Gerrard finds his form to feast on Wolves

Liverpool 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0: Talisman inspires Liverpool who are made to struggle again until red card rips the heart out of McCarthy's men

Liverpool had to wait until Wolves were down to 10 men before they could convert their dominance into a lead but it will take small steps like this to get their season back on track.

The final score is all that matters but it should not mask just how hard Liverpool found it to break down their opponents, who were reduced to 10 men just after the restart when Stephen Ward was eventually given a second caution. Referee Andre Marriner originally wrongly showed Christophe Berra a yellow card.

Gerrard, who discussed his poor form with manager Rafael Benitez during the week, made the breakthrough with his first goal from open play in 13 matches, before Yossi Benayoun scored Liverpool's second.

The England midfielder was adamant that Liverpool's patience was rightly rewarded despite the mounting tension inside Anfield.

"It was all about waiting for that breakthrough," Gerrard said. "We were nervous at times and the crowd were getting on our backs and it was important that we just kept going. We had belief it would come and it did.

"When you're not getting the results that you expect, it's always going to affect confidence and we want to put it right. The players are hurting at the moment but we're fighting and we've got the confidence that we will turn it around. With the attitude that we showed we'll slowly move up that table and we know where we want to be."

Making his first start in the Premier League, Alberto Aquilani enjoyed a steady performance and his aggressive challenge on Karl Henry set up Liverpool's first decent chance, which saw Gerrard's bobbling effort pushed away by Wolves goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, who also pulled off a good save from Fernando Torres.

Matthew Jarvis has enough pace to concern even Glen Johnson and the Wolves winger crossed from the left for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, whose shot on the turn was grabbed by Pepe Reina.

The Spaniard was forced into more action when the promising Nenad Milijas hit a free-kick that was slapped over the bar and from the corner that followed, an unmarked Ebanks-Blake missed the target from five yards.

Referee Marriner had a fortunate escape five minutes after the restart when he mistakenly booked the wrong player. Ward had been booked moments before, for pulling Yossi Benayoun's shirt, but when he tripped Lucas Leiva, Marriner showed Berra the yellow card.

Reina ran the length of the pitch to lead the Liverpool protests and after consulting his linesman, Marriner corrected himself and sent Ward off.

It did not take long for the hosts to make their numerical advantage count, with Emiliano Insua tearing down the left and sending over a fine hanging cross that allowed Gerrard to shrug off the back-tracking Milijas to firmly head into the corner of the net.

Benayoun made it two when he collected Fabio Aurelio's deep cross from the left and beat Hahnemann thanks to a deflection from the substitute George Elokobi.

Mick McCarthy felt that fourth official Phil Dowd was unsure who had committed the foul that led to Ward being sent off and claimed Liverpool's bench influenced Dowd before he passed the information on to Marriner. McCarthy, who applauded Benitez ironically, said: "He [Marriner] got the right player but he got enough flipping assistance didn't he? They were in Phil Dowd's ear and he didn't know who it was.

"I don't know if Phil Dowd told the referee who it was and if referees can get assistance from the fourth official, then perhaps Ireland should still be in the World Cup."

With Aston Villa to come on Tuesday and a home game with Tottenham after that, Benitez hopes this is the beginning of a revival.

"We had to win," he said. "We won, a clean sheet, two goals, some chances and we have to go forward. The main thing was to get three points. We will see if we can beat Aston Villa and stay closer. We were trying to do well but to win. We have done this."

Attendance: 41,956

Referee: Andre Marriner

Man of the match: Hahnemann

Match rating: 6/10

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone