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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 31 March, 2020


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Hello! And welcome along to our minute-by-minute coverage of tonight’s FA Cup clash between Liverpool and Wolves at Molineux.

Liverpool’s opportunity to go an astonishing 10 points clear of Manchester City was denied last week, with the Reds suffering their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Pep Guardiola’s men at the Etihad.

That result still sees Liverpool an impressive four points clear at the beginning of 2019, but it also means City are breathing down their neck as we all anticipate a dramatic and nerve-wrecking title run-in for all concerned.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: EMPICS Sport

Tonight they travel to Wolverhampton as priorities switch to the FA Cup. A competition which is often labelled as not what it used to be and jaded, this past weekend has shown that it’s magic is still there lingering year after year no-matter how much we deride it.

Newport shocked Fulham at Craven Cottage, with Aleksandar Mitrović missing an 84th-minute penalty before the League Two side snatched a winner with two minutes left on the clock, while Carlow’s own Padraig Amond struck an 85th-minute penalty to knock out Leicester yesterday too.

Liverpool have not won this competition since 2006, while you have to go all the way back to 1960 since Wolves were FA Cup champions. Will we be seeing another big upset tonight?

Kick-off is coming up at 7.45pm.

Let’s get started with the team news…

So, today’s teams will line out as:

Wolves: Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Jonny, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre; Jimenez, Jota.

Substitutes: Norris, Doherty, Cavaliero, Costa, Gibbs-White, Saiss, Adama.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Camacho, Fabinho, Lovren, Moreno, Milner, Keita, Jones, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.

Substitutes: Kelleher, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Hoever, Christie-Davies, Alexander-Arnold.

TEAM NEWS: It’s a massive night for young Irish goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher tonight. The Cork-born shot-stopper turned 20 in November and is named on the bench by Jurgen Klopp. He made a number of pre-season appearances for the Reds during pre-season, but tonight’s game represents his first time named in the match-day squad.

Jurgen Klopp has made a total of nine changes for tonight’s game, with Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones both making their senior debuts and Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Virgil Van Dijk not part of the squad as precautions due to minor injuries.

“I had to make these changes,” Klopp said. “A few players were really ill and then in the last session yesterday we lost Adam Lallana with a minor thing, but it’s enough not [to be able] to play – and Hendo had something from the Man City game.

Liverpool v Red Star Belgrade - UEFA Champions League - Group C - Anfield Source: Martin Rickett

“We had to make a few changes already, it was clear. Virg cannot play; he is at home and hopefully it is nothing, but he has played all the games so far, so we had to try to find a solution for that – and we found it, hopefully, with Fabinho.

“For all the rest, a few guys I want to see and we are able to do that, but of course we have to be sensitive with our situation. We came through a very intense period quite OK. The next intense period is waiting.

“I know people want to win every game and see the same players week in, week out, but somebody has to make the decisions and in that case, I am the man for [doing] that.”

Both teams are making their way onto the pitch and kick-off is just a few moments away now, former Liverpool man Conor Coady leading Wolves out. A quick reminder that the draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup takes place after tonight’s games.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Space opens up right away for Wolves, who attack with intent from the get-go. Ruben Vinagre takes possession just outside the box and attempts to whip in a dangerous cross, but Rafael Camacho recovers to get his foot in the way and provide the block. A lively opening.


There could be a switch for Liverpool already in this game. Worryingly Dejan Lovren appears to be limping and is looking over to the bench making signals that something isn’t right.


Yep, Jurgen Klopp is sending for a substitute already in this game — Lovren falls to the floor and receives medical attention as the ball goes out of play. It looks like 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever will be the player to come on.


Substitution for Liverpool: Ki-Jana Hoever replaces Dejan Lovren.


Hoever take his place at the back alongside Fabinho at centre back — what a pairing! The Dutch defender has been thrust into this game out of no-where and becomes Liverpool’s youngest ever player to feature in the FA Cup. What a night for the teenager.


A chance for Liverpool after all that premature disruption. Naby Keita threads a brilliant through ball into the path of Daniel Sturridge, but the striker is flagged for offside just as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Wolves respond accordingly, Diego Jota playing a lovely pass through to Jonny who takes a pop at goal from distance, but his effort flies behind for a corner kick — which itself is fizzed across the box and out the other end.


James Milner picks up the game’s first yellow card for cynically pulling the shirt of Jota. Wolves’ Portuguese attacking midfielder seemed to have the better of his man there in a one-on-one sprint, with Milner was taking no chances.


Liverpool struggling to create a cohesive attacking pattern here at the moment, with Fabinho and Hoever still getting to grips with this new central defensive partnership. It’s a very stop-start affair out there.


It’s been a very cagey game, this. Try as he might Xherdan Shaqiri is struggling to break through down that righthand side, with Daniel Sturridge a very isolated figure up top on his own. The camera pans to Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino watching on from the bench.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


There’s a shout for handball from the home fans as Ruben Vinagre once again finds space down the left up against Rafael Camacho, who is struggling a little bit at the moment. Replays show the ball hit the young defender’s chest — not his arm — and the subsequent corner from Joao Moutinho is swung in but ultimately leads to nothing.


A rare sight at goal comes to pass, huzzah! A James Milner pass bobbles off a host of Wolves bodies before falling on a plate to Shaqiri. He lines up a shot which has the potential to spark this game into life — but he drags well wide of the target. A poor effort, but better from Liverpool it has to be said.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Wolves respond at the other end. Jonny has a go from distance, but it’s comfortably batted down into the ground by the palms of Simon Mignolet, who is making just his third start for Liverpool over the last year. Amazingly, that was the game’s first shot on target — it only took 35 minutes.


GOOOOOOOALLLL! Wolves take the lead as this game finally this bursts into life. Against the run of play Raul Jimenez bears down on goal and slots a brilliant finish into the far corner beyond the reach of Simon Mignolet. Liverpool were all over the place at the back and, despite having two team-mates to pass to, Jimenez does it all on his own.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: EMPICS Sport


A really top-class finish from Jimenez, that. James Milner has taken up a new position in a three-man defence for Liverpool, but neither he nor young Hoever could do anything to prevent Wolves’ thundering counter-attack. There were oceans of space for Jimenez to run into, and he absoutely took full advantage.


Wolves have really stepped up since going ahead in this game. For the umpteenth time in this first half Vinagre finds space down the left and tries to spin a low cross into the danger zone. It fails to materialise, but the winger is a constant threat.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Premier League - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.


An exciting end to an FA Cup clash which has been fairly stop-start, you have to say. Liverpool have been very disappointing so far today and will really need to pull themselves together if they are to avoid an early exit tonight. Dejan Lovren’s early departure took everyone by surprise, but it did give 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever the chance to make his debut. Raul Jimenez’s fine finish broke the deadlock, and it’s his goal that’s the difference between the sides. More to come very shortly.


GOOOOALLL! Liverpool are level right away and it’s Divock Origi the man who’s got it. He only scored his first goal of the season a few weeks ago, that incredibly dramatic winner against Everton in stoppage time, and he has his second of the campaign here tonight. He took possession just outside the box and smacked a glorious effort flying past John Ruddy. All square now.


It’s Origi’s 23rd goal for Liverpool and a fine one at that. He really hit it on his left foot, giving Ruddy zero chance of keeping it out. Wolves impressed throughout the first half, but now they need to start all over again.


GOOOOOOAL! Wolves are ahead again just minutes after conceding. Rubin Neves  takes up the ball 30 yards out and delivers a glorious effort which flies into Mignolet’s bottom corner. He doesn’t score ordinary goals, does he? It’s 2-1!



Jurgen Klopp doesn’t look too happy on the sideline at the moment. Just when his side looked like finding a way back into this game, it was all snatched away. He has much bigger aspirations than the FA Cup this season, but no doubt tonight’s display will be an irritation.


Almost a third for Wolves and a second for Raul Jimenez. The striker puts Ki-Jana Hoever under considerable pressure to take the ball and rounds Simon Mignolet, but just runs out of turf before he can try and slot the ball into an empty net.


Liverpool trying and trying to draw level again. Rafael Camacho is fouled, resulting in a free-kick which Xherdan Shaqiri swings into the box, but his delivery is easily headed clear at the first hurdle.

Britain Soccer FA Cup Source: Rui Vieira


Off the post! Shaqiri with another free-kick, but this time it’s inches from flying into the top corner. He will be wondering how that didn’t end up in the back of the net. A powerful, curling effort, it smacked off the top of the post after taking the slightest of touches off the hand of John Ruddy, who did brilliantly to get across and get something on it.


Double substitution for Liverpool: Mohamed Salah replaces Curtis Jones & Roberto Firmino replaces Daniel Sturridge.


Excellent defending from Hoever there as Wolves pounced for a third. Raul Jimenez sprinted into the box and raised his head before providing a cross aimed towards the back post. Joao Moutinho was his target, but the young Liverpool defender read the danger and hooked the ball to safety really well.


Fifteen minutes left here with Wolves still a goal to the good. Jurgen Klopp has added considerable firepower off the bench with the additions of Salah and Firmino, but neither man has been able to make an impact just yet.


Ireland international Matt Doherty has also been brought on off the substitutes bench, his job spec from Nuno Espírito Santo to try and keep Salah and Firmino as quiet as possible between now and the end of the game. Easier said than done, but to his credit Doherty has been having an absoutely cracking season. As good scoring goals as it he is preventing them, it seems.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Molineux Source: Nick Potts


Rafael Camacho has a go from 25 yards. A powerful strike off his left boot, it flies well wide of the target. A shot out of desperation more than anything else — his side really finding it hard to break Wolves down at the moment.


Close! A last-ditch headed clearance from Ryan Bennett is needed to deny Mohamed Salah. The attack began after some really excellent dribbling from Hoever at the back. The 16-year-old beat two or three men before offloading possession — the move ending with a Salah curled strike which almost swung into the top corner but for Bennett’s clearance.


Ruben Neves is named man-of-the-match for his display this evening. It’s his fantastic 30-yard strike which is the difference with just a couple of minutes left on the clock. Wolves are in the home stretch here it seems. Will there be late drama?


There will be three minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.


Liverpool pushing and pressing late on here. Mohamed Salah takes the ball inside the box and forces a corner off Conor Coady. Simon Mignolet has been given the go-ahead to join his team-mates in the Wolves box…


The delivery is a poor one and, despite earning another free-kick shortly after which Mignolet stays up for, Wolves hold together and earn a free out of their own which Ruddy hoofs up the field. That should be that.

There we have it then, Liverpool are out of the FA Cup and Wolves progress into the draw for the fourth round, which will take place very shortly on BBC One. Jurgen Klopp’s men were poor tonight and, despite levelling just after the break, the Reds failed to ever maintain any sort of upper-hand. Spurned on by Neves, Jimenez and Vinagre Wolves were full value for their 2-1 win, it has to be said. Thanks a million for joining us — you can read our full match report from tonight’s game here. Cya!

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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