Raul Meireles put in an inspired display as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners over Wolves at Molineux on Saturday.
Meireles supplied Fernando Torres with the first of his two goals before killing off a spirited Wolves team with a brilliant shot of his own early in the second period to seal Liverpool’s first win since Kenny Dalglish’s return to the club.
While Wolves can feel aggrieved at a score line that flattered the visitors, there is no doubt that Liverpool earned their win courtesy of ruthless finishing.
With Steven Gerrard serving a one match ban, Meireles reveled as the main source of the Reds’ creativity and his 35 yard half volley just past the half hour gave Wayne Hennessey another cause for concern, with the Welsh international diving on to a Maxi Rodriguez effort moments later.
With the hosts labouring in vein, Liverpool edged ahead with a routine 36th minute break that again exposed Wolves’ defensive naivety.
Ronald Zubar’s failure to step up with his fellow defenders and enforce the offside trap allowed Christian Poulsen to find Meireles along the right channel who in turn fed Torres in the centre for the simplest of close-range finishes.
Lively Wolves were guilty of missing a similar chance seconds before the break when a loose ball fell at the feet of Nenad Milijas whose poor control allowed Pepe Reina precious time to dive and save at the Serbian’s feet.
Meireles turned from goal supplier to scorer with a wondrous 50th minute volley that deserved to settle any game.
Daniel Agger’s deep centre was headed clear by the Wolves back line and fell to the Portuguese play maker who hit a dipping first time shot over Hennessey from 25 yards.
Wolves rallied somewhat but despite seeing Reina spill Stephen Fletcher’s swerving volley and debutant Adam Hammill waste a close range chance, Torres sealed the points for the visitors when he tucked away his second in injury time to seal the points.