Liverpool 4 (Salah 24, Wijnaldum 58, Matip 67, Semedo (OG) 78) Wolves 0
Wolves suffered their heaviest defeat at Anfield since 1963 as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men fell by four goals to Liverpool in the sides’ first Premier League match with home supporters since March.
Mohamed Salah’s first-half effort after a slip-up in the Wolves defence saw Liverpool take the early advantage before Georginio Wijnaldum and Joal Matip put their side further ahead after the break. The writing was firmly on the wall when the ball ricocheted off Nelson Semedo and made its way past Rui Patricio, which secured the points for the hosts.
In the 2020/21 away kit for the first time this season, Wolves started the match on the front foot, with Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence linking well down the left, with the former earning a free-kick in a dangerous position.
Ruben Neves was the man charged with testing rookie goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, with the 20-year-old making his Premier League debut, but after beating the wall, the midfielder could not keep his effort from landing on the roof of the Liverpool net.
During the evenly-fought early stages on the contest, Liverpool had opportunities of their own to open the scoring, with Sadio Mane heading over the crossbar after the forward got on the end of a Andy Robertson cross from the left.
Despite the host seeing more of the possession, Wolves we catching Liverpool on the counter, and one of their breaks fell to Podence, who pulled an impressive save from Kelleher, when the Portuguese forward attempted an audacious chip from the edge of the area towards the top left corner, but the keeper was able to get back quickly and claw the ball away from his goalmouth.
Moments later, Adama Traore used his pace and skill to skip away from Fabinho down Wolves’ right before he raced to the byline and whipped a cross towards the far post and Neto, but his cross was just too powerful and misses his fellow winger by a foot.
The visitor’s positive start was undone mid-way through the first-half when Conor Coady was unable to clear a Jordan Henderson lofted pass. The captain’s heavy touch allowed Salah to nick the ball and bare down on Patricio, with the Egyptian firing his effort across the Wolves keeper and into the bottom right corner of the net.
Wolves were rewarded a penalty by referee Craig Pawson just before the half-time break with Mane being adjudged to have tripped Coady in the penalty area. However, after checking VAR, the referee decided there was no contact from Mane on the defender and the decision was overturned.
Half-time: Liverpool 1 Wolves 0
The attacking intent of both teams in the first-half continued in the second, but it was Liverpool who struck first when Mane collected a long ball well on the edge of the Wolves box before firing straight into the arms of Patricio from a good position. Moments later, the Senegalese struck an effort wide from 15 yards out.
Liverpool’s defence had to be alert when Traore placed a cross into their penalty area, which fell to Coady, but the defender was unable to gather his feet quick enough for an effort on goal, allowing Fabinho to step in and clear the danger.
With Wolves in attack, they were caught out by Liverpool for their second goal of the evening. A quick counter saw Wijnaldum in space 20 yards out from goal, and the midfielder curled an unstoppable effort past Patricio and into the top right corner of the net.
In front of the Kop where the 2,000 Liverpool supporters were situated for Anfield’s first match with spectators since March, Matip headed home Salah’s free-kick delivery from about five yards out to extend his side’s lead to three goals.
With Liverpool well on top of the game and Wolves struggling to get a foothold in the proceedings, the hosts added a fourth with just under 15 minutes remaining. Trent Alexander-Arnold found acres of space on the right and crossed a low ball into the far post where red shirts were queuing up to strike, before the ball inadvertently found its way into the net via the leg of Semedo.
Wolves pushed for a consolation goal, but it wasn’t to be for Nuno’s men, who were unable to make it back-to-back wins in the top-flight.
Full-time: Liverpool 4 Wolves 0
Liverpool: Kelleher, Williams (Alexander-Arnold 68), Matip, Fabinho, Robertson, Jones, Henderson (Keita 81), Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino (Jota 73), Mane.
Unused subs: Adrian, Tsmikas, Phillips, Minamino.
Wolves: Patricio, Semedo, Boly, Coady, Marcal, Neves (Silva 62), Dendoncker, Moutinho, Traore, Podence (Ait-Nouri 71), Neto (Vitinha 79).
Unused subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Kilman, Saiss.
Referee: Craig Pawson