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05 March 2024

Perfect seven days for resurgent Liverpool

Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on Tuesday in Wolverhampton, England. (GETTY)


Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish hailed the professionalism of his side after they recorded their first Premier League victory of 2012 at the expense of Wolves.

Goals from Andy Carroll, Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt earned the Reds a straightforward 3-0 win at Molineux which moved them above Arsenal into fifth and within four points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

It made it a perfect seven days for Dalglish and his team following last week's League Cup semifinal triumph over Manchester City and weekend FA Cup success over Manchester United.

Until Tuesday night, their cup form had been in contrast with their league form, however, with the Reds having picked up just one point from their previous three top-flight matches - and the recent defeat to Bolton prompting the Scot to take the unusual step of criticising his players.

There were no such complaints from Dalglish on this occasion, though.

"I thought it was a very professional, high quality performance from the players. A fantastic reaction to the previous two games," he said.

"This game became the most important one because it was the next one. They applied themselves well and got what they deserved.

"I think the boys deserve great credit for how respectful they were to Wolves. Even when they were 3-0 up, they didn't try to belittle them with a couple of flicks here and a couple of flicks there.

"They got on with the job and deserve a lot of credit for that. When it was 3-0, everyone kept working, closing them down and making it difficult for them.

"A good performance in a cup competition always gives you a bit of confidence but the way they have responded after Bolton has been a credit to them."

Dalglish picked out Bellamy, 32, for particular praise after he made it six goals in his last 10 matches.

"Craig was fantastic. I wish his numbers were the other way around. Instead of being 32, I wish he was 23.

"He doesn't do anything that surprises you, Craig. He prepares himself well for matches.

"He does things for himself within the framework of the team. When you get it, you expect something to happen."

Dalglish was thrilled too for Carroll, who marked the first anniversary of his Anfield move with his first league goal since October, adding: "It was great for Andy to score a goal. We are delighted for him."

For Wolves, meanwhile, it was yet another miserable night. They remain rooted in the bottom three, were jeered by their supporters and the record now stands at 11 matches without a win in all competitions to leave manager Mick McCarthy under increasing pressure.

"After the first half I did not see the second half coming," he said.

"Watching that second half was unacceptable for me or anybody else. The lads are hurting. They have all gone out their and tried.

"We have been beaten by a considerably better side who have just beaten Manchester City and Manchester United, but of course I understand the fans' reaction.

"For the last home game, there were huge rumours going that I wasn't going to be here the day after so I can't imagine there'll be any less this time."