Wolves 0 Liverpool 2 (Salah 18’, van Dijk 68’)
Wolves’ winning run was halted by the league leaders at Molineux as Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk struck in either half to earn Liverpool all three points.
Buoyed by a three-match winning run, Wolves gave the Premier League’s only unbeaten side a run for their money and asked serious questions of Jurgen Klopp’s side, however their quality showed across the 90 minutes.
The opening goal settled them down as a brisk move was ended when Fabinho crossed for Salah to deftly flick past Rui Patricio. The remainder of the first half belonged to Wolves, but they couldn’t capitalise on chances which fell to Adama Traore and Matt Doherty.
Half-time arrived as the ideal time for the visitors, who played with renewed vigour after the break and put the game beyond doubt when Salah’s cross was diverted home by van Dijk, condemning the hosts to a first defeat of December.
The atmosphere at Molineux was tangible pre-match, as a wall of noise greeted the players upon their entrance, and the decibel levels may have got to Fabinho, who gifted possession to Traore early on, only for the forward to fire wide of Alisson’s near post.
Traore, making his second start of the month, was causing all sorts of problems and shot wide from a difficult angle soon after. Liverpool’s first half-sight of goal fell to an unlikely source, with van Dijk selling the dummy to Joao Moutinho, but failing to find a way past Romain Saiss.
The midfielder then had his own opportunity but was kept out by Alisson, before the visitors struck. Fabinho exchanged passes with Sadio Mane and crossed for Salah to deftly put his team ahead with the outside of his boot.
Despite the goal, Saiss’ influence was growing and first he teed up Jonny, whose shot was blocked, before he fed Traore, who rolled the ball through Dejan Lovren’s legs, only for Jonny’s curling effort to be too close to Alisson, as Wolves searched for an equaliser.
The home side grew into the half during the close stages and had a serious claim for a penalty turned down when James Milner chopped down Doherty in the area. The home support felt rightly aggrieved and were still protesting by the time Doherty robbed Naby Keita of possession and shot at Alisson.
Half-time: Wolves 0 Liverpool 1
The break had come at a good time for the visitors, who came out for the second half relaxed and had Salah fire over from the edge of the box. With Wolves’ intensity dropping since the end of the first half, Nuno attempted to change with Morgan Gibbs-White and Ivan Cavaleiro replacing Moutinho and Traore.
However, the Reds remained more threatening and Salah’s close-control carved out an opening, allowing Mane to feed substitute Adam Lallana, but Patricio was quick off his line to save. That was simply a reprieve however, and from the resulting corner Salah crossed for van Dijk to convert.
The response was brisk, as Cavaleiro’s cross found Doherty, who in turn headed down to cause carnage in the Liverpool box, but Saiss’ snapshot fell straight into the arms of Alisson. Ruben Vinagre was then introduced to the action, with Jonny making way.
With two minutes left Wolves should have made the contest interesting as Andy Robertson got the ball stuck under his feet, but Gibbs-White fired the inviting ball into the side netting. However, Salah was stilling going in injury time and was denied by Patricio, it mattered not however and the Reds saw the win through.
Full-time: Wolves 0 Liverpool 2
Wolves: Patricio, Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Jonny (Vinagre 81), Saiss, Neves, Moutinho (Gibbs-White 63), Traore (Cavaleiro 63), Jimenez.
Unused subs: Ruddy, Dendoncker, Costa, Bonatini.
Liverpool: Alisson, Milner, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita (Lallana 58), Mane (Clyne), Salah, Firmino (Wijnaldum 76).
Unused subs: Mignolet, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.