Andy Robertson’s late strike powers Liverpool’s fightback win at Wolves

This really was a game of two halves. Liverpool were woeful for much of the first period, a pale imitation of the team that had blown opposition away before the international break, but equalised in the second through Cody Gakpo before Andy Robertson, wearing the captain’s armband in the absence of the suspended Virgil van Dijk and the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold, took matters into his own hands to earn Liverpool the lead. Wolves’ Hugo Bueno then deflected a shot from the substitute Harvey Elliott into his own net before eight minutes of second-half stoppage time.

Liverpool are now unbeaten in 16 league matches. Wolves, meanwhile, quickly need to shake the habit of taking nothing from creditable displays.

The buildup to this entertaining early kick-off predominantly centred on Jürgen Klopp’s grievances at the tight turnaround for his South American contingent – prompting him to use Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez as substitutes – but by the end it was his opposite number, Gary O’Neil, who was clocking up the mileage, pacing the Wolves technical area and wondering how his side ceded control of this game. The home side deservedly took the lead through Hwang Hee-chan after brilliant work by the electric Pedro Neto but Liverpool levelled when Gakpo prodded in Mohamed Salah’s pass from close range, his final act before being replaced by Núñez 11 minutes after the break. Núñez and Díaz applauded from the sidelines as Gakpo converted from inside the six-yard box.

Klopp voiced concern about Díaz, Alexis Mac Allister and Núñez travelling back from Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador respectively, but it was Wolves who seemed to run out of steam. Robertson collected a booming kick downfield by the Wolves goalkeeper José Sá on halfway, burst forward and played a give-and-go with Salah. Robertson carried on his run and drilled in to make an uncomfortable afternoon rather more bearable.

Once Wolves crumbled, Liverpool went for the jugular and Salah supplied Elliott, who capped the scoring via a deflection off Bueno.

Much has been made of Liverpool’s midfield summer revamp and, despite victory, on this evidence they are still very much finding their feet. Wolves’s trio of Jean-Ricner Bellegarde – a deadline-day signing from Strasbourg – Mario Lemina and João Gomes made life deeply uncomfortable for Liverpool, who were second-best in a one-sided first half. Mac Allister, booked early on for a sly tug at the shirt of Matheus Cunha, was hooked at the interval.

But the Argentinian was not the only one off-colour. Klopp berated Salah into tracking back. Joe Gomez struggled against a rampant Neto and Joël Matip was under the cosh. Klopp jogged down the tunnel at the break, O’Neil not far behind him. At that point another Liverpool win seemed unlikely.