Liverpool 2 - 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Liverpool: Núñez 45’, Salah 52’
Wolves: Guedes 25’, Hwang 66’
Cody Gakpo makes his Liverpool debut as the Reds welcome Wolves to Anfield for this third round FA Cup game. Liverpool are looking to defend their title, and it starts today. Aside from that, Jürgen Klopp chose his strongest starting XI for this match as he tries to get the players back into fighting form after the long World Cup break.
Liverpool started off quickly, keeping possession and getting free kicks in a good positions. Mohamed Salah sent one such opportunity just over the bar in the opening five minutes.
Miscues on both ends have stopped any momentum from building by either team. A prime example came the 14th minute when Joël Matip gave the ball away to a Wolves player only a few yards away from his own net. Matip took too long to react when Konaté passed it to him, allowing Guedes to close him down. Luckily, his quick shot went out wide for a goal kick.
I guess Alisson thought Guedes deserved another try, because only 10 minutes later, the goalkeeper passed the ball to the forward as gently as you like. Guedes took advantage and slotted it right into Alisson’s net. Genuinely one of the dumbest goals I’ve ever seen Liverpool concede.
Guedes nearly got through again thanks to a great ball from Ruben Neves. However, Trent Alexander-Arnold was sharp to the danger and managed to nick the ball off of Guedes’ foot before he could do anymore damage.
On nearly the stroke of halftime, it was Alexander-Arnold that provided the other way as well. His cross found Darwin Núñez, who put it into the back of the net on the volley.
That goal seemed to ignite Liverpool, and they nearly got a second in added time. Jordan Henderson tried a deep cross that almost found the onrushing Andy Robertson, but it was cut out by a Wolves defender.
No changes in the second half for Liverpool, who hoped to continue the momentum they ended the first half with.
Liverpool allowed the poor goal in the first half, and it was Wolves in the second. Toti headed a flick-on right into the path of Salah, who had all the time in the world to set up his shot.
Liverpool won a corner, and Alexander-Arnold found Núñez. Unfortunately, he couldn’t direct his header to where it needed to go, and it sailed over the bar.
Wolves came close to equalizing. Neves hooked a ball over the defense into the path of Rayan Ait-Nouri, who was one-on-one with Alisson. His resulting shot was straight at Alisson for a good save, but the way they bypassed the Reds’ defense is very concerning.
It was not Alisson’s day, and he sloppily allowed yet another soft goal past him. This time, it started with a wayward long ball from Konaté that landed at the feet of Traore instead of one of his teammates. Traore curled it into Hwang Hee-Chan, whose resulting shot snuck in between Alisson’s legs. Woof.
It’s Henderson off for Naby Keïta in the Klopp’s first change of the game. Soon after came Harvey Elliott on for a flagging Fabinho, which moved Thiago Alcantara into the defensive midfield position.
Some drama as Wolves score on a corner through Toti, only to have it called back as offside. Wolves are not happy with this very tight decision.
Klopp made a triple change with Salah, Gakpo, and Alexander-Arnold all coming off for Ben Doak, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Joe Gomez.
The match ended at a draw, which means that they will have to have a replay at Molineux. It’s a very annoying situation considering Liverpool’s already packed schedule, but it’s about what this game deserved.