Jurgen Klopp will have to deal with a third-round replay in the FA Cup after his Liverpool side drew 2-2 with Wolves at Anfield on Saturday evening.
A thrilling encounter saw both sides in front, with Goncalo Guedes’ opener cancelled out by Darwin Nunez before Mohamed Salah’s go-ahead strike was chalked off by Hwang Hee-chan after the break.
The first opportunity fell Liverpool’s way after just a few minutes. Mohamed Salah lined up a free-kick on the edge of the box and bent a nice effort over the wall but could only watch on as the ball rose over the bar.
Joel Matip then gave Liverpool a scare as he was caught in possession on the edge of the six-yard box, but Guedes didn’t have the time to make the most of the opportunity – but the same couldn’t be said ten minutes later.
With 26 on the clock, Alisson played a pass straight to the feet of Guedes, who tapped home into an empty net to score the easiest goal of his career.
The former Valencia man also saw a strike from range denied, while Adama Traore’s fizzed cross was inches away from Raul Jimenez’s boot, as Wolves sought to up the pressure on a Liverpool side that were far from their best in the first half.
With the Anfield crowd starting to get frustrated, Nunez sent them into the half-time break with smiles on their faces as he steered a controlled volley into the back of the net after an excellent pass from Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Six minutes after the interval, Liverpool put themselves ahead. Cody Gakpo’s pass wasn’t cleared by Toti Gomes and his looping header fell to the feet of Salah, who flashed his composure to open up his body and bury the ball.
Nunez nearly headed home a third moments later, before Rayan Ait-Nouri went down the other end and fired a one-on-one right into Alisson, and Wolves eventually got their equaliser with 25 minutes to go.
Substitutes Hwang and Matheus Cunha combined on the edge of the box and the latter’s scrappy strike somehow squeezed its way under Alisson and into the back of the net.
Wolves thought they’d bundled home a third with ten minutes to go as Toti Gomes whipped off his shirt to celebrate a tap-in, not noticing the offside flag had been raised. A lengthy VAR check confirmed the decision.
Liverpool were the stronger of the two sides as the clock ticked down, but neither could find a way through by the final whistle. Time for a replay.
GK: Alisson – 5/10 – An awful error for Guedes’ opener and guilty of another overhit pass which almost drew a full tantrum out of Robertson. Somewhat redeemed himself with a solid save from Ait-Nouri at 2-1.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10 – Enjoyed his work on the defensive end and flashed his quality with a glorious ball for Nunez – his second assist of the season.
CB: Joel Matip – 5/10 – Nearly punished for an early error and never looked particularly comfortable. Not often Matip gets bailed out defensively by Alexander-Arnold.
CB: Ibrahima Konate – 6/10 – A composed performance and a nice response from his off game against Brentford.
LB: Andy Robertson – 7/10 – Great energy up and down the left, even keeping up with Traore for the most part.
DM: Fabinho – 4/10 – Continues to look like a shell of his former self. Offered little defensive protection and his passing wasn’t good enough either. May or may not still have legs.
CM: Jordan Henderson – 5/10 – Didn’t have the legs to make up for Fabinho’s shortcomings and struggled to get involved in attack either.
CM: Thiago – 6/10 – The strongest of Liverpool’s midfield trio, which doesn’t say much.
RW: Mohamed Salah – 7/10 – Played very wide in the first half which didn’t suit him. Came narrower after the break and had a lovely goal to show for it just moments later.
ST: Darwin Nunez – 7/10 – Nunez was all over the pitch as he looked for any opportunity to change the game, but it was his excellent move through the middle that dragged Liverpool level. A glorious finish.
LW: Cody Gakpo – 6/10 – A decent introduction to English football. Gakpo had the odd nice moment but was still lacking a little something.
Naby Keita (68′ for Henderson) – 6/10 – Brought enough energy to make a difference.
Harvey Elliott (75′ for Fabinho) – 6/10 – Did well in his limited minutes.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (84′ for Gakpo) – N/A
Ben Doak (84′ for Salah) – N/A
Joe Gomez (84′ for Alexander-Arnold) – N/A
Jurgen Klopp – 6/10 – Questions were asked about his midfield selection and the width of his forwards in the first half, but Klopp did alter things after the break to give his side a slight boost. Adding energy to midfield was crucial but perhaps came too late.
GK: Matija Sarkic – 5/10 – Looked a little nervous. Slow off his line and unconvincing with the ball at his feet.
RB: Dexter Lembikisa – 7/10 – Did a fantastic job up against Gakpo and Nunez. A real tough test but one the youngster passed with flying colours.
CB: Nathan Collins – 7/10 – Similarly solid against a tough Liverpool back line. The odd shaky moment but largely did his job well.
CB: Toti Gomes – 6/10 – Had a sloppy start to proceedings but soon calmed himself down and had a solid game, aside from his involvement in the second goal.
LB: Jonny – 6/10 – Not particularly involved, which isn’t really a bad thing up against Salah.
RM: Adama Traore – 6/10 – A typical performance from Traore. His electric speed and dribbling was on full show but nothing he did really led to much.
CM: Ruben Neves – 7/10 – Breezed around the midfield in control of proceedings. Looked really comfortable against the limited athleticism of Liverpool’s trio.
CM: Joe Hodge – 7/10 – A gritty, determined performance from the youngster. Did all the dirty work to allow Neves to pull the strings.
LM: Rayan Ait-Nouri – 7/10 – Looks to be enjoying this new 4-4-2 setup and the attacking freedom that it brings. His energy down the left was an issue for Liverpool and he should have done far better with a chance after the break. Limped off after injuring himself in a tackle.
ST: Raul Jimenez – 6/10 – Put himself about well but found it tough up against Konate.
ST: Goncalo Guedes – 7/10 – Outstanding energy in the first half which undoubtedly merited a goal.
Matheus Nunes (63′ for Neves) – 7/10 – Real purpose with everything he did. Carried the ball forwards well.
Matheus Cunha (63′ for Jimenez) – 7/10 – Assisted the equaliser just minutes after coming on. Can’t ask for more.
Hwang Hee-chan (63′ for Guedes) – 6/10 – Didn’t do a whole lot outside of tapping in the equaliser.
Nelson Semedo (68′ for Lembikisa) – 6/10 – Involved down the right straight after coming on but quieted down afterwards.
Hugo Bueno (73′ for Ait-Nouri) – 5/10 – Under a lot of pressure after his introduction and didn’t always deal with it well.
Julen Lopetegui – 7/10 – An excellent tactical tweak after the break which yielded immediate results through Hwang’s goal. Bravely put his faith in a number of different players here and won’t have left disappointed.