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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020
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WITH THE PREMIER League title race over barring a massive, ground-shaking collapse, the narrative emerging around Liverpool is whether they can go the entire Premier season unbeaten.

Gazing through their fixture list, tonight’s game looks to be one of the trickier remaining tests: away to high-flying Wolves.

Welcome to The42’s live coverage of the last Premier League game of this rollicking midweek, as Jurgen Klopp’s side arrive in the Midlands.

Get in touch with us below the line, or email gavincooney@the42.ie.

Team news coming up…

 

The teams are out at Molineux! 

The teams are out at Molineux! 

“A battle of the Premier League’s two best beards”, says the BT Sport commentator.

We’re underway! 

1Mins

Liverpool start on top, but their first attack ends with Alexander-Arnold thumping a ball over the endline. 

3Mins

Traore is left in a heap by a challenge by Gomez, and to everyone’s surprise Michael Oliver waves advantage. Van Dijk cuts out Jota’s sloppy cross, though, and Liverpool half-clear before conceding a second foul on the left wing. 

This one is a free kick…

4Mins

A stunning delivery is whipped all the way across the six-yard area, and it misses everyone bar Alexander-Arnold at the back post, who eventually thwacks the ball clear. 

That was a chance for Wolves…

5Mins

Liverpool sweep forward: Oxlade-Chamberlain infield to Firmino, who lays the ball on for Salah, who is felled on the edge of the box by Conor Coady. Free-kick for Liverpool. 

6Mins

Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick hits the wall – Saiss to be specific – and Liverpool have their first corner. 

8Mins

GOAL! Wolves 0-1 Liverpool (Henderson) 

And just like last Sunday, Liverpool lead through a corner. Alexander-Arnold’s corner is headed in at the front post by the arriving Jordan Henderson. 

Wolves sing ‘Fuck VAR’, because the goal wasn’t disallowed following a brief review. 

A 15th goal from a set piece this season for Liverpool. 

9Mins

Adama Traore has popped up on the left, to run at Alexander-Arnold. 

He waltzes by him and whips in a cross that’s deflected behind by Joe Gomez. 

10Mins
11Mins

What a chance for Matt Doherty!

Wolves’ corner is short, Liverpool’s defence rushes out, but Neves picks out Doherty’s run for deep and the Irishman heads wide from 8 yards out! 

Lively start. 

13Mins

That was a great chance for Matt Doherty – or Dock-er-tee as Steve McManaman is still calling him – but that set-piece routine totally undid Liverpool. 

Firmino is pinged for a foul on Neto on Wolves’ left, so here’s another chance for them to test that Liverpool defence…

13Mins

This one is sliced in the air by Van Dijk, and Alisson gathers from the air at the second attempt. 

Wolves are making hay with Liverpool’s high defensive line so far. Bitterly ironic for them that they conceded from a corner, mind. 

17Mins

Bedlam in the Liverpool box again. Traore is back on the right, skates by Robertson and picks out a great cross that Alexander-Arnold heads only as far as Neto in front of him. 

He prodded the ball forwards for Jimenez, who is muscled off the ball by Van Dijk. 

Oliver waved away any penalty appeals, and Liverpool break clear. 

18Mins

Now Liverpool come close – Salah finds space in the box, shimmies back inside to leave and Coady blocks the shot clear. 

20Mins

Traore is spectacular to watch. He’s just sauntered by four Liverpool players, and Henderson comes across to tackle…only to bounce off Traore’s gigantic arms. 

20Mins

Dendoncker does superbly to deal with Liverpool danger. Oxlade-Chamberlain played Mane in one-on-one with a delightful pass, but the Wolves defender scuttles across and toes the ball away. This game is so open! 

23Mins

Neves is down in a heap after a coming-together with Mane. Liverpool break as the referee says no foul, but Firmino gives in to the crowd’s jeers and rolls the ball out of play. 

25Mins

Neves is fine to continue. 

30Mins

After a breathless start, things have settled down a little, with Liverpool hogging the ball. 

In another sign of the restoration of order, Van Dijk easily shoves Jota off the ball to allow a Wolves attack end with a Liverpool goal-kick. 

31Mins

Eek, problem here for Liverpool. Sadio Mane has twinged a muscle, and has walked off. He’s replaced by Takumi Minamino, who makes a Premier League debut. 

33Mins

Liverpool can cope without Mane for a couple of weeks, but missing him against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next month could be a bit of a nightmare. 

It will be intriguing to see how Minamino does in his stead – Divock Origi was the more obvious change in that scenario. 

36Mins

Saiss drives up the left wing and then, eh, passes the ball out of play. 

For no discernible reason whatsoever. 

37Mins

Neves finds Jimenez at the far post, who cuts inside and arrows a shot wide of the near post. 

41Mins

Gah, Matt Doherty wastes a good Wolves chance with a really poor pull back – it went right to Henderson. 

43Mins

The ball breaks beautifully for Jimenez, who cuts inside and looks like he has given Van Dijk the slip…but no, by the time he takes the shot Van Dijk is there to block it. 

Corner for Wolves. 

43Mins

It goes short again, but Roberto Firmino does his job and gets it clear. 

44Mins

Now Van Dijk is down and in pain, clutching his ribs after a clattering with Traore. 

45Mins

Two added minutes. 

Van Dijk is up and moving about, albeit gingerly. 

45Mins

Great chance for Salah at the end of the half. He cuts a line across the Wolves defence, but Doherty recovers to make a fantastic sliding block, and Wolves escape. 

45Mins

Half-time: Wolves 0-1 Liverpool 

Liverpool have the lead but Wolves have had chances, Matt Doherty’s the most significant. 

Jordan Henderson’s header remains the difference so far, although Liverpool have been hamstrung by the loss of Sadio Mane to injury. 

This game remains very much alive – we’ll be back in a few! 

45Mins

Aaaaand we’re back! 

No further changes for either side at the break.

47Mins

Traore is robbed on the edge of the box by Salah, but his goalkeeper bails him out of trouble by saving Salah’s shot. 

49Mins

Liverpool’s corner is eventually cleared by Wolves, after Henderson was again allowed a free header at the near post.  

Wolves break with Liverpool out of position – Salah ended up at right-back – but a recovering Gomez does well to block Pedro Neto’s shot away. 

51Mins

Salah cuts into the box and strikes a tame, right-footed shot at Patricio.

51Mins

GOAL! Wolves 1-1 Liverpool (Jimenez)

And Wolves are level! Jimenez skins a stumbling Robertson too easily in midfield, slips the ball to the right wing for Traore, who drives forward and dinks a ball to the box for an unmarked Jimenez, who heads the ball past Alisson! 

54Mins

Traore is causing all kinds of havoc down the right. He has just skinned Wijnaldum down the right, and his cross is only slightly too heavy for Jimenez. 

55Mins

Andy Robertson is booked for catching Traore very late on the edge of the box. 

He can’t cope with what’s coming at him at the moment, and Liverpool are missing the pace and defensive cover Mane offers down the left. 

56Mins

Moutinho’s free-kick is beaten away by Alisson. 

57Mins

Liverpool have shaken things up, and are playing 4-4-2, with Oxlade-Chamerlain given the job of going to the left and doubling up on Traore. 

He is unplayable at the moment.

60Mins

Liverpool work a free-kick well, and Minamino pings a shot goalward that is beaten away by Patricio. The ball breaks to an offside Firmino, who nonetheless fires the ball right at Patricio. 

62Mins

The game is less chaotic now, which actually suits Liverpool. 

64Mins

Traore’s shot is brilliantly saved by Alisson! 

Liverpool are on the ropes again, it’s all Wolves. 

67Mins

Liverpool are hassled and harried among their short passing from the back, and eventually have to hack the ball clear and lose possession. 

Wolves giving Liverpool as tough a game as they’ve had all season here. 

Fabinho is about to come on for Liverpool. 

68Mins

Jimenez is slipped through one-on-one, but his shot is blocked by Alisson! Another big save, and the Liverpool goalkeeper took this one right in the face. 

69Mins

Salah has wasted another chance for Liverpool. Rather than give the ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain, he takes another touch and shoots wide of the near post. 

A bad minute for Oxlade-Chamberlain, as he is hooked and replaced by Fabinho. 

71Mins

Fabinho is into the middle of midfield along with Henderson, and Wijnaldum has gone left in the please-help-Andy-with-Traore-role. 

73Mins

Liverpool are all over the shop. Robertson loses the ball in midfield and Neto is allowed advance all the way into the box, and is allowed go further as Van Dijk and Gomez run into eachother. 

The ball is eventually overrun, and Liverpool survive. 

74Mins

Minamino wins a corner – and some respite – for Liverpool. 

75Mins

Alexander-Arnold tried to roll the ball back for Henderson on the edge of the box, but Fabinho intercepted it and the move came to nothing. 

76Mins

Change for Wolves – Diogo Jota replaces Neto. 

80Mins

Gomez is penalised for a foul on Jota, and this is a pretty dangerous position for Wolves…

80Mins

It comes to nowt as Wolves as Jota fouls Alisson. 

82Mins

Oh my word. Van Dijk makes a mare of a defensive header, and Jota inexplicably tries to thread the ball through the eye of a needle to his left with Traore wide open and in on goal.

82Mins

And Liverpool miss a chance at the other end! 

Firmino breaks into the box, one-on-one with Patricio, but the shot is saved!

85Mins

GOAL! Wolves 1-2 Liverpool (Firmino, 83′)

Blimey, a Liverpool smash and grab! Salah shows great control on the edge of the box, Coady tackles him but the ball breaks to Henderson, who plays a terrific first-time pass to Firmino. 

He cuts inside and rifles a shot into the top corner! 

What a finish, and Liverpool – incredibly – might get out of here with a win. 

86Mins

Mo Salah has gone off, replaced by Divock Origi. 

86Mins

Morgan Gibbs-White comes on for Wolves, replacing Moutinho. 

88Mins

Wolves are preparing a siege now, and Liverpool are preparing for one: they are falling pretty deep. 

89Mins

Robertson and Henderson manage to rob Traore of the ball in midfield, and the left-back surges forward to the box before thinking more clearly – he knocks the ball back to Minamino and Liverpool are content just to hog the ball. 

90Mins

Four minutes to be added on…

92Mins

Wolves miss a SITTER! 

Traore – obviously – skins Robertson, clips a cross to the back post to Jimenez, who lays the ball off to Jota six yards from goal…and he spoons the ball over the bar! 

What a chance!

90Mins

Full-time: Wolves 1-2 Liverpool 

Well, Liverpool get out of jail in the end, and have managed to stretch their lead at the top of the lead to 16 points. 

Wolves – and Traore – didn’t deserve to lose, but in football, deserve ain’t got nothing to do with it. 

Liverpool are now 40 games unbeaten, and Arsenal’s record of 49 is hovering into zoom. 

Wolves are an excellent side, and Mick McCarthy needs to find a place for Matt Doherty against Slovakia.

Thanks for following, bye! 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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