FA Cup: Harvey Elliot screamer sends Liverpool into the fourth round

harvey elliot celebrates goal against wolves fa cup third round replay

Wolves 0 vs 1 Liverpool

Liverpool at last returned to winning ways and tasted victory for the first time in 2023 as they held off a resilient Wolves at Molineux.

A first-half 30-yard piledriver from teenager Harvey Elliot settled the contest, but only after a wave of pressure and missed opportunities from the hosts.

Having been well and truly beaten by Brighton at the weekend, losing 3-0 and showing no vibe or energy in the midfield, this performance in stark contrast was much improved.

Ironically, it is the Seagulls they will face next in the fourth round, as they attempt to gain revenge for that heavy defeat on the south coast.

First-half

Jurgen Klopp’s men made the best possible start after 14 minutes as Elliot flew from before the halfway line, charging at the Wolves defence, and let rip on his left-foot, the most sumptuous strike which crashed against the back of the net.

Wolves goalkeeper José Sá was left backpedalling and had no chance.

A simply stunning goal and his fifth for the club.

The 19-year-old celebrated wildly as he beat his chest with delight.

Elliot continued to be instrumental in everything Liverpool did going forwards, as he and veteran James Milner, playing right-back, worked the ball nicely along the right-hand channel, and Elliot laid the ball off for new boy Cody Gakpo, who fired narrowly over when well placed.

Fabio Carvalho thought he had doubled the lead for the visitors, tucking the ball into the bottom corner after he latched onto a fine pass from the impressive Naby Keïta, only for the youngster to be denied by the linesman for offside.

Things eventually began to open up for Wolves, as a fantastic through ball forward by the impressive Rúben Neves, a reported transfer target for Liverpool, sent pacey winger Adama Traore away.

The Spanish international slammed his effort wide after pressure from Reds defenders Joe Gomez and Konstantinos Tsimikas.

The FA Cup holders went into half-time 1-0 up courtesy of a sublime strike from Elliot, but with Wolves finishing the half the stronger of the two teams, Klopp knew that Julen Lopetegui’s team will put up a fight in the second-half.

Liverpool would need to maintain their same energy and press if they were to get a morale-boosting win.

 

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Second-half

With so much talk around Liverpool’s ageing midfield and the need for fresh new legs, and increased creativity in the middle of the park, it is no surprise this match offered an opportunity for Reds fans, and indeed Monsieur Klopp, to look at Matheus Nunes.

And the Portugal international set-up a promising attacking move, as he won the ball off Naby Keïta, who was easily shrugged off the ball, before passing to Rayan Aït-Nouri who sent the ball across the six-yard box, Neves then teed up Traore who skied the ball well into the stands.

Liverpool pressed for a second goal to effectively settle the tie, as Elliot showed fantastic footwork in the middle of the park, and Keïta slipped the ball through to Gakpo, one-on-one with Sá, but the Dutchman was denied at point-blank range by a fine save from the Portuguese shot stopper.

The flag also went up for offside and the effort wouldn’t have counted anyway.

A controversial moment soon came as Neves’ free-kick on the edge of the Liverpool penalty area, appeared to be tipped over the bar by Caoimhin Kelleher.

But the referee pointed for a goal-kick, much to Neves’ protests.

 

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Aït-Nouri continued to cause Liverpool problems down the left channel as he bamboozled his way past Gomez with a fine flick turn.

The Algerian’s pass was intercepted but a poor mis-slice from Fabinho gave Wolves the ball back and a dangerous Aït-Nouri cross was fortunately headed into the gloves of Kelleher by Nat Philipps.

Klopp’s men then resisted some increasing pressure from Wolves, as Diego Costa laid the ball off to Matheus Cunha, but the former Atletico Madrid man fired well wide of the target.

There was time for one final chance, and again Cunha, should have scored but he headed straight at Kelleher, after a great cross from Nunes.

Liverpool then held on for a massive result at Molineux that sets up Klopp’s men nicely for the weekend clash against Chelsea at Anfield, with both teams desperate for a precious league win.

“I am really happy” – Klopp

After the match, the boss praised his team and also the man of the hour, Elliot.

“It was the reaction we needed to show. We were compact, won challenges after losing the ball and we played good football,” said Klopp.

“I said to the boys after the game that’s how it feels when you play well and win. It was completely different to the last game and I am really happy with that.

 

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“We scored an exceptional goal. Harvey saw something not a lot of people in the stadium would have saw. If I was a goalie, I wouldn’t have expected a shot in that moment. It was a top goal.”

Milner with the vocal assist

Matchwinner Elliot admitted his relief at scoring and credited his teammate for urging him to shoot.

“It’s a big relief to be honest. I feel like I haven’t been at my best after the World Cup,” he said.

 

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“Millie was screaming ‘shoot’, and if he’s screaming it then I’m just going to have to do it. I felt like it was the perfect opportunity and thankfully it came off today.

“Maybe I’ll speak to him after and he can encourage me a bit more to shoot because it definitely worked.”

James Spencer

My name is James and I have supported Liverpool since I was 6 years old. My favourite players growing up were Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. My most memorable match would be the UEFA Cup Final win over Deportivo Alaves that finished 5-4 to Liverpool! I am studying journalism in Manchester although I am a Liverpool fan through and through.

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