Best photos as Liverpool return to Anfield for first time in 9 months on “emotional night”

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Liverpool returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a 4-0 hammering of Wolves on Sunday, but the story of the day was off the pitch as much as on it.

The Reds triumphed thanks to goals from Mo Salah, Gini Wijnaldum and Joel Matip, plus a Nelson Semedo own goal, to move level on points with Spurs at the top of the table.

Better yet, it was achieved in front of 2,000 Liverpool supporters, as the first fans were finally allowed in to watch a match for the first time since March.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Signage as Liverpool prepares to welcome 2,000 spectators back into the stadium, pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Getting fans back to matches has been high on the list of priorities for the Premier League and plenty of other leagues and sports besides, but only in the past week have we finally been allowed to do so by the government.

As an outdoor venue in a Tier 2 city, Anfield can host 2,000 fans for now, though the plan is to get many, many more than that back through the turnstiles between now and the end of the season, all being well.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: A Liverpool supporter enters through a turnstyle as the club welcomes 2,000 spectators back into the stadium, pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The club decided the majority would be on The Kop, a fitting decision which was a fantastic sight on Sunday night.

It has, in fairness, looked as tremendous as could be, bedecked in flags and banners for the past nine months or so – but the most famous stand in world football was built to house supporters, and at last they stood inside Anfield once more.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: A Liverpool supporter cheers on the players as they warm-up as the club welcomes 2,000 spectators back into the stadium, pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: A Liverpool supporter cheers on the players as they warm-up as the club welcomes 2,000 spectators back into the stadium, pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: A Liverpool supporter on the Spion Kop greets the players as the club prepare to welcome 2,000 spectators back into the stadium, pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of course, one of the best parts of the occasion was the crowd being able to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone once more – and it was every bit as special as could be hoped for.

This was the first time fans had been able to actively support the Reds at a game since we were crowned champions.

Everyone was in agreement it was great to see the fans back, with Jurgen Klopp noting the emotion of the occasion at seeing scarves and hearing songs once more.

As it was the first Anfield game with supporters since the Black Lives Matter movement really took force in the English game earlier in 2020, it’s also important to note that the home fans were entirely behind the message.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah kneels down (takes a knee) in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Of course, there was also the small matter of the game going on, too!

There was no chance of Wolves ending our now 65-game unbeaten streak in the league on home soil, with the Reds dominant throughout and always the likely winners from the moment Salah put us in front.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Despite a bit of a penalty scare – poor from Conor Coady in both boxes – VAR actually helped the Reds out for once, before Gini and Joel buried very different, but utterly tremendous, goals in front of the Kop.

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (right) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game in front of returning fans during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Jon Super/PA Wire/PA Images)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Joel Matip (R) celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The end of the match was notable for the return of Jurgen’s fist pumps after victory and a big applause for the supporters from the players, rather than it being the other way around as usual.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool players applaud the supporters on the Kop after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There’s no question the performers on the pitch have missed the atmosphere and importance that a big attendance can generate, and even if we were well below capacity on the night, this was a big improvement in so many ways.

Now it’s off to Denmark and then the Reds are away to Fulham – time to see how we fare in front of only fans for the opposing team!

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