Liverpool defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) 1-0 in the replay of their FA Cup third-round fixture on Tuesday, January 17.
The Reds entered this contest having been humbled 3-0 away from home by Brighton & Hove Albion. Roberto De Zerbi's side were simply too much for Jurgen Klopp's men, who fell further behind in their quest for the top four. The German fielded a mixed lineup for this replay.
Liverpool made a strong start to the game as they pushed men forward and looked to thward Wolves' advances in midfield itself. Harvey Elliott handed his team a dream start as he scored from long range after just 13 minutes to settle the nerves. Thiago Alcantara played the assist for the goal.
Although possession stats show the two sides were evenly-matched, the Reds looked more threatening on the ball. They attempted five shots with two of those on target, while Wolves could not direct any of their four attempts goalwards. Adama Traore and Joao Moutinho tried creating opportunities with their pace and passing respectively, but to no avail.
Liverpool led Wolves 1-0 at half-time.
The second half saw the Reds drop their urgency quite a bit as they looked content to knock the ball around and build up slowly. Both managers made five changes apiece in the second period as they looked to alter the course of the game. However, Klopp's men held their nerve and preserved their lead.
Wolves enjoyed a late spell of dominance as they kept the ball for lenghty periods, forcing Liverpool to sit back and absorb it in and around their 18-yard box. Diego Costa came on for a late cameo and had a chance with the last kick of the game, but was unable to threaten the Reds' goal.
Liverpool held on as they overcame a determined Wolves side to progress to the fourth round. On that note, let's take a look at their player ratings.
Liverpool Player Ratings
Caoimhin Kelleher - 7/10
Kelleher had a fairly easy assignment as he was tested just twice as he kept a clean sheet in a narrow win.
James Milner - 7/10
Milner was Liverpool's captain for this game and put in a good performance. The veteran won four of his five duels and played three accurate long balls.
Joe Gomez - 7/10
Gomez put in a strong performance on defense as he prevented Raul Jimenez from getting into his rhythm. He won two duels, made four clearances and two tackles, and blocked two shots. He received a late booking for an off-the-ball foul.
Ibrahima Konate - 7/10
Konate put in an assured performance on defense as the Reds secured a victory. He won four duels, making five clearances and two interceptions.
Konstantinos Tsimikas - 6.5/10
Tsimikas often ventured forward and also into midfield as Liverpool worked the ball forward from the left channel. He won six duels and played an accurate cross and long ball each.
Naby Keita - 6.5/10
Keita put in a decent performance as he passed the ball with 83% accuracy. He won eight duels and attempted a shot that was off target.
Stefan Bajcetic - 7/10
Bajcetic had a productive game in midfield as he took up some good positions as the Reds progressed on the ball. He won five of his eight duels and made two interceptions and three tackles.
Thiago Alcantara - 7.5/10
Thiago started the game well and provided an assist for Elliott to make it 1-0. He completed 51 passes with 85% accuracy, including one key pass and six accurate long balls. He also won seven of his 10 duels but was booked for a foul in the second half.
Harvey Elliott - 7.5/10
Elliott made a bright start to the game and was active in driving forward with the ball. He put the Reds ahead with a sublime finish from distance after just 13 minutes.
Fabio Carvalho - 6.5/10
Carvalho had a decent game but was unable to provide the final pass in the attacking third. He played two key passes and won two duels, but was unsuccessful in completing any dribbles.
Cody Gakpo - 6.5/10
Gakpo had a decent game and got into some good shooting positions. He attempted three shots, hitting the target once, but was unable to score. He also won two duels.
Mohamed Salah - 6/10
Salah came on in the second period and did not do anything significant for the Reds.
Curtis Jones - 6/10
Jones was brought into the game midway through the second half and he helped them see out the remainder of the game.
Nathaniel Phillips - 6/10
Phillips came on for a second-half cameo but was booked minutes after coming on.
Fabinho - 6/10
Fabinho came on with just over 15 minutes left to play and put in a good shift.
Ben Doak - 6/10
Doak replaced Thiago and put in a good performance in midfield as he completed all five of his passes and one dribble as well.