Harvey Elliott gives Klopp a tough choice

Liverpool booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win over Wolves at Molineux on Tuesday night.

The visitors got off to a great start to the game as the Liverpool midfield looked more in control of their pressure, and took the lead in the 13th minute when Harvey Elliott’s shot from long range caught goalkeeper Jose Sa with no chance of stopping.

Both sides struggled to create many meaningful chances in a match in which Liverpool’s midfield shone. Ruben Neves had one of Wolves’ best chances to score but was unable to convert a free kick from a promising position, before Joe Gomez stepped in to prevent Wolves striker Raul Jimenez from shooting his effort on goal.

A late rally afforded Wolverhampton’s Mateusz Kona a chance to flicker over the bar, leaving FA Cup holders Liverpool standing firm to earn their first clean sheet in six matches.

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Positives

Liverpool needed a reaction after their disappointing loss to Brighton at the weekend, and there were clear signs of improvement that night. The Reds pressed better as a team in a performance that made them more difficult to break down.

Negatives

Jurgen Klopp’s team could have done more in terms of creating chances. Outside of Elliott’s goal from distance, the Reds didn’t really make much.

Manager rating (out of 10)

Jurgen Klopp, 7 – The much-changing line-up has injected energy into the Liverpool side, although many of the players Klopp gave him a chance in this game will have a hard time choosing in the future.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players submitted after 70 minutes do not get a rating)

GK Caoimhin Kelleher, 6 – A quiet 45-minute opener for the Republic of Ireland international had Kelleher largely a spectator at first. He seemed to get a hand from a Ruben Neves free kick in the second half to put it out of danger.

DF Ibrahima Konate, 7 – Aggressive in challenge and leaving little room for Wolves striker Raul Jimenez to operate in, the Mexican international was swept wide.

DF Joe Gomez, 7 The 25-year-old looked confident when called on, and was well-positioned to react quickly in moments of danger. He switched to right wing-back in the 66th minute as James Milner was substituted.

DF Konstantinos Tsimikas, 6 Tsimikas showed intention when on the ball and seemed to carry the ball into the offensive zones. He was also energetic with his tackle running down the left flank, and kept Wolves striker Adama Traore calm off a couple of occasions.

DF James Milner, 6 – The 37-year-old worked hard on both ends of the field, keeping his opposite number calm. He didn’t get off his winger much in the 65 minutes he starred in. He replaced Nate Phillips in the 66th minute.

MF Stefan Bagsetik, 7 – Encouraging performance from the 18-year-old, who was clever in his decision-making as he broke up play in the middle of the field. The Spain youth international looked better in the second half, providing a number of key challenges that helped start the attacks for his side.

MF Tiago, 8 – Thiago looked to be Liverpool’s brightest midfielder again that night, with consistent performances seeing him dictate play from midfield.

MF Naby Keita, 7 – A positive game from Keita in his first start this season. He pressed well from midfield, often choosing the right moments to search for the ball in the Wolverhampton area.

FW Cody Gakpo, 6 – Jacobo’s best performance in his career with Liverpool so far. The Netherlands international led the line well for his side, and although he didn’t top the goalscoring list, which Liverpool certainly made him do, he was impressed by his tireless work that saw him bring others to play.

FW Fabio Carvalho – 6 – Carvalho has looked impressive during periods when he kept things simple, often managing to preserve Liverpool’s spells of possession. Substitute for Curtis Jones in the 66th minute.

Harvey Elliott, 8, forward A thunderous shot from outside the penalty area left goalkeeper Jose Sa without a chance. I worked hard to come back to help out on defense when needed.

alternatives

Mohamed Salah (Jackbo, 65″) 6 – He came to Gakpo and led the line, but never really had the chance to achieve anything.

Curtis Jones (Carvalho, 66 in.) 6 – He often makes the right decision in possession and tracks back to tackle Nelson Semedo’s staggered runs.

Nat Phillips (Milner, 66 in.) 6 – He took a free kick in a dangerous situation shortly after coming in, but it looked as if there wasn’t much contact.

Fabinho (bagsetic, 75″) NA – He helped defend the rest of the match when he entered the bagsitic place.

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