Wolverhampton Wanderers have knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup; defeating the Reds 2-1 at Molineux, with the game being decided by a wonder strike from the right boot of Ruben Neves.
In a first half plagued with individual errors, it was rather fitting that it was a mistake which lead to the opening goal, and it was Wolves who were the benefactors from the lapse of quality.
James Milner uncharacteristically miscontrolled a pass in the centre of the pitch, which saw the ball roll between his legs to an onrushing Diogo Jota, who clipped a through ball into striker Raul Jimenez. The Mexican then dribbled the ball completely unopposed into the 18 yard box, before keeping his composure and slotting powerfully beyond Simon Mignolet.
The only other event of any note from an incredibly drab first half came when Dejan Lovren sat himself on the Molineux turf suffering from a muscle injury after five minutes. The Croatian was replaced by 16-year-old Dutch centre back Ki-Jana Hoever, bringing the average age of Liverpool’s eleven down even further.
The Reds managed to peg the home side back after five minutes of the second half thanks to a moment of individual brilliance from Belgian forward Divock Origi. The 23-year-old worked the ball onto his left foot on the edge of the Wolverhampton box, before firing a powerful drive past the helpless John Ruddy.
Parity between the sides barely lasted five minutes though, as Wolves’ Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves scored his third goal of the season; hitting a stunning shot from about 25 yards out into the bottom corner of the Liverpool net, sparking chants adorning his name from the home crowd.
A curling Xheridan Shaqiri free kick was the closest Liverpool came to another equaliser, as the Swiss’ free kick was acrobatically tipped onto the post by John Ruddy.
It was Neves’ stunning effort however which secured Wolves’ spot in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and unceremoniously dumped Liverpool out of the competition.