Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
Premier League (15), Molineux
December 4, 2021
Origi 90+4′ (assist – Salah)
The Wolves fanbase is a strange one. Having been convinced Liverpool were fleeced for £45 million in the Diogo Jota deal, they booed his every touch, while a chorus of ‘sign on’ came immediately before a minute’s applause for Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
On the pitch, the Reds were the most dangerous side in a slow start to proceedings, though Bruno Lage’s five-man defence had more success than that deployed by Ralph Hasenhuttl a week previous.
Adama Traore, amid whispers of a January move to Anfield, was a threat going forward for Wolves, while Liverpool’s momentum was stalled by the strong winds at Molineux.
An even bigger opportunity presented itself with an overlap from the otherwise quiet Andy Robertson, whose low cross looked destined for a tap-in only for Romain Saiss to deny Mo Salah with a lunging tackle.
Alisson was required to make a big save to keep the scores level heading into the break, diving at the feet of Traore to deny the winger after a low ball from Rayan Ait-Nouri.
HT: Wolves 0-0 Liverpool
The second half began at a much higher intensity, with Alexander-Arnold required to produce some fine defending to thwart Hwang Hee-chan after Traore got the better of Virgil van Dijk.
At the other end, Alexander-Arnold and Thiago were involved in a smart free-kick routine that ended with Salah’s volley landing in the path of the midfielder, with three pinballing efforts eventually going out for a goal kick.
The pressure seemed to get to Jota as Jose Sa presented him with a golden opportunity at an open goal, and after doing all the hard work of getting into position, he produced one of the most shocking misses imaginable, powering at Conor Coady’s bollocks on the goal-line.
On came the first substitute, but it wasn’t the shaken Jota who made way, instead the captain Jordan Henderson coming off for Origi as Liverpool shifted to a 4-2-3-1.
Origi was bright from the moment he came on the pitch, and he was soon followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as, with the Reds continually frustrated, the manager felt the need to change things up in pursuit of an unlikely goal.
Eventually it came, with less than a minute left to play, and it was Origi who converted, spinning to fire home and clinch a vital win.
The late goal evokes memories of a similarly dramatic winner in the Midlands in 2019 at a similar stage of the season…
TIA Man of the Match: Divock Origi
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Wolves: Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Ait-Nouri (Hoever 90+2′); Traore (Trincao 89′), Hwang (Moutinho 79′), Jimenez
Subs not used: Ruddy, Podence, Silva, Cundle, Bueno, Campbell
Subs not used: Kelleher, Konate, Phillips, Tsimikas, Williams, Minamino
Next match: AC Milan (A) – Champions League – Tuesday, December 7, 8pm (GMT)