Liverpool 2 - 1 Wolverhampton
Liverpool resisted a second-half fightback from Wolves to secure a hard-fought victory and end a run of back-to-back Premier League defeats.
Kenny Dalglish's side took the lead when Charlie Adam's shot was headed into his own goal by Roger Johnson.
Jose Enrique's long ball over the top was fired in at close range by Luis Suarez for the Reds' second.
And although Steven Fletcher cut the deficit for Wolves, tucking in Stephen Hunt's cross, the home side held on.
It was a much-needed victory for Liverpool after league defeats by Stoke and Tottenham and leaves the Reds with 10 points from their first six matches.
Captain Steven Gerrard, who had returned to action against Brighton in midweek in the League Cup after six months out with a groin injury, came on again for the final 10 minutes.
Craig Bellamy had impressed in the match at Brighton but he was left out as Liverpool manager Dalglish favoured Andy Carroll up front. Carroll had another fruitless afternoon, but came close with a header that hit a post early in the second half just after Wolves had cut the deficit to 2-1.
Despite starting with a 4-5-1 formation for the first time this season, Wolves - who had lost 3-0 in their last Premier League outing against QPR - started well, with Jamie O'Hara shooting from distance at Jose Reina, who collected safely.
“Performance-wise, it wasn't what we know we can do. But, after two Premier League defeats, it was good to get back to winning ways.”
It was Liverpool, though, who snatched the lead in fortuitous style in the 11th minute.
After Martin Kelly's cross was cleared by Johnson, Stewart Downing teed the ball up for Adam and the Scotsman's 25-yard shot was diverted past Wayne Hennessey by the Wolves skipper's header.
Johnson protested as he felt he had been fouled while clearing the initial cross as he tussled with Carroll, but the goal stood.
Soon after, Carroll headed at Hennessey and the impressive Suarez then shot wide before Liverpool further extended their lead.
Enrique's chipped pass over the top was met by a perfectly timed run by Suarez, who twisted and turned to leave Christophe Berra struggling before firing in from eight yards.
Suarez came close again, poking the ball wide of the far post as Liverpool finished the first half strongly.
That prompted Wolves manager Mick McCarthy to make a double substitution at half-time as he switched to a 4-4-2 formation.
McCarthy was rewarded after just four minutes when one of the subs, Fletcher, shot in from eight yards after Hunt's cut-back with Reina and Martin Skrtel getting in each other's way.
Liverpool soon came close with a string of chances. Hennessey was outstanding, first blocking a close-range Suarez effort. Carroll hit the post with a back-post header after a cross from the excellent Downing, who later watched a chance of his own being saved by the Wolves keeper.
The game increasingly opened up and Wolves had opportunities of their own as Jamie O'Hara shot off target and Berra threatened with a header.
Gerrard emerged with 10 minutes to play as he replaced Suarez - who kicked a water bottle in frustration at his withdrawal - and struck over from 30 yards as Liverpool held on.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish: "It's interesting - when big Andy Carroll plays half decent, nobody comes in and asks an Andy Carroll question. [He did] everything except score a goal. We couldn't have got much more out of the big fella and we were delighted with him and for him.
"I think we deserved three points although it was difficult at times. If we'd [converted all our chances] there'd have been no one left in the stadium with 20 minutes to go. We maybe got a bit of good fortune with the first goal but we deserved a bit of luck. We've not had too much recently."
Wolves manager Mick McCarthy: "We had a difficult first half and an excellent second half. I thought first 10 minutes we started okay but then we conceded a goal, for which I thought Johnson was fouled by Carroll and I was annoyed about that.
"The second one, we tried to play offside and did it badly and it cost us. My goalkeeper is excellent and he has had a good performance but we were a far better team in the second half and that is the level of performance I would expect from us."
- 25 Reina
- 03 Jose Enrique
- 23 Carragher
- 34 Kelly Booked
- 37 Skrtel
- 14 Henderson (Kuyt - 71' )
- 19 Downing
- 21 Lucas Booked
- 26 Adam
- 07 Suarez (Gerrard - 81' )
- 09 Carroll Booked
- 32 Doni
- 16 Coates
- 38 Flanagan
- 08 Gerrard
- 20 Spearing
- 18 Kuyt
- 39 Bellamy
- 01 Hennessey
- 05 Stearman (Doherty - 46' )
- 11 Ward Booked
- 14 Johnson
- 16 Berra
- 04 Edwards (Fletcher - 46' )
- 08 Henry Booked
- 12 Hunt Booked (Guedioura - 81' )
- 17 Jarvis
- 24 O'Hara Booked
- 29 Doyle
- 31 De Vries
- 03 Elokobi
- 30 Doherty
- 19 Hammill
- 20 Milijas
- 34 Guedioura
- 10 Fletcher
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.90:00 +3:02
Unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Stephen Ward results in a free kick. Charlie Adam takes the direct free kick.90:00 +1:55
Steven Gerrard crosses the ball, Roger Johnson makes a clearance.89:51
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen Ward by Dirk Kuyt. Wayne Hennessey takes the direct free kick.89:16
The referee gives a free kick against Jamie O'Hara for handball. Jose Reina takes the direct free kick.87:20
Foul by Andy Carroll on Roger Johnson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.86:14
Shot from just outside the area by Steven Gerrard misses to the right of the target.85:38
Sanchez Jose Enrique fouled by Adlene Guedioura, the ref awards a free kick. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.83:05
Adlene Guedioura takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.82:29
The offside flag is raised against Andy Carroll. Indirect free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.80:28 Substitution
Substitution Stephen Hunt leaves the field to be replaced by Adlene Guedioura.80:28 Substitution
Substitution Luis Suarez leaves the field to be replaced by Steven Gerrard.80:04
Dirk Kuyt takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.78:08
Stephen Hunt is caught offside. Jose Reina restarts play with the free kick.77:14
The ball is delivered by Jamie O'Hara, Roger Johnson takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.76:49
Martin Skrtel challenges Kevin Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.75:50
The ball is crossed by Stewart Downing, Stephen Ward makes a clearance.75:02
Stewart Downing delivers the ball, Christophe Berra manages to make a clearance.74:28
Unfair challenge on Matthew Jarvis by Martin Kelly results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Ward.74:03
Charlie Adam takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Jamie O'Hara manages to make a clearance.
Stewart Downing delivers the ball, Matt Doherty makes a clearance.73:23
The ball is delivered by Matthew Jarvis, Charlie Adam manages to make a clearance.72:01
Luis Suarez decides to take a short corner.70:55 Substitution
Substitution Dirk Kuyt on for Jordan Henderson.70:27
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis, Jose Reina makes a save.70:20
The ball is sent over by Jamie O'Hara, Martin Kelly makes a clearance.69:35
Shot from outside the area by Leiva Lucas misses to the left of the target.68:39
Centre by Matthew Jarvis, Kevin Doyle has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.68:18
Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball, clearance by Charlie Adam.67:38
Jamie O'Hara takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Andy Carroll.67:21
Jamie O'Hara produces a cross.66:23
Martin Kelly gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matthew Jarvis. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Hunt.66:23 Booking
Booking Martin Kelly receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.65:31
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis, clearance by Sanchez Jose Enrique.65:20
Matthew Jarvis sends in a cross, clearance by Martin Kelly.64:41
Corner crossed in by Matthew Jarvis, clearance made by Jamie Carragher.63:37
Jordan Henderson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide right of the target.63:31
Sanchez Jose Enrique delivers the ball, Christophe Berra manages to make a clearance.62:26
The ball is sent over by Matthew Jarvis.61:34
Effort on goal by Jamie O'Hara from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.56:28
Andy Carroll gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Matt Doherty. Wayne Hennessey takes the free kick.56:28 Booking
Booking The referee shows Andy Carroll a yellow card.54:33
A cross is delivered by Luis Suarez, Kevin Doyle manages to make a clearance.54:02
Charlie Adam takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Karl Henry.52:45
Stewart Downing takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.51:35
Stewart Downing produces a cross, Andy Carroll produces a header from deep inside the area and hits the post.51:20
Stewart Downing crosses the ball, clearance by Christophe Berra.49:46
Unfair challenge on Matt Doherty by Charlie Adam results in a free kick. Jamie O'Hara takes the direct free kick.49:13
Luis Suarez takes a shot. Save made by Wayne Hennessey.48:13
The assist for the goal came from Stephen Hunt.48:13 Goal scored
Goal! - Steven Fletcher - Liverpool 2 - 1 Wolves Steven Fletcher gets on the score sheet with a goal from close range high into the middle of the goal. Liverpool 2-1 Wolverhampton.48:03
A cross is delivered by Jamie O'Hara, save by Jose Reina.47:10
The official flags Matthew Jarvis offside. Jose Reina takes the indirect free kick.45:01
The second half kicks off.45:01 Substitution
Substitution (Wolverhampton) makes a substitution, with Steven Fletcher coming on for David Edwards.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Matt Doherty joins the action as a substitute, replacing Richard Stearman.45:00 +2:12 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +1:44
Andy Carroll has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.45:00 +1:36
Jordan Henderson produces a cross, clearance by Christophe Berra.45:00 +0:40
Close range effort by Luis Suarez misses to the right of the goal.45:00 +0:25
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.43:17
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christophe Berra by Luis Suarez. Wayne Hennessey takes the free kick.41:59
Stephen Hunt concedes a free kick for a foul on Charlie Adam. Charlie Adam takes the direct free kick.41:59 Booking
Booking Stephen Hunt is booked.38:50 Booking
Booking Stephen Ward receives a yellow card.38:45
Shot from just outside the box by David Edwards misses to the right of the goal.37:27
Sanchez Jose Enrique provided the assist for the goal.37:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Luis Suarez - Liverpool 2 - 0 Wolves Luis Suarez finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Liverpool 2-0 Wolverhampton.36:28
The offside flag is raised against Luis Suarez. Free kick taken by Roger Johnson.35:25
The assistant referee signals for offside against Luis Suarez. Indirect free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.34:32
David Edwards takes a shot. Blocked by Leiva Lucas.33:36
Sanchez Jose Enrique gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kevin Doyle. Free kick taken by Stephen Hunt.33:07 Booking
Booking The referee shows Leiva Lucas a yellow card.32:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Richard Stearman by Leiva Lucas. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.31:52
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Skrtel by Karl Henry. Charlie Adam takes the direct free kick.31:52 Booking
Booking Karl Henry is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.30:32
Luis Suarez has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.28:08
Karl Henry produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.26:51
Free kick awarded for a foul by Martin Skrtel on Jamie O'Hara. Stephen Hunt shoots direct from the free kick.25:07
The ball is crossed by Matthew Jarvis, clearance made by Sanchez Jose Enrique.24:58
Jamie O'Hara crosses the ball, Andy Carroll makes a clearance.24:29
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leiva Lucas on Kevin Doyle. Free kick taken by Jamie O'Hara.21:52
Andy Carroll delivers the ball.21:36
Kevin Doyle sends in a cross, clearance made by Martin Skrtel.19:54
Stephen Ward fouled by Jordan Henderson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Wayne Hennessey.19:09
Handball by Christophe Berra. Jordan Henderson restarts play with the free kick.18:29
Richard Stearman challenges Stewart Downing unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Stewart Downing.16:48
Corner taken left-footed by Stewart Downing, Stephen Ward manages to make a clearance.16:41
Jordan Henderson sends in a cross.13:16
Stewart Downing takes the outswinging corner, Andy Carroll takes a shot. Save by Wayne Hennessey.12:40
The assistant referee signals for offside against Luis Suarez. Wayne Hennessey restarts play with the free kick.11:55
The assist for the goal came from Charlie Adam.10:33 Goal scored
Goal! - Roger Johnson - Liverpool 1 - 0 Wolves Own goal by Roger Johnson. Liverpool 1-0 Wolverhampton.10:33
Charlie Adam has an effort at goal.9:48
Charlie Adam takes a inswinging corner to the near post, save made by Wayne Hennessey.9:35
The ball is crossed by Martin Kelly, Christophe Berra manages to make a clearance.8:04
Corner taken by Charlie Adam.7:53
Charlie Adam takes a shot. Blocked by Christophe Berra.7:40
Jamie O'Hara takes a shot. Save by Jose Reina.4:47
Jamie O'Hara concedes a free kick for a foul on Andy Carroll. Direct free kick taken by Jamie Carragher.3:53 Booking
Booking The referee books Jamie O'Hara for unsporting behaviour.2:57
Foul by Leiva Lucas on Stephen Hunt, free kick awarded. Jamie O'Hara produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.0:59
Charlie Adam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jamie O'Hara. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Jamie O'Hara from left channel, clearance by Luis Suarez.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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