On This Day: Wolves pile further misery on woeful Liverpool
Liverpool’s terrible start to 2017 was made even worse when they were sent packing from the FA Cup by Wolves.
It’s hard to imagine a time when Liverpool were desperate for a victory with their present form, but that was the case when they welcomed Wolves to Anfield on January 28, 2017.
Liverpool ended 2016 on a positive note with a 1-0 victory at home to Manchester City but the turn of the year saw their performances drop off a cliff.
They kicked off 2017 with a draw at Sunderland before being held to a goalless draw at home by League Two outfit Plymouth in the third round of the FA Cup.
The Reds didn’t register a win until the FA Cup replay with the Pilgrims on January 18 but that wasn’t enough to get them back on track.
Jurgen Klopp’s men lost back-to-back games at home to Swansea and Southampton before Wolves came to town in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Wolves, who were plying their trade in the Championship then, made the trip off the back of a 3-1 defeat at Norwich and were sitting 18th in the table.
The visitors were on to their third permanent manager with Paul Lambert at the helm after Kenny Jackett and Walter Zenga had been moved on.
It appeared to be the perfect fixture for Liverpool to stop the rot but the hosts’ slipshod defence at the time was a far cry from their current backline and they made the worst possible start, falling behind after just one minute.
Richard Stearman was the unlikely scorer as he found space at the far post to head home Helder Costa’s free-kick.
Costa caused Liverpool a huge amount of problems in the opening 45 minutes and could have had his own name on the scoresheet after carrying the ball the length of the field. However, he slipped at the crucial moment and failed to convert.
The Portuguese did get his second assist of the game four minutes before the break as he laid in Andreas Weimann, who slotted home after rounding goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Klopp had picked a weakened starting XI but introduced Philippe Coutinho at half-time in the hope of inspiring a turnaround but they were restricted to set-piece chances as Wolves dug in after the break.
Liverpool eventually did find a way through when Divock Origi volleyed in with four minutes left after Wolves failed to deal with Coutinho’s corner.
Origi had one further chance to level the tie in the final moments, again from a corner, but goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne made a spectacular save from point-blank range.
Wolves were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fifth round, losing 2-0 to Chelsea at Molineux, and they finished 15th in the Championship before appointing Nuno Espirito Santo at the end of the term.
Liverpool had to wait until the start of March to get on a positive run and, after beating Arsenal, they lost just one of their final 12 games of the term to finish fourth in the Premier League.