Liverpool: van Dijk 73’, Salah 77’
Jurgen Klopp has made some big calls with his lineup selection for this one. He starts both Diego Jota and Darwin Nunez up top. Given how the lineup reads, you’d expect to see Liverpool play in a 4-4-2. Harvey Elliott starts instead of Jordan Henderson and Kostas Tsimkas starts over Andy Robertson, with Ibrahima Konate sliding back into CB after being out injured.
A frustrating first half from a Liverpool perspective. There were some decent opportunities, including two from Harvey Elliott towards the end of the half that you’d have to think a fully firing Liverpool converts on. Wolves started brightly, creating their two decent looks off of the same counter attack in the opening minutes of the match. Liverpool did make five changes from their lineup against Crystal Palace and, at least for the first half, it appears to have brightened up the squad.
You could feel the frustration from the Liverpool squad and Anfield crowd really boil over early on in the second half. A somewhat flat start from the Reds coupled with some truly bizarre whistles from the referee added to the anxious environment.
Thinking all of the referee’s showmanship was behind us, Darwin Nunez has the ball in the back of the net after some plus direct play from Diego Jota. The VAR deemed that Jota has fouled a Wolves player in the box after another Wolves player had shoved him. Very well, glad our bar of “clear and obvious” refereeing errors is as low as it can possibly be.
Not having any of that, Virgil van Dijk puts Liverpool up 1-0 finally. Having initially scuffed his first headed opportunity, Jota serves him up a perfectly floated ball to head into the net. Perhaps the easiest time to score a goal is right after you’ve already scored one. Mo Salah does just that after a beautiful cross from Kostas Tsmikas.
At this stage of proceedings style points do not matter, only points. Liverpool had their issues against Wolves but they put two goals on the scoreboard and will deal with the questions later. I feel like if success (a top 4 finish) happens this season, it’ll look a lot like this match. Flawed, but points. That’s all that matters.