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West Ham United
31 January 2012
• Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Referee: A. Taylor
• Attendance: 27447
A. Carroll 53'
C. Bellamy 61'
D. Kuijt 78'
It was very tight moving into the second half but Carroll's seven minutes after the break calmed the visitors down, and in the end it was easy for Liverpool. Whilst the away side will be very happy with their night's work, and more importantly with Carroll's performance, Wolves fans will be disgruntled with their side's efforts, particularly in the second half. In fact, the players are booed by the Molineux faithful as the teams leave the pitch.
90' + 3'
FULL TIME: Wolves 0-3 Liverpool. Carroll, Bellamy and Kuyt goals see Liverpool move above Arsenal into fifth place in the league with a convincing victory.
So close for Ebanks-Blake! The substitute lets rip with an rasping strike which comes back off the inside of the post. It would have been scarce consolation for Wolves though, who have been outfought and out-thought in this second half. At the other end, Carroll's tame shot is gathered easily by Hennessey.
Two substitutions; one for either side. Frimpong is replaced by Nenad Milijas for Wolves and Jamie Carragher comes on for Agger, who has been a colossus at the back for Liverpool tonight. The Reds could have had a fourth just then as Bellamy's corner is headed wide by Carroll. Close.
Assist Charlie Adam
Goal Dirk Kuyt
Game, set and match. Kuyt fires home across Hennessey to seal a comprehensive win for the Reds. They have been brilliant in this second half and a swift counter attack proves to be Wolves' downfall this time as Adam's perfect pass finds the Dutchman, who finishes with aplomb.
Hennessey marginally makes amends for his error for the goal as he pulls off a stunning stop to tip over Kuyt's deflected effort. Liverpool could potentially run up a cricket score in the last 15 minutes here...
Yellow Card David Edwards
And just seconds later, Edwards is cautioned after pulling back Glen Johnson.
Yellow Card Daniel Agger
Agger then goes into the book after hacking down Fletcher near the half-way line.
Agger goes close as Liverpool look to see out this victory in style here. They have looked fantastic going forward at times this evening and the Dane is the latest to try his luck at grabbing the third goal here. Martin Skrtel flicks on a corner but Agger can only nod just wide when he should have perhaps done better.
Two Wolves subs as Michael Kightly leaves the field to be replaced by Stephen Hunt and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake comes on for Eggert Jonsson, who has had a torrid time in midfield. The visitors are still well on top and could easily have extended their advantage with Carroll and Adam both going close.
Assist Jay Spearing
Goal Craig Bellamy
Bellamy doubles Liverpool's lead but Hennessey can only have himself to blame for a poor piece of goalkeeping here. The Welsh striker carries the ball a long way before curling beyond his national compatriot from the edge of the area. The shot, though, squirms horribly under the keeper, who has given his team-mates a mountain to climb here.
Liverpool are well in control now, stroking the ball around with ease. Glen Johnson almost presents Wolves with an opportunity as his heavy touch in his own area gets away from him, but the right-back clears his lines to save his blushes. The attendance at Molineux this evening is 27,447 for those of you that are interested...
It had been a fairly scrappy opening to the second half before Carroll's opener. Hopefully that goal can spark this game into life again. That goal, incidentally, is the England striker's first since October 29, when he bagged against West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Assist Charlie Adam
Goal Andy Carroll
Liverpool open the scoring as Andy Carroll scores on his one year anniversary at the club. The visitors have been by far the better side and were rewarded as Charlie Adam whipped in a cross to the back post that Carroll poked past Hennessey as he outmuscled Christophe Berra.
Couple of worries at the start of the second half for Wolves fans. Stephen is the first to go down after Henderson catches him on his foot but he appears to be okay now. Frimpong, who starts tonight despite that horrific-looking eye injury he sustained against Aston Villa last week, also runs off an injury after Carroll clatters into him.
Liverpool get us underway for the second half.
45' + 1'
HALF TIME: The referee brings an end to what has been an entertaining first half here at Molineux. It took a while to get going but hopefully the last 20 minutes of the first half will serve as some sort of indication for what the second half will be like...
Liverpool twice go close prior to half-time in what has been a very topsy-turvy half. Carroll's close-range effort was diverted away when it was seemingly goal-bound and Wolves' keeper Hennessey again came to his side's rescue as he gets down low to hold onto a Jordan Henderson strike.
Wolves' best effort of the first half, and it would have been a lovely goal too. Kightly, who has looked the most threatening player for the home side tonight, plays a neat one-two with Fletcher before firing just inches past Pepe Reina's left-hand post. The home side are very much in this game so far.
Bellamy again goes close, on two occasions. First, he tests Hennessey with a stinging free-kick and then goes close with a near-post strike, following a lovely ball from Adam. For all Liverpool's efforts on goal so far though, it still remains 0-0 here.
Controversy at Molineux as Charlie Adam goes down under a challenge from Emmanuel Frimpong but referee Anthony Taylor is having none of it as he ushers the Reds' midfielder to his feet. Replays show that it probably was a penalty.
It really has turned into an end to end game, this. Christophe Berra twice has to be aware to intercept through balls from Kuyt and Jay Spearing respectively, whilst the former also goes close; volleying over from a Carroll knock-down.
After such a tentative start, the game has really come alive in the last ten minutes. Liverpool had probably had the better of the play but Wolves have their best period of the game as a Michael Kightly cross forces Agger into a last-ditch header and just minutes later Fletcher's header sails over the bar from a well-worked corner.
Yellow Card Craig Bellamy
Bellamy is at the centre of all the action here. After winning a corner, his delivery is met by a firm header from Daniel Agger who is only denied by a fine Hennessey save on the line. The Welshman is then booked though after a lunge on Stephen Fletcher.
Bellamy is at the centre of everything good about Liverpool this evening. His long-range effort is a good strike but Hennessey manages to get everything he can behind it to catch the bouncing ball.
Liverpool are really starting to threaten now. First Wayne Hennessey has to be alive to catch a Dirk Kuyt cross, Emmanuel Frimpong clears a dangerous Jordan Henderson centre before Craig Bellamy toe-pokes just wide after advancing beyond the Wolves' rearguard.
Liverpool make good strides down the left-hand side but Jose Enrique's cross floats out of play as he seeks to find the run of Andy Carroll.
Yellow Card Charlie Adam
Wolves attack at the Liverpool back four and in doing so produce the first yellow card of the game as Charlie Adam scythes down Matt Jarvis to give Wolves a free-kick midway inside the visitors' half. The resulting set-piece comes to nothing though as David Edwards heads harmlessly wide.
Both sides have started fairly tentatively and with the match potentially meaning so much, points-wise at least, for both Mick McCarthy and Kenny Dalglish, you can perhaps understand why there is a reluctance to attack, attack, attack. Not one for the neutral at present.
It is a fairly subdued start here at Molineux, not too much happening here as both sides look to get a firm hold of possession.
Liverpool come close to taking the lead! A Craig Bellamy cross, via a flick-on from Andy Carroll, finds Dirk Kuyt but the Dutch striker's effort is saved. He then fails to keep the ball in as he attempts to squeeze it in at the near post.
Wolves get us underway at Molineux.
Liverpool, meanwhile, make four changes to the side that saw off Manchester United in the FA Cup on Saturday. In come Glen Johnson, Charlie Adam, Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy for Martin Kelly, Jamie Carragher, Maxi Rodriguez and Stewart Downing respectively.
Wolves have made just one change from the side that lost to Aston Villa last week as they bring in January signing Eggert Johnson for the suspended Karl Henry, who was sent off in the defeat to their Midlands' rivals.
Tonight is likely to be an interesting encounter between two teams that need points for entirely different reasons at either end of the Premier League. Wolves, who sit 19th, will be looking to climb out of the relegation zone with victory, whilst Liverpool need to keep the heat up on fourth-placed Chelsea with a win here.
Welcome to Goal.com's live commentary of Wolves v Liverpool. As I said a a few minutes ago, Steven Gerrard has been left out of the Reds' squad this evening. A few murmurs have suggested that he may be suffering from a hamstring injury or even that he may have just been rested.
Liverpool line-up: Reina; Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Enrique; Spearing, Adam, Henderson; Kuyt, Carroll, Bellamy. Subs: Doni, Aurelio, Coates, Downing, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.
Wolves Line-up: Hennessey; Foley, Berra, Johnson, Ward; Kightly, Jonsson, Frimpong, Edwards, Jarvis; Fletcher. Subs: De Vries, Stearman, Elokobi, Hunt, Milijaš, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle.
BREAKING: Steven Gerrard has been left out of Liverpool's squad this evening.
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