Wolves 1-2 Liverpool
Premier League, Molineux
January 23, 2020
Goals: Henderson 8′, Firmino 84; Jimenez 51′
Alisson (out of 10) – 8
One dodgy aerial moment caused a minor scare, but the Brazilian’s distribution was superb, threading short passes and firing one inch-perfect ball to Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Made big saves to deny both Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez in the second half.
The youngster was once again impressive at Molineux.
His passing was masterful in the first half, especially his now trademark switches to Andy Robertson, and he defended doggedly all evening, barring one late lapse.
Another assist to add to his long tally, teeing up Jordan Henderson to head home the opening goal.
Joe Gomez – 8
Gomez had been part of a defence that had kept seven clean sheets in a row going into the game, highlighting how good he has been.
He wasn’t at always his best on Thursday, looking ruffled by the dangerous Jimenez from the off, but he was still imperious for large parts.
The 22-year-old improved immeasurably as the game went on, playing as well as Virgil van Dijk in the second half and making one vital block.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
The Dutchman continued to be an ever-present in the Premier League this season—what a priceless asset he is.
Yet again, his all-round game was immaculate, whether it be his positional sense, timing of tackles or monstrous physical strength.
This is one of the best centre-backs of the last 30 years we are watching.
Andy Robertson – 6
Robertson hasn’t quite been in top gear of late and he was given the unenviable task of stopping the Usain Bolt-like Traore.
This was a poor showing from the Scot, whose distribution was inconsistent, particularly in comparison to Alexander-Arnold’s.
He was at fault for Jimenez’s goal, committing himself horribly, and Traore ran him ragged after the interval.
Jordan Henderson – 9 (Man of the Match)
Despite Fabinho being fit again, Henderson carried on in the No. 6 role—he was the star man.
After murmurs of a PFA Player of the Year win this week, the skipper produced another big moment in an increasingly excellent season, heading home the opener.
He was superb in everything he did, though, pressing Wolves relentlessly, fizzing passes and leading like the magnificent captain he has become.
Assisted Roberto Firmino for the all-important winner—this has been a huge couple of months from the captain.
Gini Wijnaldum – 7
Wijnaldum was magnificent in the win over Man United on Sunday, but he was more subdued against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
That may sound like a criticism, but far from it.
Liverpool’s No. 5 was typically neat and tidy in the middle of the park, working his socks off and keeping Henderson company effectively.
Oxlade-Chamberlain started a third game in succession, suggesting he is fully over his injury nightmare.
One great early pass could have led to Sadio Mane breaking the deadlock, but he was also strong in possession, linking up well with Alexander-Arnold down the right flank.
Substituted with 20 minutes remaining, having tried his best to support Robertson up against Traore.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Fresh off the back of his iconic strike against United, Salah was a busy presence at Molineux.
He was denied by an excellent block in the first half, as well as making one Lionel Messi-esque run and forcing Rui Patricio into a good save after the break.
Some of his passing was sloppy, and he was needlessly greedy, but Wolves‘ defenders will be glad to see the back of him for another season.
Sadio Mane – 6
Mane has had a slight drop-off in terms of output, with only two goals in nine appearances.
Unfortunately, he only lasted until just after the half-hour mark, having earlier produced one superb pass to Salah.
A hamstring injury appears to be the diagnosis.
Roberto Firmino – 8
Firmino again led the line, proving to be Liverpool’s match-winner, as he was against Tottenham and Flamengo recently.
The 28-year-old worked hard and linked play effectively, but missed one gilt-edged opportunity which looked like his team’s last chance of victory.
He then buried a ruthless effort, however, clinching arguably the Reds’ most important three points of the season yet.
All 10 goals this season have come away from Anfield.
Takumi Minamino (on for Mane, 33′) – 6
Came on for his Premier League debut, but struggled to get into the game. Kept things simple.
Fabinho (on for Oxlade-Chamberlain, 70′) – 5
Looked rusty on the ball, losing possession several times.
Divock Origi (on for Salah, 85′) – 6
Only on the pitch for a few minutes, but put in a shift.
Subs not used: Adrian, Matip, Williams, Jones
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Another game, another win—what Klopp is doing is truly remarkable.
This was one of Liverpool’s toughest games of the season, but the manager ensured his team stayed in the contest even when they were being outplayed.
His decision to bring on Minamino didn’t work, though, and neither did his change of formation at half-time; only once we returned to 4-3-3 did we regain control of the game.
The winning mentality he has instilled in his players paid off for the umpteenth time this season, however.