‘They will’ - Gary O’Neil makes very confident Liverpool prediction that fans will love
Liverpool earned a 3-1 victory over Wolves in the Premier League.
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Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has backed Liverpool to be ‘right at the top of the league’ this season.
The Reds earned a fourth Premier League victory in their opening five games as their unbeaten start continued at Molineux with a 3-1 win. Jurgen Klopp’s side were second-best in the opening 45 minutes and could count themselves fortunate to go into the interval just a goal behind.
Yet Liverpool improved markedly in the second period. Goals from Cody Gakpo, Andy Robertson and a Hugo Bueno own goal via Harvey Elliott’s shot ensured that the Reds are third in the table.
O’Neil was encouraged by the performances of Wolves, who have been tipped for relegation this campaign, and how they pushed a Liverpool outfit he expects to be challenging for the top four. The Molineux head coach said: “If you look at the two sides and the gap in quality between us and Liverpool, it takes a big effort to close that. I thought we did for a very long time. I thought the organisation, the structure, the quality the players showed, managed to help us bridge that gap.
“But you know you are not going to be the best side against Liverpool for the whole game. It’s not going to happen so when we are on top we probably could have taken one or two more of our real good situations and capitalised on them.
“Then after that, once you start to lose a bit of energy and they get control and bring on Nunes and Diaz, you know you are going to have to hang on at that point a little bit. You are going to have to dig in and it’s not going to all go your way.
“We were digging in and hanging on at 1-1. [Jose] Sa hasn’t made loads of saves really. And then we make a strange decision and create a bit of chaos and concede a second goal. We have spoken a lot about that, trying to keep the game in a structured, controlled manner because as soon as you create chaos against Liverpool they are very good in it.
“As you saw towards the end of the game, at 1-1 they had lots of the ball and had control but we knew where everyone was and we knew how the situations were going to unfold, but then we make a strange decision on 85 minutes, it cost us the second goal and from that point we are forced into a bit of chaos against them and they then create a lot of chances form that moment. Up until 80 minutes, I think to have pushed Liverpool that close was a big effort from everybody.
“We didn’t manage to capitalise much but I think from a defensive point of view the lads worked extremely hard for a very long time. We conceded an absolutely crazy second goal which is a lot of the stuff I have been trying to get out of the players really since I got here.
“They play quite loosely and go off and do their own things. That is just the way they have been playing for an awful long time. So, trying to take that unpredictability out as much as we can until we get to the final third.
“We have done it for large parts and we managed to remain in control of the game for a long time but them it just shows that, if you do create chaos against a side like Liverpool, they can punish you like they did. So, still lots to be done but if there are positives to be taken in a 3-1 defeat, there were. Liverpool are going to be a top side this year, they will be right at the top of the league, no doubt. So, not games that we go into sort of needing to win, they are not the ones we are judged on but we have a big game next week that we look to go and win.”