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Liverpool 4-0 Wolves: Fans treated to win on return to Anfield

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Mohamed Salah scores for Liverpool
Mohamed Salah scored his ninth Premier League goal of the season before setting up Joel Matip

Defending champions Liverpool welcomed the return of fans to Anfield for the first time since March with an emphatic victory over Wolves.

Mohamed Salah gave Liverpool the lead in the first half after Wolves defender Conor Coady misjudged a long ball from Jordan Henderson.

Georginio Wijnaldum added a second after the break, bending a superb shot into the top-right corner from long range, before Joel Matip’s thumping header and Nelson Semedo’s scrambled own goal made it 4-0.

Wolves were largely contained by the home side but had a glimpse of hope when referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty to Wolves in the first half when he adjudged Sadio Mane to have fouled Liverpool-born Coady.

However he overturned it after reviewing the incident on the video assistant referee monitor, where it was clear there had been no contact.

The win means Liverpool remain level on points with league leaders Tottenham, who beat Arsenal 2-0 in the north London derby earlier on Sunday.

Wolves are in 10th although only two points behind fifth-placed Manchester United, who have a game in hand.

Champions win in style in front of fans

Liverpool fans sing You'll Never Walk Alone at Anfield
Liverpool fans sang “championes” at full time as they celebrated the victory

Liverpool fans returned to Anfield for the first time in nine months to see their team who were crowned Premier League champions during that period.

They chanted “bring on the champions” minutes before kick-off and raised their scarves for a spine-tingling chorus of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

And the beaming smile on Jurgen Klopp’s face as he watched supporters take their seats during the warm-up was still in place hours later after his side produced an entertaining and authoritative performance that kept them in touch with the table-toppers.

Left-back Andy Robertson was a menace throughout for Wolves defender Semedo and he looked the most likely to engineer an opening in the first 20 minutes and it was his fizzed cross that Mane headed just over as the home side pressed for a breakthrough.

However it was skipper Henderson’s searching ball that Coady chested into the path of Salah that allowed the Egypt forward to take one touch before firing past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

The goal was celebrated by those able to snare a ticket for the Kop and they were entertained regularly during the first half, with Roberto Firmino’s nutmeg and Mane’s Cruyff turn a few highlights.

Liverpool grew dominant after the break when Wijnaldum’s wonderful strike provided a two-goal cushion but the biggest roar came when centre-back Matip’s header rippled the net in front of the fans.

Trent Alexander-Arnold returned from injury as a substitute to set-up the fourth, Wolves defender Semedo bundling the ball into his own net with Mane poised to score.

Those 2,000 supporters who were denied a victory parade when Liverpool lifted the long-awaited Premier League trophy in July were treated to a performance worthy of champions against a Wolves side who have proved an awkward opponent in recent encounters.

They thanked Klopp’s men for a fine performance with another rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in the final seconds of stoppage time before cheering the manager’s familiar fist pumps at full time.

Coady in limelight as Wolves miss Jimenez

Wolves travelled to Anfield without key striker Raul Jimenez, who fractured his skull in a horrific collision with Arsenal defender David Luiz last week.

The players warmed up with shirts showing their support for Jimenez and his absence was felt in the match.

Wolves lacked the penetration the Mexico forward gives them and on the one occasion the pacey Adama Traore got free – escaping the otherwise immaculate Fabinho – in the first half he could not pick out Pedro Neto at the back post.

The Spain winger’s switch to the opposite wing in the second half failed to make a difference as Liverpool doubled up on him successfully.

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, making his Premier League debut, did have some work to do and impressed with his handling.

He tipped Daniel Podence’s clever chip around the post in the first half and then made a comfortable save from Leander Dendoncker’s header in the second period.

Wolves rarely looked like ending their poor run against Liverpool, though, as they suffered their eighth consecutive league defeat to the Reds, conceding 19 goals and scoring just twice in this run.

More to follow.

Player of the match

RobertsonAndrew Robertson

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  1. Squad number37Player nameTraoré

  2. Squad number11Player nameRui Patrício

  3. Squad number7Player namePedro Neto

  4. Squad number28Player nameJoão Moutinho

  5. Squad number10Player nameDaniel Podence

  6. Squad number8Player nameRúben Neves

  7. Squad number15Player nameBoly

  8. Squad number5Player nameMarçal

  9. Squad number32Player nameDendoncker

  10. Squad number22Player nameNélson Semedo

  11. Squad number3Player nameAït-Nouri

  12. Squad number20Player nameVitinha

  13. Squad number17Player nameFábio Silva

  14. Squad number16Player nameCoady

Line-ups

Liverpool

  • 62Kelleher
  • 76N WilliamsBooked at 3minsSubstituted forAlexander-Arnoldat 68′minutes
  • 32Matip
  • 3Fabinho
  • 26Robertson
  • 17Jones
  • 14HendersonSubstituted forKeitaat 81′minutes
  • 5Wijnaldum
  • 11Salah
  • 9FirminoSubstituted forJotaat 73′minutes
  • 10Mané

Substitutes

  • 8Keita
  • 13Adrián
  • 18Minamino
  • 20Jota
  • 21Tsimikas
  • 47Phillips
  • 66Alexander-Arnold

Wolves

  • 11Rui Patrício
  • 22Nélson Semedo
  • 15Boly
  • 16Coady
  • 5Marçal
  • 32Dendoncker
  • 28João MoutinhoBooked at 89mins
  • 8NevesSubstituted forFábio Silvaat 62′minutes
  • 37Traoré
  • 10PodenceSubstituted forAït-Nouriat 71′minutes
  • 7NetoSubstituted forVitinhaat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Hoever
  • 3Aït-Nouri
  • 17Fábio Silva
  • 20Vitinha
  • 21Ruddy
  • 27Saïss
  • 49Kilman

Referee:
Craig Pawson

Attendance:
2,000

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