Report | Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Liverpool 2 (van Dijk 73, Salah 77) Wolves 0

Differing performances either side of the break cost Wolves at Anfield, as Virgil van Dijk and Mo Salah won the points for Liverpool after the break.

Julen Lopetegui’s side had competed well in the opening period and came close through Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez, while keeping their visitors at bay fairly comfortably at the other end.

However, the hosts turned up the pressure after the break and broke down Wolves twice. First, van Dijk headed home from close range after being denied by Jose Sa, before Salah tapped home their second to condemn Wolves to defeat on the road.

The opening 45 on Merseyside were well-fought, with Wolves completing well, and Lopetegui will have been happy with what he saw. His side’s best chance of the half came after just three minutes when Pablo Sarabia teed up Moutinho, whose effort from just inside the box needed turning around the post by Alisson.

That opportunity led to a corner which Jimenez – making consecutive starts – fashioned an overhead kick from, but it dropped agonisingly between Sarabia and the back post. The Mexican almost got in on 14 minutes too, but after latching on to Ruben Neves’ through back, he was denied by the covering van Dijk.

Liverpool had their chances too during a close first 45. Former Wolves man Diogo Jota flicked Salah’s cross wide of the mark, before Darwin Nunez got in down the left and crossed for Harvey Elliott, who was running on to the ball but headed wide from eight yards out.

The youngster, who netted when the sides met in the Emirates FA Cup, did call Sa into action in the first half stoppage time, but like against Fulham, the Wolves number one did what was necessary, getting down low to palm behind the effort and ensure the teams went in level at the break.

Half-time | Liverpool 0-0 Wolves

However, like at Craven Cottage on Friday night, Wolves’ second half couldn’t live up to the first, as Liverpool took the points. It looked like Nunez was the man to open the scoring, after he fired home on 65 minutes, but VAR had a check a spotted a foul by Jota on Maximilian Kilman as he attempted to clear.

However, that reprieve was only momentary and the hosts got their goal soon after. From a Liverpool free-kick, van Dijk had a header parried by Sa, but the goalkeeper could only watch on as Jota returned the loose ball and the Dutch defender was able to nod into an open net.

The game was then put beyond doubt when Nelson Semedo lost his footing and allowed Konstantinos Tsimikas to fly down the left and into the box, before squaring for Salah to knock into the goal and put the result beyond doubt.

A dramatic late comeback never looked on the cards for Wolves, who must dust themselves off and go again against Tottenham Hotspur on home soil.

Full-time | Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Liverpool | Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Milner 89), Konate, van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Bajcetic (Henderson 79), Elliott, Jota (Gakpo 76), Salah, Nunez (Firmino 89).

Subs | Kelleher, Robertson, Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho.

Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno (Ait-Nouri 24), Lemina, Neves, Moutinho (Podence 64), Nunes (Gomes 64), Sarabia (Adama 46), Jimenez (Costa 79).

Subs | Bentley, Jonny, Collins, Neto.