Liverpool 2-0 Wolves
Premier League, Anfield
May 12, 2019
Goals: Mane 17′, 81′
Alisson (out of 10) – 8
Alisson went into the game level with Ederson in the clean sheet stakes and he secured the Golden Glove award—a deserved honour after a supreme first season on Merseyside.
The Brazilian was rarely tested in the first half, but he was far busier after the break, producing a great save to deny Diogo Jota, also thwarting him minutes later.
His handling was always safe and he distributed the ball in typically precise fashion.
After a stellar showing against Barcelona in midweek, Alexander-Arnold again played his part in a Liverpool victory.
The 20-year-old’s cross set up Mane for the opening goal of the game, although the aid of a deflection meant it wasn’t officially given as an assist.
He wasn’t to be denied, however, teeing up the Senegalese brilliantly for his second of the match, highlighting his technical expertise.
Joel Matip – 7
Matip’s form has been excellent of late and he was again reliable at the heart of the Reds’ defence.
Liverpool’s general dominance of possession meant he wasn’t called upon too often in a defensive sense, but there was nothing that could be faulted about his display.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
The PFA Player of the Year finished off an immaculate season with yet another assured showing, proving as cool and composed as ever.
The giant Dutchman has been given big tests in 2018/19, but he shone in all facets of his game and hit the crossbar late on.
Andy Robertson – 6
Robertson recovered from injury to start at Anfield, but he was never at his marauding best.
One superb strike was well saved by Rui Patricio and he provided energy up and down the left flank, but he was also guilty of giving the ball away cheaply a few times.
Fabinho – 7
Fabinho was colossal in midweek and his importance to the cause was clear again on Sunday, albeit not quite as noticeably.
On the ball, the Brazilian was slick and unruffled, while his ability to win tackles and use his physicality makes him one of the best defensive midfielders in the business.
Jordan Henderson – 6
Henderson has been in a rich vein of form for a number of weeks now and he was effective but limited on a day when lifting the Premier League title just evaded him.
The Liverpool captain played his part in Mane’s goal, playing a neat one-two with Alexander-Arnold, and his work rate was as relentless as ever.
His final ball was lacking, though, and he looked jaded, as so many Reds did after their midweek excursions.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Wijnaldum regained his place in the team at the expense of James Milner, but this was a more subdued performance than his goalscoring heroics on Tuesday night.
The midfielder kept things neat and tidy and knitted things together, but it was easy to watch the game and forget he was playing.
Mohamed Salah – 6
Salah was aiming to seal back-to-back Golden Boot awards on Sunday but he ended up level with Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, having drawn a blank.
Liverpool’s No. 11 was never at quite at his best throughout the afternoon, find himself on the periphery of things and occasionally proving a little greedy.
One volley that over flew over the Kop crossbar was his most noteworthy moment.
Sadio Mane – 8 (Man of the Match)
The Senegalese’s form has been imperious since the turn of the year and he proved to be the match-winner against a dangerous Wolves side.
Mane took both of his goals clinically, summing up the confidence he is playing with, and he joined Salah and Aubameyang at the top of the Premier League scoring charts.
One of the best players in Europe at the moment.
Divock Origi – 6
Liverpool’s unlikely man for the big occasion led the line in Roberto Firmino‘s absence, but he was very quiet on an ultimately deflating day.
The Belgian hit the target early and fired over in the second half, but he lacked the guile of Firmino and it blunted the Reds’ attacking play.
Kept trying, though, and his contribution at the back end of the season cannot be ignored.
James Milner (on for Origi, 63′) – 6
Kept things simple, but like Wijnaldum was relatively unnoticeable.
Joe Gomez (on for Robertson, 84′) – N/A
Not on for enough time to make an impact.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for Wijnaldum, 88′) – N/A
Only on the pitch for few minutes.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Lovren, Shaqiri, Sturridge
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Klopp will feel devastated not to have won the Premier League title, but what a remarkable season he has masterminded.
Ninety-seven points is a stunning feat—a total never achieved in the club’s history.
There was little to fault about the manager’s team selection, and considering the tiredness on show, he got a professional performance out of his team.
Next stop: Madrid. Let’s get that first trophy of Klopp’s tenure!