Liverpool 2 - 0 Wolverhampton
Liverpool: Mane 17’ & 81’
Whatever happens today, we know that we mounted an incredible season and we’ve all been lucky to be part of it. The chances of Manchester City dropping points may be unlikely, but stranger things have happened (like 4-0 against Barcelona) and titles have been won on less. Nerves have kicked in, though, and things are only likely to get nervier from here.
IT’S TIME! We’ve kicked off and Wolves have already tried to throw us off by making us attack towards the Kop in the first half. It’s sunny and bright at Anfield, and hopes are high. Wolves are here to play, which is great because that’s how we do our best, but here’s hoping we don’t have to try to break them down.
Things were steadily building towards a breakthrough and thankfully it comes through a a gorgeous Sadio Mane goal to put Liverpool ahead at 17 minutes. Thankfully that’ll settle the nerves a little bit going into this, although it’s all been Liverpool for these first twenty minutes so we have little to worry about. (Except I guess Brighton scoring).
Things, of course, have gone a bit downhill since the results of Brighton and Manchester City have changed, with the crowd and apparently the team looking pretty distracted (understandably - the team needs the crowd and vice versa) but all Liverpool need to do is hold this scoreline. A few more goals would be nice, just in case, but 1-0 is truly all we need if Brighton can do their job.
Liverpool win a corner around the 32nd minute and Mohamed Salah tries valiantly to boot it in, but goes skyward. It’s fine, we’re fine, everything is fine, there’s no need to be upset just yet. Anfield, unfortunately, has still remained quiet, so here’s hoping the half knocks some more excitement into everyone. We can’t let Wolves beat us. Not now, not today, not ever. We can only worry about ourselves, and am I trying too hard at this point to sound optimistic because maybe I am.
We’re out for the second half and with everything to play for. A big big second half for everyone is ahead. Klopp didn’t make any changes, naturally, but they’ve dominated so far so a change hasn’t exactly been necessary. The worst part may be the little chyron beneath the score every once in a while, reminding us that City will win the title if the results hold. Great, yes, we needed that reminder.
We see the first card of the match when Ryan Bennett takes down Sadio Mane on a promising counter-attack, and it only takes a minute or two for Diogo Jota to win a yellow as well. Wolves are definitely going to try to go out swinging, that’s for sure. Liverpool need to get their heads back in this game, though, as they’re getting a bit sloppy with their passes and causing more unnecessary tension for us.
We’re 58 minutes in and things seem a little more desperate as the Reds fight to take control back and keep Wolves from getting into our half. They’ve made some decent efforts and we’ve been good to beat them back, but they shouldn’t be getting there in the first place. In the meantime, Jordan Henderson makes a great run and sends a lovely cross towards Mane in the box, but Mane misses it by centimeters and Rui Patricio picks it up too easily. Mane to his credit makes up for it by racing back and setting up both Mo Salah and Divock Origi for his last involvement in the match. Klopp goes ahead and makes his first change in the 63rd minute, bringing on James Milner for Origi.
Things, of course, are not going the way we wanted them to in the south coast but it’s better to accept that now than keep hoping for something miraculous when we can focus on this, this match right here. Even as clearly tired as we are, and we do look tired after what was a BONKERS season, we ca hold ourselves high in knowing we mounted the best title challenge this club has ever seen.
Of course, there’s still a little less than 15 minutes for things to change as of this moment and goodness can still win out and not evil but you know. Blood and oil money and that. Liverpool have everything to be proud of this year, truly, including the way they’ve been able to fight the pressure that all that darkness can bring from forty five minutes down the road.
Is anything more annoying than Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux commentating on the City game from Anfield?? Because I’m about to jump through the screen and punch them all. Thankfully, we can count on Sadio Mane to bring spirits back up when we need them by scoring his second of the day with that great little head of his to make it two for us. Klopp brings on Joe Gomez to give Andy Robertson a bit of rest in the dying minutes of this game. The best change, though, comes with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on for Georginio Wijnaldum to at least get a few minutes before potentially appearing on the bench in Madrid.
Because at least we have Madrid? AND THEY FUCKING DON’T.
While Liverpool were able to secure the win, dropped points earlier in the year cost us. With the best season ever points wise in the books, though, we have nothing to be ashamed of. It just stings a little bit. Only a little bit.