Liverpool's remarkable quadruple bid ends despite Wolves win

Mo Salah secured a final day victory for Liverpool that left them so tantalisingly close to a stunning title success although there is considerable consolation waiting in six days time
Liverpool's remarkable quadruple bid ends despite Wolves win

Liverpool's Luis Diaz looks dejected during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

LIVERPOOL 3 WOLVES 1

Mo Salah secured a final day victory for Liverpool that left them so tantalisingly close to a stunning title success although there is considerable consolation waiting in six days time.

The quadruple dream may well be over after dramatic events at the Etihad took the title to Manchester City.

But a Champions League Final date with Real Madrid awaits on Saturday for Jurgen Klopp’s side that has already captured both domestic cup competitions.

Liverpool left it late yesterday to clinch this particular win, with Salah bundling in seven minutes from time after Joel Matip’s header had been cleared off the line.

Andy Robertson added a third in the final minute, playing a neat one-two with Roberto Firmino and finishing impressively, the final act of a day with enough twists and turns to last a season, let alone its final day.

Liverpool were behind with barely two minutes on the clock, level after 23 and sniffing the most unlikely of league titles at around the 37 minute mark when word filtered through that Villa had taken the lead at City.

It was a day of predictable high drama, and even higher tension, and one that seemed to be heading the wrong way when Wolves stormed into the lead.

Ibrahima Konate was the Liverpool culprit, badly misjudging a long ball from keeper Jose Sa that drifted over his head for Raul Jimenez to chase.

The Mexican crossed and Pedro Neto had sprinted ahead of the defence to slot the ball home from six yards.

At a lesser stadium, the goal might have sucked the energy and optimism out of the supporters but not here, with a packed Anfield as loud and energetic as ever.

Liverpool swarmed forward, Luis Diaz a particular threat, and might have levelled even before they did so, through Sadio Mane.

Konate’s ball was back-heeled into the striker’s pass via a superb touch from Thiago Alcantara with Mane sprinting clear and finishing superbly.

Just before that, Neto had again caught out a flat Liverpool defence and his cross should have been turned in by Leander Dendoncker who missed the target from seven yards.

But the equaliser saw Liverpool press on again. Robertson volleyed over soon after and the news from the Etihad saw the atmosphere, and Liverpool energy, rise another level.

Ironically, the main beneficiaries of that seemed to be Wolves, however. With Liverpool pressing forward, Dendoncker played through Hwang Hee-Chan who, with only Alisson to beat, was denied by a solid piece of keeping from the Brazilian.

The half ended on an even more worrying note for Klopp as Thiago took himself out of the game, walking off with an apparent muscular injury collected while mis-hitting a pass out of play.

With James Milner on in his place at the start of the second half, the final 45 minutes of the league campaign opened in worrying fashion for the Reds.

Willy Boly had a strong penalty appeal turned down, after an apparent nudge from Konate at a free-kick was deemed permissible.

Moments later, Mane had the ball in the visitors’ goal for a second time, from a Diogo Jota pass, although this one was quickly and correctly ruled out for offside.

Jota and Salah tried to force their way through and Milner’s header had to be cleared by sub keeper John Ruddy, under pressure from Mane, but by the 58th minute, Klopp knew what he had to do and threw on Salah.

Firmino soon followed, by which stage news of Villa’s second had further enlivened the home crowd.

A Trent Alexander-Arnold shot was parried by Ruddy, with Salah flicking the rebound over, and Salah looked through on goal, only for Boly to make a magnificent recovering tackle.

But there was to be no great late drama, even though the Salah goal secured the win, as City’s remarkable comeback sealed Liverpool’s fate, and the 2022 league title.

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 7; Alexander-Arnold 6, Matip 7, Konate 5, Robertson 7; Keita 7 (Firmino 70, 6), Henderson 6, Thiago 7 (Milner 45, 6); Jota 6 (Salah 58, 7), Mane 9, Diaz 7. 

Substitutes (not used): van Dijk, Jones, Minamino, Tsimikas, Kelleher, Elliott.

Wolves (3-5-2): Sa 6 (Ruddy 45, 6); Boly 7, Coady 7, Toti 7; Jonny 6, Dendoncker 7 (Trincao 90), Neves 7, Moutinho 6, Ait-Nouri 6; Neto 8 (Hwang 22, 6), Jimenez 7. 

Substitutes (not used): Hoever, Marcal, Podence, Mosquera, Silva, Chiquinho.

Referee: A Taylor 7.

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