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Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool Live Commentary, 21/12/2018

FT
0 - 2
WOL
LIV
Mohamed Salah (18)
V. van Dijk (68)
Molineux Stadium

Commentary

So begins a vital festive season for Liverpool which will see them taking on Newcastle and Arsenal at home before they visit City on January 3. That'll be a match to look forward to. Wolves have the chance to make amends away to Fulham on Boxing Day. That's all for now. Goodbye!
Liverpool go four points clear of Manchester City for now. They will top the league at Christmas for the first time since 2013 and have gone half the league season unbeaten - their longest unbeaten run in the top-flight since 1990. Wolves stay in seventh, although they could drop a few places if the sides below them win this weekend.
That was exactly the sort of game that makes Liverpool look like potential Premier League champions. The Reds managed Wolves' counter-attacking threat and took the lead via a quality finish from Salah. Once Liverpool had the lead, they waited for their chance and Van Dijk finished the job. A quietly impressive performance.
90' + 5' FULL TIME: WOLVES 0 - 2 LIVERPOOL
90' + 5' Wijnaldum slashes wide a fast cut-back from Salah. That would have been the icing on the cake. No matter - it's the last kick of the match.
90' + 4' Salah almost latches onto another through-ball but Patricio is alive to this one. Wolves attempt a number of direct balls into Liverpool's box but the Reds' defence see off all of them.
90' + 2' The Liverpool fans are in high spirits - can you blame them? They're going to be top at Christmas.
90' Five added minutes to end the game. Salah beats Boly for pace again and forces yet another corner from Patricio. Salah's been ruthlessly efficient today.
88' Wolves have wilted since Saiss' missed chance, but just missed their best chance of the match. Bennett's long ball is easily cleared by Robertson. The ball finds its way to Vinagre whose cross evades everyone and gets tangled up in Robertson's feet. It bobbles for Gibbs-White who can only lash his close-range shot into the side netting.
N. Clyne
S. Mané
Liverpool
87' Liverpool make their final change - Mane off, Clyne on. Unsurprisingly, they're settling for this result.
86' Salah bewitches Boly down Liverpool's right wing, again taking the ball to the corner. He eventually wins a throw.
84' Liverpool do nothing with the corner but it doesn't matter much. They won't have to deal with the rain for much longer.
82' Vinagre makes progress down the left, handing the ball to Cavaleiro. Cavaleiro lofts a high cross to no one in an old gold shirt. Mane breaks down the other end of the pitch, setting Salah away but Patricio is off his line to block the Egyptian's shot. Liverpool corner.
Rúben Vinagre
Jonny Castro
Wolverhampton Wanderers
80' Jonny is replaced by Vinagre - a like-for-like switch. You can't see how Wolves will get back into this now.
78' Wolves keep the pressure on. Neves's shot from range is blocked. The home fans bay for a penalty but it's not happening. Down the other end, Salah beats the offside trap and takes on Coady one-on-one, but the Wolves captain puts in a well-timed tackle and concedes another corner.
76' Wolves control the ball for a while. Coady angles a pass towards Jonny on the left flank but the Spaniard can't keep the ball in play.
G. Wijnaldum
Roberto Firmino
Liverpool
76' Firmino's day is done. He's replaced by Wijnaldum. Liverpool are looking to bolster their midfield.
74' Salah wastes a little time by slowing play down for Liverpool near Wolves' corner flag. Eventually Wolves force the ball out for a throw on the other side.
72' That was the chance for Wolves! The corner finds its way to the far post. It's headed back across and Saiss gets the chance at a snap-shot. He stabs the ball at goal but Alisson is equal to it. 
70' Wolves attempt to reduce the deficit immediately as Gibbs-White races away down the left, winning his side their first corner of the game.
Mohamed Salah
Assist
Liverpool
69' Salah's now scored six and assisted six against newly-promoted sides for Liverpool. How important he is to this Liverpool side.
V. van Dijk
Goal
Liverpool
68' GOAL! This game looks done. Liverpool take this corner short, bamboozling the Wolves defence. Robertson angles in a cross from deep that Bennett kicks clear, but only as far as Salah just outside the area. Salah puts the ball straight back into the box and Van Dijk is on hand to tap the ball into the net! 2-0 Liverpool. 
67' Cavaleiro picks up the ball on the inside-left and turns but loses out. Now Liverpool can counter! Salah takes on Wolves' defence before pausing, passing to Mane who finds Lallana in the area. The Englishman's shot is blocked just in time! Liverpool corner.
65' Neves' slide-rule pass for Cavaleiro is cut out by Robertson. Liverpool try to create something but can't find their way through the old gold defensive wall.
M. Gibbs-White
João Moutinho
Wolverhampton Wanderers
63' Wolves make a second change. Local lad Gibbs-White enters the fray for Moutinho.
Ivan Cavaleiro
Adama Traoré
Wolverhampton Wanderers
63' Espirito Santo has seen enough. Traoré is replaced by Cavaleiro.
62' Again Wolves see away the corner and suddenly they're away on the counter-attack. Frustratingly they're thwarted by the offside flag again. The home side can't time their runs well enough.
61' Robertson lures Bennett into conceding a corner on Liverpool's left. Milner strides over to take it. His effort is initially cleared by Boly but Liverpool win a second corner on the opposite side.
59' Mane and Salah combine to drive Liverpool upfield. Fabinho dawdles on the ball and is pickpocketed, but Traore is muscled out by Robertson.
A. Lallana
N. Keïta
Liverpool
58' Lallana takes the place of the injured Keita for Liverpool.
57' Play's stopped as Keita has found himself in some difficulty with injury. He'll have to go off.
55' Wolves force a block from Lovren and another through-ball goes out for a goal-kick. Espirito Santo applauds his team's effort.
54' Doherty heads away Clyne's cross from deep. Wolves are coping well enough at the moment. 
52' Liverpool win the ball back and ping a few passes around. Keita's blocked shot drops towards Salah and Patricio clears, not entirely convincingly. Bennett drops low to block another shot.
50' It's Wolves' turn to keep the ball now after Liverpool did in much of the first half. The Reds look slightly nervous.
48' Traore's power really is astonishing. The Spaniard bursts through several Liverpool defenders as if they aren't there. When he finally crosses, it's blocked and goes out for a Wolves throw.
47' Liverpool start the half by winning their second corner of the game. Wolves still haven't had one. Milner lofts the ball to Salah outside the area. His half-volley balloons over the bar.
46' Wolves get the second half started. Their four shots on target in the first half was the most that Liverpool have faced in a league game this season. But can they actually score?
A reminder that Liverpool will top the Premier League on Christmas Day if they ride out the next 45 minutes. The last four sides to have done that have all won the title. Then again, it was they who were the last side to fail to do so in 2013-14. Klopp's team will be taking nothing for granted.
Wolves are unfortunate to be losing at the break. The Premier League newcomers are causing Liverpool issues on the counter and have largely neutralised the league leaders' threat. However, they were undone by a moment of quality by Salah and Liverpool will surely be wary in the second half.
45' + 2' HALF TIME: WOLVES 0 - 1 LIVERPOOL
45' + 2' Alisson rushes a clearance, handing Wolves a throw down their left. It's worked inside but Neves loses out to Firmino. Keita picks up the ball and tries to pass to Robertson but gives it back. The half ends with Jimenez angling a through-ball to no one.
45' There will be two minutes of added time. As it stands, Wolves don't want the first half to end. They're causing Liverpool problems.
43' Another bad pass by Keita hands the ball straight to Doherty who surges free down the inside-right. His shot is straight at Alisson. All these Wolves chances have to add up eventually, surely?
41' A missed opportunity for Wolves as they get two shots in a row! Some quick play by Wolves in front of Liverpool's defence winds the ball to Jimenez, whose shots are both blocked. Down the other end, Doherty blocks Roberton's cross.
40' Keita loops a cross in from the left edge of Wolves' penalty area. Salah latches onto it with a weak shot and Patricio drops low to claim it.
38' Jonny's low shot trickles to Alisson after Traore's through-ball bobbles through to his fellow Spaniard. Wolves are building up pressure.
37' Milner tussles with Jimenez. Saiss bursts onto the scene and leaves Milner on the floor. Jimenez' cross eventually finds Neves whose shot is way over.
36' They may be behind but Wolves still believe in themselves. Bennett lumps a ball towards Traore down the right but the Spaniard's offside yet again.
34' Traore again strays into an offside position when he's in acres of space on Wolves' left-hand side. That was a waste.
32' Wolves manage to get the ball out under pressure from Liverpool. Doherty switches play to Jimenez who's waiting on the left. His ball aimed for Traore is cut out by Lovren.
30' Wolves are looking to find Traore on the break at every opportunity. His pace is frightening Liverpool's defenders. This time a ball to him has just too much power on it and rolls straight to Alisson.
28' Fabinho pings a long pass to Mane who lofts the ball towards Salah arriving in Wolves' area. Doherty toe-pokes the ball to Patricio in the nick of time, leaving Salah exasperated.
27' The ball comes free for Neves in midfield and Wolves venture forward. Traore, who's switched to the left, teases Milner before whipping a high cross to the far post. Moutinho can't win the header and Alisson claims.
25' A slack pass hands Wolves possession but they quickly lose it again. Mane's attempted cross is blocked. Milner arrives on the scene, cuts inside and shoots with his left foot but it's a comfortable save for Patricio.
24' Doherty wins a free-kick deep in Wolves' half under pressure from Keita. Liverpool are pinning Wolves in their defensive third.
22' Wolves don't look too flustered for now. Traore is caught offside from Doherty's attempted through-ball.
20' Salah has now scored against 20 of the 22 sides he's faced with Liverpool. He's a menace to any opposition team.
Fabinho
Assist
Liverpool
18' That was a lovely assist by Fabinho who is coming into his own in a Liverpool shirt now. Wolves will be disappointed given their bright start but there's still plenty of time for them to get back into this.
Mohamed Salah
Goal
Liverpool
17' GOAL! 1-0 Liverpool. Liverpool win a free-kick on their left - to Wolves' surprise they take it short. It drops to Fabinho who is tailed by Neves. The Brazilian plays a quick one-two with Mane on the flank and cuts back to Salah, who impudently flicks the ball past Patricio with the outside of his left foot!
15' There's a delay as Jiminez stays down injured after sliding into a challenge. Thankfully he's OK. These wet conditions could cause problems for the players.
13' Alisson is called into action! The Liverpool keeper is forced into a save after a clever Doherty pass on the flank finds Saiss bursting through midfield. The ball pops into the air but is seen away and Alisson smothers the ball when it finds its way back near him.
12' Liverpool win the first corner of the game on their right. Milner delivers an in-swinger that finds its way to Firmino at the far post. His effort is blocked and Wolves clear.
10' Chance for Wolves! Traore picks the ball up on the right after a wonderful chest-down by Jimenez. The Spaniard runs directly at Robertson and beats him but again drags his shot wide from just outside the area. Liverpool need to be careful not to get hit on the counter.
8' Wolves get the ball back after Keita tussles with Coady. Jimenez sends Milner to the floor and jinks inside but Wolves can't create anything. Keita looks to be feeling that challenge.
7' Wolves are content to let Liverpool dominate the ball but are pressing quite high up. Liverpool shift the ball around, looking for an opening.
4' Dangerous by Liverpool there! Liverpool try to pass out from the back but Fabinho's short pass is intercepted by Moutinho. Moutinho lays the ball off to the frighteningly fast Traore whose shot bobbles wide. A warning that Liverpool need to be alert.
3' Liverpool have their first attack of the game with some nice interplay on the left. Firmino jinks past a few Wolves defenders in the centre and attempts to shoot but his effort is blocked. Patient stuff by Liverpool so far.
2' It's raining heavily at Molineux. Klopp is standing on the touchline with his hood up looking miserable. Imagine how the players feel.
1' Liverpool's talisman Salah gets this game underway!
The teams are out on the Molineux pitch now. It's all pleasingly classic - Wolves are in their traditional old gold and black, while Liverpool are in their famous all-red. No unnecessary away kits here.
This game will be a tough test for Liverpool - they may be unbeaten in their last five visits to Wolves but this is a more resolute Wolves side than that of a few years ago. Wolves are looking to win four consecutive top-flight games for the first time since 1972.
Liverpool make two changes, with Milner replacing Clyne at right-back and Henderson - who will make his 300th appearance for the club - taking over from Wijnaldum. Nuno Espirito Santo also brings two new faces into his Wolves line-up, with Saiss and Traore coming in for Gibbs-White and Diogo Jota, who is out with a hamstring injury.
Liverpool bench: Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Georginio Wijnaldum, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi.
Liverpool (4-4-1-1): Alisson; James Milner, Dejan Lovren, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita; Roberto Firmino; Mohamed Salah.
Wolves bench: John Ruddy, Morgan Gibbs-White, Ruben Vinagre, Leander Dendoncker, Helder Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro, Leo Bonatini.
Wolves (3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady, Willy Boly; Matt Doherty, Romain Saiss, Ruben Neves, Jonny Castro Otto; Joao Moutinho; Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore.
Liverpool can guarantee they will spend Christmas Day on top spot with a victory at Molineux, but Wolves have performed well against the Premier League's big teams this season. They've beaten Chelsea and drawn with Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Premier League leaders Liverpool's trip to Wolves!