LONDON (Agencies): Liverpool produced a dominant second-half display against Wolves on Saturday, coming from behind to win 3-1 and top the Premier League table after the early kick-off.
Hwang Hee-chan put the home side ahead early against the sluggish Reds at Molineux and they had a succession of chances to extend their lead in a sparkling first-half display.
But Liverpool flew out of the blocks after the restart and equalised through Cody Gakpo 10 minutes into the second period. Jurgen Klopp’s men pinned Wolves back from long periods and got their reward when Andy Robertson finished neatly in the 85th minute before an own goal from Hugo Bueno added gloss to the scoreline. It was the third time this season that Liverpool have come from behind to win and they were one point clear at the top of the table ahead of the 1400 GMT kick-offs after a fourth straight victory.
Klopp said his team deserved to win the game after their powerful second-half performance but stressed that they could not afford to keep falling behind. “Turning games around is helpful in a season but we cannot rely on it, we cannot,” he told the BBC. “We have to play better in the first half of games generally. We are not stable yet, that is not possible.
Too many things are new.” – Neto threat – Gary O’Neil’s Wolves have struggled to find a cutting edge this season but they started brightly, with Pedro Neto and new signing Jean-Ricner Bellegarde a constant threat. They got an early reward when Neto drove down the left, danced through Liverpool’s defence and crossed from the byline, finding Hwang, who finished crisply past goalkeeper Alisson Becker from an angle at the back post.
The high-energy home side looked dangerous every time they flew forward, with Liverpool, missing the suspended Virgil van Dijk and the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, failing to exert any meaningful control. But Wolves’ incisive approach play was not matched by the quality of finishing and they squandered a number of inviting opportunities to extend their lead. Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha missed the best of those after more brilliant work from Neto, mistiming his jump horribly.
Liverpool created a number of chances towards the end of the first half, hinting at the attacking threat in their ranks. Klopp brought on Luis Diaz for Argentine midfielder Alexis Mac Allister at half time and the Colombian came close to equalising with a header in the opening moments.
The German manager prepared to bring on Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez for Gakpo and Diogo Jota but Gakpo found time to level with his final touch. Mohamed Salah, who had largely been kept quiet, received the ball on the right and fizzed it across the area, with Gakpo on hand to poke home. Liverpool had a golden chance to take the lead when Diaz found Nunez in front of goal but his shot was saved by Jose Sa.
Klopp’s men were pinning Wolves back and took the lead with five minutes left on the clock when Robertson collected a poor clearance from Sa. The Scotland defender drove forward, playing a one-two with Salah before finishing from close range. Liverpool still had time for a third goal when Elliot’s drive took a significant deflection off Bueno to beat Sa in added time.