Wolverhampton Wanderers piled on the misery for Liverpool on Saturday, knocking them out of the FA Cup in the fourth round with a famous 2-1 win at Anfield, making it two cup exits for the English giants in a span of few days.
After Southampton outclassed them in the EFL Cup semifinal on Wednesday, denying Liverpool the chance to meet arch-rivals Manchester United in what could have been a blockbuster cup final, the Reds’ were realistically looking at the FA Cup as their only source of silverware for the 2016-17 season.
For their recent form in the league has been poor, seeing them drop to 10 points behind leaders Chelsea. And with a crucial game against the capital club coming up on Wednesday, manager Jurgen Klopp made several changes to his side, with 17-year-old Ben Woodburn among other academy graduates making a start.
And Wolves took the lead in the very first minute, centre back Richard Stearman heading in a Helder Costa free kick after he found himself unmarked near the far post. The Reds have been calamitous in defending in many games this season and showed no signs of improving that record, with poor organisational skills costing them dear even against second-tier opposition.
Wolves, who are languishing in 18th place in the Championship, are managed by Paul Lambert(Ex-Aston Villa) and they doubled their lead four minutes before half-time with a breakaway goal which left Liverpool reeling.
Costa was the provider yet again, playing an inch-perfect through ball for Andreas Weimann, who rounded an onrushing Loris Karius with his first touch before finishing into an empty net to silence the crowd at Anfield.
After the break, Liverpool remained sluggish in attack despite having the likes of regular first-teamers such as Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi on the pitch. A despairing Klopp had called for Philippe Coutinho but even the crafty Brazilian’s introduction at half-time didn't help the home side much.
Origi smashed in a close-range volley in the 86th minute after Daniel Sturridge had shown presence of mind to head back across goal, but Liverpool were unable to find a second goal which would have saved face by forcing a replay at least.
It wasn't to come, as Wolves held on for a famous win, one which will in all probability be the highlight of their season. For Liverpool, however, there is no denying the fact that the panic button is about to be pressed as they have lost their last three games on the trot and with Chelsea paying them a visit on Tuesday night, they need to shape up fast.