It’s all so easy in retrospect; Wolves who can barely remember the elation of scoring, should go toe to toe, all guns blazing against one of Europe’s finest who have gorged themselves on goals all season.
The recipe for being the recipient of an absolute hammering I’d say. Had Wolves flooded numbers forward, they would have been ripped to shreds. The most predictable part of this game is that Wolves would draw a blank and this was achieved with maximum comfort. The trouble is we didn’t produce much more offensively against the likes of Norwich or Burnley so to expect our impotent attack to put starch in their collars against Liverpool was a fanciful notion from the outset.
Wolves unashamedly set out to contain and given the respective merits of the two squads it’s difficult to know what the alternative might have been. Whether this is acceptable or not, what is beyond reproach is the absolute commitment and determination of this fragile squad who simply gave their all for the cause.
This was epitomised by Rayan Ait-Nouri who came of age as a Premier League player in this game. To see him tangling confidently against a superstar like Salah was an absolute treat. Indeed, had he not exhausted himself in the process and managed to complete the match, Wolves would surely have pocketed the point their resolve deserved.
The defensive effort was heroic; Coady led by splendid example alongside Kilman who is turning into a colossus and although Saiss and Semedo both endured erratic starts, they settled down to assist significantly in the collective effort. This was overseen by another massively re-assuring performance from Jose Sa whose excellence has bred confidence into our back-line.
Our Summer recruitment was ordinary to say the least but the signing of a dominant keeper like Sa has been an absolute gem. Wolves too occasionally benefitted from good fortune and Diogo Jota must still be wondering how he could have squandered such a gilt-edged chance to get on the scoresheet. Thought the catcalling directed at Jota from the South Bank was puerile; absolutely pathetic and many of us took the opportunity to applaud him when Klopp dragged him off in the second half.
I’m a great believer in the customer having their say and no admirer of the prissy let’s take huge offence when none is intended nonsense which pervades these days. But what Jota’s offence was defeats me; his last weeks at Molineux were not sparkling in fact I think he had lost interest, but he left the club very much in credit and who could blame him for grasping such an opportunity at Anfield? I hate to see players who have graced a Wolves’ shirt treated with disdain.
I saw how some Villa fans vilified Jack Grealish last week and I hoped we might conduct ourselves a little better. Jota’s transfer has left a gaping hole in our squad that has not been filled.
Traore was our one outlet on Saturday and given the circumstances he did very well; at the slightest sign of danger, Liverpool simply cynically fouled him. Jimenez frustratingly could not retain possession and he became an increasingly peripheral figure and the inevitable blank was drawn.
Top sides usually find a way and are prepared to take games to the wire; this Liverpool side did after appearing to have run out of ideas. Really admired our resolve and genuinely feel disappointed for the players but quite where this takes us in rectifying the real shortcomings of the squad, I’m not at all sure.
Angry, annoyed, gutted, disappointed... pick your own adjective. That’s football, we’ve been there before, many a time, but it still hurts and ruins the weekend. Playing well, but losing, does not leave you with many positives.
Pre-Nuno we would always have thought this fixture was about damage limitation. Our attitude has changed these last four seasons and we have competed strongly, this game was like that. We have some good players and plenty of quality. Liverpool were clearly the better side with more quality but we pushed them hard.
The pattern of the game was predictable as we had less possession, defended resolutely, while hoping to create chances on the counter attacks. The obvious difference between the sides was the strength of their forwards. Liverpool had a front three, each of them looked a goal scoring threat, Jota, needlessly booed by some, being the pick of the bunch.
In contrast we had Jimenez, who had his third poor game in a row, hardly winning a header or tackle while going offside too often and getting booked again. Hwang always wanted more time and space and struggled to influence. Traore looked the player most likely to create or score a goal. He was constantly fouled in the second half. Had Semedo and Jimenez timed their passes better we might well have seen a better outcome.
We had plenty of heroic performances in defence. Saiss and Kilman impressed. Coady was playing with his midriff and only one leg for the second half, making that extraordinary goal line save. MOTM Ait-Nouri proved he can defend. Up against Salah he put in an outstanding performance. It must have hurt him the most to see the goal coming from his area of the pitch that he had controlled before going off injured.
Bruno had brought Moutinho on for Hwang which seemed logical. Taking Traore off did not. He was our only threat and our out ball. He was also keeping the Liverpool defence honest and deeper.
Yea, it’s still painful thinking about the game. Hopefully Ait-Nouri and Coady are not long term injuries. We need them for next week.
Before the game I feared the worst but hats off to the lads as we matched Liverpool for 93 of the 94 minutes. The scousers’ only tactic in the first 70 minutes seemed to be “kick Traore at ever opportunity” and with everyone playing their part, this worked well to prevent a handful of red cards for Klopp’s men.
We almost made it to the very end by Ait-Nouri, who had been verging on a 10/10 rating, was withdrawn through cramp and his replacement Hoever failed to apply the same intensity allowing the winger 10 yards to create the winning goal at the bitter end.
To a man wolves battled like true warriors but a moment of weakness let us down.
Such a shame that the result could not have been a more fitting one as we said farewell to Bob Davies, a Wolves regular for over 50 years and a Hatherton Wolves fixture since day one. Fly high mate.
Football can be cruel at times.
We didn’t do enough to win this game, but had defended magnificently for 94 minutes and we did deserve a draw. As the game progressed, I felt it was going to be 1-0 and it could go either way.
We had some scares along the way, especially with the Jota miss where Coady saved us on the line and also the block by Sa when Thiago looked set to score.
Our defence were superb, each and every one of them. The stand out player was Ait-Nouri, who had his best game for Wolves and kept Salah at bay with relative ease.
Again, I will criticise Lage for his substitutions. No problem with Moutinho for Hwang with around 10 minutes remaining. We needed to compete more in the midfield.
I just can’t see why he takes Traore off. It was late in the game, but he was our only outlet and most creative player. This firmly gave the initiative to Liverpool in added time. Furthermore, I feel Trincao is a weak link who offers very little. The game often passes him by.
The real blow was when Ait-Nouri had to go off injured with just three minutes of added time to go. He had been magnificent for 92 minutes. The rest was predictable. Hoever gave possession away in Liverpool’s half. They played it down the right, with Hoever now out of position. Salah had more space than he’d enjoyed all afternoon and found Origi in the box who finished smartly.
We were into the final minute and did not deserve that. Fine margins and all that, but we need to find a result now from some very tough games to come.
I’m not impressed with the noises coming out of Molineux regarding the January window and would not be surprised to see Traore or Ait-Nouri sacrificed to provide funds. We may lose both of them and I would not be at all surprised to see bids for both coming from Liverpool.
It’s plain for all to see that the squad has punched above its weight, so far. What we need is to keep them and add to them. The quality and experience of our bench subs is frankly appalling for a Premier League club.
Such a horrible way to lose the game after defending so well throughout. Liverpool had other chances and should have scored sooner but for the way we defended we deserved a point, however a huge mistake from Ki-Jana Hoever has cost us.
Going forward we offered next to nothing. It was concerning how we had only three shots all game but the fact we hadn’t scored against Norwich or Burnley makes it feel even worse.
We are struggling with scoring goals and now we’re the second lowest scorers in the league which shows we have a lack of goalscorers and more recently we’ve not created too many good chances.
The defence deserve a lot of credit for how they dealt with Salah, Mane and Jota.
In particular to Ait-Nouri who had an outstanding game and pocketed Salah. If he didn’t get injured i’m confident we would have got a point but all that hard work was undone by Hoever losing the ball by falling over and then not dealing with the cross-field ball to Salah.
Jose Sa had another fantastic game, along with Coady and Kilman. The block from Coady was incredible, although Jota should have scored regardless.
Adama put in a good performance and was a constant threat to Liverpool but it’s difficult against their back line. It doesn’t help either when Raul and Hwang have looked off it the past couple of games and we have no one from midfield who breaks the lines anyway which has been a problem for a while.
Taking off Adama for Trincao was also a mistake from Lage. The game did not suit him in a 3-5-2 at all and it would have been much better to either leave Adama on or to have brought on Podence.
We have a really tough run and with such a small squad it’s going to make it even more difficult. We need to invest into the squad in January, a centre back and central midfielder who can actually dribble forwards with the ball and offer a goal threat but whether Fosun will invest is another question.