FA Cup: Wolves stun Liverpool 2-1 at Anfield

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Richard Stearman scored inside a minute to give Wolves the lead
Richard Stearman scored inside a minute to give Wolves the lead

Championship side Wolves held on to stun Liverpool and reach the FA Cup fifth round with a deserved victory at Anfield.

Richard Stearman put the visitors ahead after only 53 seconds, left unmarked to head in Helder Costa’s free-kick.

Costa then set up Andreas Weimann to round Liverpool keeper Loris Karius and double Wolves’ lead before the break.

Divock Origi scored late on to set up a frantic finale but a largely subdued Liverpool failed to find an equaliser.

The result is the second defeat in cup competition in four days for Jurgen Klopp’s side after they lost to Southampton in the EFL Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, and a third home defeat in a week.

Wolves’ second straight victory over Premier League opposition in the FA Cup sees them reach the fifth round for the first time since 2008.

Groundhog Day in January

Liverpool have now won just one game in eight in January, with the Reds reliving recent mistakes as they failed to break down an organised team while also showing crippling defensive frailty.

Their weakness at the back was exposed inside the first minute, the hosts conceding a free-kick on right for the left-footed Costa to swing in a dangerous cross, with Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum failing to pick up Stearman, who easily headed in at the back post.

The other symptom of Liverpool’s January blues was also apparent as they dominated territory and possession but could not unpick a well-drilled Wolves defence, the previously free-scoring Reds having managed only six goals in those eight games.

Indeed, it took until 59 minutes for the hosts to have a shot on target, substitute Philippe Coutinho drawing a straightfoward save from Wolves’ 20-year-old goalkeeper Harry Burgoyne, making only his third senior appearance.

Trying to find some attacking fluency, Klopp also sent on Daniel Sturridge, with the England striker showing composure to steer the ball back across the box late on for Origi to fire in, but it ultimately proved in vain.

With another meek exit from a major competition, Liverpool’s season now looks in danger of completely unravelling, with all hopes pinned on the Premier League as a crucial match against leaders Chelsea beckons on 31 January.