ANDREW BENNETT'S PLAYER RATINGS FOR WOLVES 3 LIVERPOOL 0
Julen Lopetegui’s side took the game to Liverpool in the first half taking a 2-0 lead into the half time break. The game ended 3-0 to Wolves after Ruben Neves finished off a great counter attacking move, I guess that one doesn’t count though does it Jurgen?
Onto the ratings…
JOSE SA 7.5
A good performance from Jose after a couple of worrying performances with mistakes against City at the Etihad and Liverpool in the FA Cup 3rd round replay. He made correct decisions when passing out from the back and more often than not if in danger played it long, a part of his game which has been lacking so far this season. Liverpool created very little with one memorable opportunity in each half both from Darwin Nunez the first Jose stretching out to his left to deny the Uruguayan parrying the ball out to Air Nouri to clear. The other opportunity Sa making himself big to deny Nunez from the angle.
Rayan Ait Nouri (off 83) 6.5
An efficient performance from Rayan Ait Nouri who was under sustained pressure from Salah and Trent down his side during the beginning of the second half. He managed well against his opponents and didn’t allow many opportunities, not bursting forward as often as Wolves fans might be used to but against such an opponent this is to be expected.
CRAIG DAWSON 8
A great 8 on debut for goal scoring Dawson, could see from my position at the back of the north bank from minute one Dawson was issuing instructions to his fellow defensive players. Clearing almost every ball into the box that came his way. Dawson was exposed only once in the first half where he pulled down Darwin Nunez to pick up a yellow card otherwise a brilliant performance from the former Iron on debut. Who’s debut was topped off by a finish worthy of a striker from a set piece which bounced back to the 10 yard line from a Kilman attacking header.
MAX KILMAN 6
A good solid performance from Kilman making the correct decisions when playing out from the back and winning most of his duels. Clearly improved with experienced Dawson guiding Max through the game, maybe exposed once when a ball over the top was misjudged by Kilman allowing Nunez in behind, thankfully Jose Sa was able to save the eventual effort.
NELSON SEMEDO 6.5
A very similar performance to his opposite full back Ait Nouri, efficient with the ball and coped well against Liverpools lone January signing Cody Gakpo. Did exceptionally well during the second half as he was often overloaded with Robertson and Gakpo surging down his side, Semedo coped well and especially during one moment with the game still 2-0 to stop a lively Nunez in his tracks and not concede a foul in the box.
Mario Lemina (off 83) 9 & MAN OF THE MATCH
A perfect game from one of our six January signings, covered what seems like every blade of grass and allowed our other midfielders to play with more freedom. Aggressive display often winning duels against Thiago, Salah and any other Liverpool player in his path. Was pivotal in both halves helping Wolves control the first and sit in defensively during the second.
RUBEN NEVES 9
Goal scorer of Wolves’s third goal with a brilliant bursting run from midfield to place the ball calmly past Allison. Similar to Lemina was all over the pitch however in a slightly further forward midfield role. Dominant from the skipper who celebrated in his traditional fashion – I think therefore I play!
MATHEUS NUNES 7.5
Asked by Julen Lopetegui to do a job on the left to assist Ait Nouri with the attacking play of Trent Alexander Arnold. Did a great job rarely letting Trent free, this role meant his attacking skills were limited so we didn’t see Matheus with the ball that often, but with the result a solid performance from a player who was adjusting to the relevant tactical tweaks.
Hwang Hee Chan (off 42) 8
Great performance by the South Korean who’s energy got Wolves up the pitch and crossed the ball into a dangerous area for the ball to ping off Joel Matip and put the home side one up. A couple of sloppy passes but for the most part a hard working performance, sadly his afternoon was cut short with what appears to be a hamstring injury towards the end of the first half.
Pablo Sarabia (off 60) 7
Very lively first half performance, playing the brilliant ball over the top for Hwang to make it 1-0 Wolves. Often picked the ball up centrally looking comfortable and made good decisions going forwards for the first half. Wolves struggled to get out their own half during the beginning of the second half and Sarabia was one of those withdrawn to accommodate for a tactical change focused on counter attacking.
Matheus Cunha (off 60) 7
Similar to Sarabia, providing technical quality and a breath of fresh air in terms of energy in the final third. A very busy performance from the Brazilian who isn’t afraid to shoot from range whenever the opportunity is presented to him. Also faded in the second half and made way for tactical changes.
Adama Traore (42) 8
A very tough job for Adama given he was up against Liverpool’s most lively attacking outlet in Andy Robertson. Got into position and defended well. Going forward had two very bright moments providing a composed pass after a bursting run from halfway across to Ruben Neves to score. Later in the half did a very similar action playing the ball to Raul who couldn’t get the ball out of his feet to properly test Allison. I would say Vintage Adama display.
Raul Jimenez (60) 7
The Mexican came on alongside Joao Moutinho when Wolves were very much penned into their own half. Helped move the side up the pitch winning good flick ons down to Adama. Should’ve scored a Wolves fourth but got the connection wrong and the ball was chipped into the goalkeepers hands. Helped Wolves see out the win professionally and played his part.
Joao Moutinho (60) 7.5
Came on to hustle Bajcetic and set Adama free to set Neves up for Wolves third goal. An efficient and effective performance from the experienced Portuguese international making his 200th Wolves appearance.
Jonny and Podence (83)
Not enough time on the pitch to judge either Jonny Otto or Daniel Podence. Both came on and continued Wolves efficient performance when the game was effectively dead, will have enjoyed the last moments of Molineux’s Oles until the final whistle.
ARTICLE BY ANDREW BENNETT
From my first Wolves match against Chelsea in 2003 I fell in love with the team and matchday experience. I work in digital marketing and have lived in Germany and Estonia over the past few years, this doesn’t stop me following Wolves and ensuring all my international friends become invested to the Wolf pack. I enjoy football, board games, a pint and travelling always excited to try new things. You will find me in the north bank on a matchday.