The Warm Down: Liverpool continue their hunt for Champions League qualification
(Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

The Reds defeated a resilliant Wolves side with a performance that wasn't spectacular but was effective enough in both boxes. 

The champions continue to pile on the pressure on the teams around them as they to seek Champions League qualification for a fifth consecutive season. 

Liverpool are now level on points with their Merseyside neighbour’s Everton on 46 points. The Reds are now also five points away from occupying a top four place after recording their fifth away win of the season. 

Jota got the scoring underway on the stroke of half-time, his drilled left-footed strike squirmed in at the near post. 

Nuno Espirito Santo will feel aggrieved that his side were not awarded an early penalty when Nelson Semedo was bundled down.

Wolves had their moments but were unable to find the equaliser as their struggles in the final third continue. Despite all the Liverpool pressure Wolves had a few opportunities but they could not breach the Liverpool defence.

But it was far from impressive by Liverpool in a game marred by the collision between Conor Coady and Rui Patricio that resulted in lengthy treatment for the goalkeeper which saw him stretchered off. 

  • Story of the Match

Nuno Espirito Santo made only one change to the hosts starting lineup, as Willy Boly replaced Leander Dendoncker in defence. Jugren Klopp stuck with the same starting Xl Which beat RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League last Wednesday.

Wolves came quick out of the blocks and disrupted Liverpool defence in the early minutes of the game. Portuguese international Nelson Semedo had the first opportunity of the game as he was bundled over inside the visitor’s box by Alisson, but the referee Craig Pawson waved away any hope of a Wolves penalty. 

Once again, the former Barcelona player was involved in another opportunity to break the deadlock. This time it was Adama Traore he found Semedo on the right flank, the defender then cut inside and onto his left but saw his low strike saved by the Alisson.

Sadio Mane had a great opportunity to open the deadlock for the visitors.  As the reds broke away on the counterattack Mane was played in by Gini Wijnaldum, Mane tried to round Rui Patricio, but he went too wide, and his eventual shot was blocked.

The first half an hour of the game had been very even, both sides were playing well and looking to be positive. Pedro Neto and Adama Traore both looked good, and striker Willian José was also looking good for the hosts in the first 45 minutes.

As for Liverpool, Mane looked positive on the ball, as he was trying to make things happen for the visitors. 

The champions finally scored a goal in the first half for the first time in 11 games. A minute before the break, the old Wolves forward Diogo Jota found the back of the net. Like five days previous, the front three combined, Mohamed Salah, to Mane, to Jota, the 23-year-old's effort crept through at the near post.  Which gave the reds a precious 1-0 lead on the stroke of halftime at Molineux

During the second half Mohammed Salah had a chance to seal victory for Jurgen Klopp men and score Liverpool second goal of the evening but he was offside towards the build of the goal. He was just offside as he ran onto the through ball and side footed the ball past the keeper.

Towards the end of the game Wolves Portuguese shot-stopper ran out of his six-yard box to close down  Mohamed Salah but the Egyptian had strayed offside before he put the ball into the back of the net. This resulted a collision for Rui Patricio with his team-mate Conor Coady's knee. Patricio was eventually taken off with John Ruddy coming on as a concussion substitute as his replacement

  • Takeaways

"Jota the slotter"...

Diego Jota made his third start since return from injury for the reds. He was once again a shining light for the champions. The Portuguese international was heavily involved towards the build-up of the opening goal for the visitors against his former club scoring the opener for the visitors. He now has 10 goals in 19 games for Liverpool. 

11 goals and One assist for Jota in 22 games this season. He's been a a major loss this season up top. Jota can add a lot to our attacking threat for the remainder of the season. Jurgen Klopp praised his number 20 after the game by stating:

Diogo is just a class football player but we cannot take it for granted that a boy who’s been out for three months – or maybe even a little bit longer – is coming back and has an immediate impact again,” said Jurgen Klopp.  “That is rare. It was a perfect moment for the goal.”

Defensive Solidity 

Another clean sheet for Liverpool new centre back partnership of Ozan Kabak and Natt Phillps. They have now played the third most minutes by any Liverpool CB partnership this season. 

They have kept three clean sheets out of three in their full matches and only goal which they have conceded is a penalty. 

Natt Phillips is a warrior he battled very hard throughout the 90 minutes and he also made a major clearance late on in the box. Kabak at 20 is improving a lot too he looks more comfortable on the ball.  A promising centre back partnership is hopefully on the rise. As the reds continue to put their injury woes behind them.

Its been a great week for Liverpool, qualifying for the last eight of the Champions Leagueand three more points on the board. Fingers crossed Jurgen blocks the international break and the players can get a break ahead of Arsenal at the start of April.

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