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Harvey Elliott scored a spectacular goal to hand Liverpool a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in their FA Cup replay at Molineux on Tuesday.
Liverpool, who were coming off a 3-0 defeat versus Brighton & Hove Albion that left them ninth in the Premier League, drew 2-2 with Wolves in their first third-round meeting on Jan. 7.
Despite a recent string of poor results, Jurgen Klopp still fielded a heavily rotated side for the replay. It paid dividends in the 13th minute when Elliott finished off a long run from midfield with a thunderous strike from distance to put Liverpool ahead.
Fabio Carvalho doubled the visitors’ lead as half-time approach with a tidy finish from Joe Gomez’s through ball, but the goal was ruled out for offside and Liverpool took their 1-0 lead into the break.
Wolves chased an equalizer to no avail for the majority of the second half before Julen Lopetegui brought on former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa to try to force extra time, but could not find a way back into the game.
The result, Liverpool’s first victory in four matches in all competitions, sets up a fourth-round FA Cup tie with the same Brighton team that outclassed them on Saturday.
Match-winner Elliott stated he had been encouraged to let fly from long range by teammate James Milner.
“Milly was screaming ‘shoot’ as well so I had to go for it. Maybe he can encourage me a bit more to shoot because it definitely worked,” Elliott told BBC Sport. “I have been judged a bit on assists and goals and it is something I have been working on and it came off today.”
The match lacked the entertainment and drama of the last meeting between the two sides at Anfield, which ended in a draw and left Wolves furious after they had a late goal ruled out for offside.
Lopetegui hauled on his attacking options in the second half and Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha had their best opportunity when he won a free header in the area but could not get enough power on it to trouble Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.
Klopp made eight variations to the side that were outplayed by Brighton in what the German coach described as the worst match he could remember in his eight years in charge of the Merseyside club.
They did not exactly produce an emphatic response, but controlled the game and earned their first victory of 2023 while recording a first clean sheet in eight matches.
“It feels like ages ago we had a feeling of winning and playing well. We had to fight hard at the end which we controlled for long periods. It is great and the reaction we wanted to see,” Klopp said.