WOLVES 0 - 3 LIVERPOOL
Torres 50 & 90+1
Kenny Dalglish claimed his first win since returning as Liverpool manager after his team beat a feisty Wolves side at Molineux
Fernando Torres opened the scoring with ease on 36 minutes after tapping in a cross from man of the match Raul Meireles.
Wolves’ chances were limited to set pieces and they came closest through Nenad Milijas’ free kick before Meireles struck an incredible 25-yard volley to double the away side’s lead on 50 minutes.
Fernando Torres claimed his second in stoppage time with another tap-in to seal the win for Liverpool.
Victory came in Dalglish’s fourth game in charge and is sure to lift the Anfield club, who struggled for away form under previous manager Roy Hodgson.
The signs of improvement were clear for all to see with the team’s passing, movement and industry symbolised by the exceptional Raul Meireles.
The win came as revenge after Wolves beat the Reds 1-0 at Anfield in December in a game that signalled the beginning of the end for Hodgson.
Then it was Wolves relentless pressing that stifled Liverpool and Mick McCarthy’s team set out to do the same thing today, at the expense of their own attacking ambitions.
They faced a different prospect here today though and there was no lack of effort or quality from the away side who chased down everything and passed the ball with confidence.
Wolves started with determination but saw no reward for their endeavour as they struggled to fashion any chances from open play, with the best efforts coming from Liverpool.
The first real chance fell to the much maligned Christian Poulsen who burst into the box to connect with a Lucas Leiva pullback but the midfielder saw his sidefooted effort blocked by Christophe Berra.
Forwards runs from midfield by Poulsen, Lucas and in particular Meireles were a new feature of the Reds play and once that signified Kenny Dalglish’s attacking philosophy.
Meireles came to scoring with a 20 yard strike before Maxi Rodriguez came close with shot on the turn that was saved by Wayne Hennessey.
It was Fernando Torres that was causing the Wolves backline the most problems though and his personal duel with Richard Stearman was one of the most interesting elements of the first half.
Liverpool’s number 9 opened the scoring when Poulsen slid through Raul Meireles who beat the offside trap before squaring for Torres to score his 8th league goal of the season. The Spanish forward then chose to pick up the ball and drop it infront of Stearman instead of celebrating.
The gesture showed that the Spaniard’s confidence was back and he was giving the type of performance that fans have been long been praying for.
Wolves came back into the game after adopting a more adventurous approach and Stephen Fletcher came close to taking advantage of what looked to be a shaky Liverpool defence.
Kenny Dalglish had seen his side throw away leads against Everton and Blackpool but there was to be no repeat today as Meireles doubled his team’s tally with a goal of the season contender.
Christophe Berra headed an Agger freekick high into the air and the ball fell straight to Meireles who expertly volleyed into the top corner, his second goal in as many games.
Liverpool appeared to be happy to sit on their lead and this allowed Wolves to come back into the game but with no real success.
The away side’s counter attacking approach led to a chance for substitute Jonjo Shelvey but the youngster fired over after being played through by Meireles.
A third goal did come in the 90th minute as Torres smashed into the roof of the net from close range to finish off a great move that included over 30 passes. The win was only Liverpool’s second away from home this season and saw the team claim their first clean sheet in six games.