Liverpool 3 (Mane 24, Salah 83, Robertson 89) Wolves 1 (Neto 3)
Wolves were unable to end their season with victory despite taking the lead against Liverpool at Anfield as the hosts fought back to take the three points on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign.
Pedro Neto gave Wolves hope inside the opening three minutes when he was picked out by Raul Jimenez before finding the net, but it wasn’t to be for Bruno Lage’s men, who fell down to 10th following a spirited comeback from the Reds, with Sadio Mane getting Liverpool level in the first-half, before two late goals swung the game in their favour.
Wolves supporters were calling out for their players to show character in their final game of the season, and that is exactly what they got in the first-half at Anfield.
Lage’s men were quick out of the blocks and a goal-kick from Jose Sa flew over the heads of the Liverpool defence, but Jimenez was alert to the ball as he raced towards the goalline and placed a perfectly-weighted cross onto the boot of Neto who hit the ball home from a matter of yards out.
The first-half was an end-to-end affair – albeit many of the chances fell the way of the hosts, as Luis Diaz could only fire his shot at Sa having been played through on goal.
Wolves were putting their bodies on the line to keep the Reds out, with Willy Boly and Conor Coady both making crucial interceptions. This allowed the visitors to have chances up the other end, the first through Leander Dendoncker, who was picked out in the Liverpool box by Neto, but he could only fire wide.
While Hee Chan Hwang, off the bench in place of the injured Neto, was also found in space the wrong side of the Liverpool defence, but Alisson got a strong hand to the ball.
In between Wolves’ chances, Liverpool brought the scores back level. A ball between Coady and Boly found Mane – who was played onside by Toti – and the striker made no mistake from inside the box as he fired the ball low to Sa’ right and into the net.
Both sides were doing their utmost to take the lead, and with the news of Aston Villa taking the lead against Manchester City coming through, it made for a raucous atmosphere inside the famous old ground and an entertaining battle as the sides headed into the break all square.
Half-time | Liverpool 1-1 Wolves
The Wolves supporters thought they were behind just moments into the second-half when Mane once again found space behind the defence and lifted the ball over substitute keeper John Ruddy, who replaced the injured Sa at the break, but the striker was well offside.
Despite continuing to have opportunities of their own, including a Hwang effort which dipped just over the crossbar and a three-on-two which they weren’t able to capitalise from, Wolves were doing their best to keep Liverpool out at the other end, with Coady taking the full brunt of a Diaz shot, while Boly was doing his best impression of a brick wall.
When the defence were beaten, Ruddy was also pulling off brilliant saves, by palming Trent Alexander-Arnold’s rocket wide of the post, while Toti also put his body on the line to stop Salah from reaching the goal.
But there was nothing the visitors could do to stop Liverpool from taking the lead with less than 10 minutes of the tie remaining. Jimenez made a perfectly-timed goaline clearance, but only as far as Salah, who was in the right place at the right time to bundle the ball over the line from close-range.
Wolves were beginning to tire at the end of the match, and Liverpool were able to capitalise by scoring a second with just minutes of the match remaining when Robertson picked out the bottom corner to beat Ruddy.
Despite their best efforts, Wolves had to settle for the defeat, and with results not going their way on the final day, ended up the season in 10th place in the Premier League, while the three points were not enough for Liverpool to win the title after Manchester City came from behind the secure a 3-2 win over Aston Villa.
Full-time | Liverpool 3-1 Wolves
Liverpool | Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Matip, Robertson, Thiago (Milner 46), Keita (Firmino 70), Mane, Jota (Salah 58), Diaz.
Unused subs | Kelleher, Tsimikas, van Dijk, Elliott, Jones, Minamino.
Wolves | Sa (Ruddy 46), Jonny, Boly, Coady, Toti, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker (Trincao 89), Neto (Hwang 22), Jimenez.
Unused subs | Hoever, Mosquera, Marcal, Chiquinho, Podence, Silva.
Referee | Anthony Taylor