Liverpool stunk the joint out in a 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
The Guardians Paul Wilson wrote: Jürgen Klopp will probably not be collecting his P45 in the morning, as the Wolverhampton supporters spent the second half unkindly suggesting, but the Liverpool manager is unlikely to be collecting any silverware this season either after crashing out of two cups in four days.
Liverpool have now lost three successive home games, their only victory of 2017 came against Plymouth Argyle of League Two, and their January could still get worse with the visit of Chelsea on Tuesday night. Presumably Klopp had one eye on that game when he picked a weird, weakened team to face a Championship side in the FA Cup.
Liverpool had just about enough experience in their squad to survive, though much of it was on the bench, but they discovered Wolves were up for it as early as the first minute and an unfamiliar line-up never really performed cohesively enough as a team to hit back.
Paul Lambert had promised his side would not simply sit back and defend but would try to break their opponents down, and in the event they found that easier than expected. Alberto Moreno gave away the first free-kick of the afternoon after 30 seconds, and Richard Stearman found it simplicity itself to turn up behind Joe Gomez to nod in Hélder Costa’s cross at the far post.
It was a poor goal to concede, especially after 55 seconds, though Liverpool cannot expect defensive understanding if they keep switching the team around so much. Klopp had made nine changes from the team that lost to Southampton in the EFL Cup, and the home side could easily have gone further behind in the first few minutes. Nouha Dicko miscontrolled in front of goal with a clear sight of the target, then Costa set off on a run from his own half that took him all the way into the Liverpool penalty area, only to shoot wide when he only had Loris Karius left to beat. It was no great surprise when Wolves went two up before half-time, for Liverpool were allowing their opponents to play and presenting very little threat of their own.
Rather embarrassingly Liverpool had not succeeded in testing the reserve goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne in the whole of a first half in which their only threats of any note amounted to a couple of penalty appeals. Ovie Ejaria’s was the more hopeful, while Georginio Wijnaldum was possibly unlucky, but it was hardly the onslaught Anfield must have been expecting.
Klopp’s response was to send on Philippe Coutinho for the second half, and then Daniel Sturridge and Emre Can after him, and even then it took Liverpool until the 86th minute to hit back, when Divock Origi rifled in from close range after Wolves had been unable to clear a corner.
That not only set up a tense last few minutes it brought the stadium to life for the first time, yet despite Origi bringing a save from Burgoyne two minutes from the end of normal time Wolves were able to hang on. Indeed, they might even have gone further ahead when the substitute Jon Dadi Bodvarsson took on the Liverpool defence on his own and almost won, but in the end a single goal advantage was enough.
Wolves comfortably kept out everything Liverpool could throw at them, and possibly ended up surprised by just how little Liverpool did throw at them.