EPL

Liverpool leave it late to come from behind and beat Wolves

By Sports Desk September 16, 2023

Liverpool’s late show fired Jurgen Klopp’s men to the top of the Premier League with a 3-1 comeback win at Wolves.

Andrew Robertson and Hugo Bueno’s own goal saw the Reds escape Molineux with a victory which looked unlikely at half-time.

Hwang Hee-Chan’s early opener gave Wolves the lead as the hosts dominated and only a woeful miss by Matheus Cunha stopped them going further ahead.

Liverpool were wretched in the first half but slowly improved, levelling through Cody Gakpo before breaking Wolves’ resistance with four minutes left for a third comeback win of the season.

Boss Klopp had unloaded a new blast at the fixture schedule ahead of the early kick-off and his mood would have darkened just seven minutes in.

Vibrant Wolves had already begun to stretch Liverpool before they broke at pace from the edge of their own area.

Cunha sent Pedro Neto scampering down the left and the forward glided past the flimsy Dominik Szoboszlai and Joel Matip.

He had little support but rolled the ball across the front of goal for Hwang to slide in at the far post as Alisson failed to make the ground.

Manager Gary O’Neil promised Wolves had a plan to be aggressive and they continued to press with debutant Jean-Ricner Bellegarde a bustling presence, in contrast to the sloppy £60m Szoboszlai.

Neto was a constant menace, steering over Nelson Semedo’s cross before firing wide from 20 yards, with Liverpool shellshocked and unable to find rhythm.

If Klopp, who patrolled his technical area with typical gusto, expected a response he was found wanting. Gakpo was anonymous, Mo Salah timid and Diego Jota wasted their only opening of the half, firing over from 15 yards.

While masterminding Bournemouth’s escape from relegation last season, O’Neil oversaw a 1-0 win against Liverpool and the boss believes the Reds will challenge for the title again.

After three wins from their opening four games, he expected to see an improved Liverpool at Molineux yet for spells it was one-way traffic as Wolves dominated and should have doubled their lead after 33 minutes.

Again Neto was the architect, bamboozling Joe Gomez to cross for an unmarked Cunha, only for the striker to completely mistime his header from five yards to let Liverpool off the hook.

It was a glaring miss but the pedestrian Reds were unable to take immediate advantage, Gakpo slicing wide and nodding over.

There was, at least, a small spark from Liverpool before the break when Jose Sa spilled Jota’s cross to Salah, whose shot was blocked, with Sa then saving Szoboszlai’s follow up.

The fear for Wolves was Liverpool would not be that passive in the second half and Klopp responded by introducing Luis Diaz for Alexis Mac Allister.

It almost paid off immediately when the forward headed Robertson’s cross inches wide 90 seconds after the re-start – and the visitors levelled 10 minutes later.

Wolves were unable to rob Diaz and Gakpo on the edge of the box, with the ball eventually rolling for Salah to cross low for Gakpo to tap in from close range.

It was the striker’s final touch, Darwin Nunez replacing him, while Wolves’ good work was in the process of being completely undone.

From being in charge, the hosts had their backs to the wall and only a last-ditch block from Max Kilman stopped Nunez snatching the lead.

Yet the Reds struck with four minutes left after Sa gifted them a second.

The goalkeeper’s poor clearance was collected by Robertson mid-way inside the Wolves half. He advanced to dart into the area, swapped passes with Salah and finish under Sa.

There was still time for a third in stoppage time when Elliott’s 20-yard drive clipped Bueno to wrongfoot Sa and roll in off the post.

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