Unsurprisingly, Liverpool have once again made things harder for themselves in not finding a win against Wolves on Saturday’s Third Round of the FA Cup. While they didn’t outright lose - despite looking dicey there for a second - Liverpool kept themselves in the tournament another week or two until the trip to the Molineaux Stadium for the replay.
It was altogether a chore to watch, despite the four goals across the board. It may as well have been a miracle that Liverpool scored at all, even with that divine assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold to Darwin Nuñez that equalized for the Reds. There was a brief moment when it looked like Liverpool would take control, with Salah scoring in the second half to take the lead, but it was short-lived.
Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.
Winners and Losers
Winners: Even with a draw, the winners were undoubtedly Wolves and their supporters. They survived a trip to Anfield and were rewarded for their efforts with a replay at their own home stadium. Some of their fans obviously see them as hard done by by the ref with their game winning goal disallowed through the updated offside rule, and I guess Andy Robertson not getting a red card for his short legs being unable to fully jump over Adama Traore, but the replay is a chance to redeem all of that and win outright.
Losers: Well, it has to be us, the Liverpool fans. We went into this match with cautious optimism - after all, Cody Gakpo was starting alongside Darwin Nuñez, instead of as a replacement. What we got was a slog of a match, with our midfield once again struggling to find a worthwhile rhythm and cover the space left behind by our defense playing so high. You know, like they’ve been trained every other year to do. This general malaise that’s taken hold of the squad, for whatever reason, is taking it’s toll once again and will only get worse now that there’s a replay to go for in addition to an already jam packed schedule.
Sure one could look at it as the second chance that the Wolves team have also been afforded but all that cautious optimism was used up in watching Jordan Henderson toil again (and we all know how this writer feels about Hendo).
What Happens Next
Well, the obvious is the replay.
The next time Liverpool have a free week is the week after next, with January 17th or 18th looking like the likely dates. Luton and Wigan also have a replay ahead of them, with the 17th chosen as their date, so that is probably when the match with Wolves will be scheduled as well.
Liverpool play Chelsea in the Premier league the weekend of the 21st, so it certainly won’t be an easy week for the Reds. Even without the injuries plaguing the squad at the moment, there’s no guarantee they’ll get out unscathed and into the next round of the tournament to defend their trophy.
Truly, things look a little bleak for the Reds this season, after the high flying weeks of last season. It feels a little less like we’re limping but already on the ropes.
What else can one say about that?