Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool: Emirates FA Cup Third Round Replay
Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Paul Ince slams Wolves set-pieces in FA Cup defeat to Liverpool

Paul Ince has criticised Wolves for their set-pieces in last night’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the FA Cup.

The two teams faced off at Molineux in the third round replay match.

Harvey Elliott scored the only goal of the game, beating Jose Sa with a long distance strike.

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

The Portuguese stopper will no doubt feel he should have done better.

It was perhaps the worst display under Julen Lopetegui so far.

Wolves just couldn’t fashion any good chances in the game, and were not brave enough in and around the final third.

The first-half was an awful showing.

Things picked up after the break when Lopetegui brought on Matheus Nunes to play alongside Ruben Neves, with Joao Moutinho pushing up.

But they never really truly troubled Liverpool, which was really disappointing considering their recent struggles.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the game was that Wolves did not make the most of set-pieces scenarios.

The insistence to go short from corners is extremely frustrating at times.

Wolves had two corners in stoppage time and wasted both opportunities.

And Ruben Neves also had a free-kick right at the death, and chose to clip the ball over the defence rather than shoot.

Wolves’ wastefulness irked Ince, who was on punditry duty for the BBC.

He said: “Wolves really never showed any intent until the last 10 or 15 minutes, when it was desperation stakes.

“There were just times when they had corner kicks – just put it in the box. There were times when they were trying to play two or three passes. Neves is one of the best free-kick takes in the Premier League. Seconds to go and he’s trying to clip one to the far post.”

Wolves have to become more direct with set-pieces

It is good to see different things from set-piece scenarios.

A bit of invention and creativity can catch teams off guard.

But Wolves were looking to be too clever in completely the wrong moments last night.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

The ball just needed to go into the box, with Wolves committing more bodies forward.

It was quite naive of the players, and a direct approach should really have been adopted.