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

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
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

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears