first 10 minutes were pretty dire. The first goal was lucky, Carroll got away with a foul on Johnson, and Adam's shot was deflected into the net by the same player. As the match got on we grew in confidence, and that in turn made Suarez more and more dangerous. His second goal was fantastic, his timing to avoid the offside flag was perfect. He's easily the best player on that pitch today. I hope this performance continues to excel in the second half.

45' - Changes at half time for Wolves: Matt Doherty and Steven Fletcher for Richard Stearman and David Edwards.

48' - GOAL! Steven Fletcher! That's what you call making an impact... a cross from the left, but Reina doesn't deal with it. Hunt lays it for Fletcher who slams it into the net. Wolves are back in this.

49' - SUAREZ! He should have a brace now! Good play from Carroll who puts Hennessy under pressure and the ball gets to Suarez who's shot is saved nicely by the keeper.

52' - CARROLL! Oh dear it hit the post! Unlucky!

54' - It's been a very exciting start to the second half from the unbiased audience, although we shouldn't have made the mistake to let Wolves back in this.

55' - Doyle! Reina collects the ball! Doyle has some space in the box and takes a shot that hits a Red, and Reina collects it.

56' - Carroll slides at a Wolves player rashly, and he's given a yellow card. Very rash.

57' - The ball drifts to the Liverpool defence on the left, and for some reason Reina's out towards the corner flag. Thankfully he clears it, a bit odd though.

61' - O'Hara takes his chance from distance and it floats over the goal.

64' - Jarvis wins a corner for Wolves. Kelly was dealing with him okay in the first half but tale is starting to change.

65' - Nothing comes of the corner. Wolves are playing much better now, they're the better team at this moment of time. It's probably time to start thinking of subs now I say. Gerrard could come on and try to steady ship.

66' - Kelly looks like he's getting a yellow card. He mistimes his tackle quite badly, although unintentionally. It's proof that Jarvis is winning the battle at the moment if Kelly feels to resort to do sliding tackles.

67' - O'Hara takes the free kick from near the left corner flag. He lifts the ball off the ground and kicking it right into the middle of the box. Absolute mayhem in the box, we didn't deal with it and it's a corner for Wolves.

68' - Nothing comes of it but they're still on top. A cross is in the box and Berra tustles with Reinafor it and Berra wins, but heads it wide.

69' - LUCAS! Just wide. Carroll sets Lucas up for a shot a good 20 yards out and he places the ball, just wide of the Wolves left goal post. Nice effort although I'm sure a blasted shot would have been more effective.

70' - Liverpool Sub: Dirk Kuyt comes on for Jordan Henderson. Good move I say, not to say Henderson has had a bad game, I just think Kuyt's presence is needed.

71' - Downing passes it to Suarez just outside the box and Suarez takes on his defender and beats him! He shoots wide though. Bad shot at the end unfortunately.

73' - We're making the game a bit more even now, a bit of a surge in the last three minutes is going our way.

75' - A lot of the ball is going to Downing who keeps trying to whip crosses from the left with mixed results. He has found Suarez a couple of times though.

78' - Gerrard is going to come on soon.

81' - Liverpool Sub: Gerrard comes on for Luis Suarez, two games in a row. Suarez was excellent in the second half.

82' - Wolves Sub: Adlene Guedioura replaces Stephen Hunt. That's all three Wolves subs used now.

83' - Replays of Suarez going off and he kicks a bottle in frustration. I love and hate his frustration. He needs to show respect to the other players in the team who are also wanting to play. But at least he cares, at least he's passionate. As I said I like and hate it.

86' - GERRARD! Just over. Vintage Gerrard gets the ball just outside the box, he heads it down and a sharp volley is just over the bar. I missed those shots! Welcome back Gerrard!

88' - Nice counter attacking football from Gerrard and Kuyt as they pass and switch places from the centre and left sides of the pitch. It ends with Gerrard on the left of the penalty box but the Wolves defender intercepts. It was nice movement from those two great Reds. Gerrard is looking lively today.

90' - Three minutes of added time.

90+3' - Carroll gets the ball in the box and dances around two defenders but just can't shoot, the defender takes the ball off him in the end and the whistle blows.

Full time analysis is that once again, we did enough. We were the better team after the first goal, until the first half finished. Luck was definitely on our side as we were quite bad for the first 10 minutes. A freak deflection got our game going, and going into half time 2-0 was enough for the win today. A great tactical decision from Mick McCarthy to go 4-4-2 (they started 4-5-1) and to put Fletcher on got them their goal. It also made them much more dangerous than in the first half. Gerrard's inclusion in the last 10 minutes made the game much easier to phase out, and we get 3 more points which brings us to 4th place, but with one game more played than those teams around us. Until next time, take care.

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