A late head injury to Rui Patricio overshadowed an important 1-0 win for Liverpool at Molineux, as Diogo Jota returned to haunt his former employers with a decisive first-half goal.
Shakey starts have been characteristic of the Reds so far this season and they had one here as Alisson made a mess of a fairly simply catch within the opening minute.
A fairly open first half saw both sides spurn good chances, with Sadio Mane heading wide at one end before Ruben Neves sent one wide of the target from within the area. But it was eventually Jota who broke the deadlock, squirming one in under Patricio after some lovely build-up play to send the Reds in front.
Mohamed Salah had an effort rightly chopped off for offside, and Wolves offered little after the break, with Ozan Kabak sharp late on to snuff out one of their rare threatening attacks.
But the big talking point of the second half came as stoppage time approached, when Wolves keeper Patricio took an accidental knock to the head, prompting a long stoppage that paused the game for more than ten minutes.
As for the result, though, it was eventually a vital win for Liverpool, who sign off for the international break with three points.
Player ratings, anyone?
Rui Patricio (GK) – 5/10 – Poor for the opener, conceding from what should have been a relatively easy stop at his near post. Took a worrying head knock towards the end and was replaced by John Ruddy.
Willy Boly (CB) – 6/10 – Couple of important interventions but struggled to track the runs of an unpredictable Liverpool front three.
Conor Coady (CB) – 5/10 – Passing was typically excellent but lacking a little defensively by his usual standards.
Roman Saiss (CB) – 6/10 – Was sucked in by Mane and left Jota in a little too much space for the opener. Otherwise pretty decent, stepping out to regain possession a few times.
Nelson Semedo (RWB) – 7/10 – A real menace down the right in the early stages, forcing an error from Alisson and testing his gloves soon after. Faded out as the game wore on.
Joao Moutinho (CM) – 6/10 – Tidy enough with his passing, otherwise an uneventful performance.
Ruben Neves (CM) – 5/10 – Wasteful with a really good chance in the first half. Made a number of useful tackles and recoveries but wasn’t near imposing enough in possession.
Jonny (LWB) – 6/10 – Wolves most consistent player in all departments without really catching the eye at anything in particular.
Adama Traore (RW) – 4/10 – Will the real Adama Traore please stand up?
Willian Jose (CF) – 5/10 – Hardly in the game until he was brought off. Couldn’t get any change out of either Liverpool centre-back.
Pedro Neto (LW) – 6/10 – Liveliest of Wolves’ front three but struggled against Phillips.
Fabio Silva (Jose, 70) – 5/10
Leander Dendoncker (Neves, 76) – 6/10
Morgan Gibbs-White (Semedo, 84) – N/A
John Ruddy (Patricio, 90) – N/A
Alisson (GK) – 5/10 – Made a shambles out of a pretty simple catch early on but made up for it soon after with a good stop to deny Semedo.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 7/10 – Defensively alert and bright going forward. Created a couple of big chances in the first half.
Nat Phillips (CB) – 8/10 – Commanded the back line, did the basics very well and got the better of Pedro Neto with relative ease.
Ozan Kabak (CB) – 7/10 – Another decent performance alongside Phillips – there’s something vaguely promising in the works there. Important intervention to deny Morgan Gibbs-White near the end.
Andy Robertson (LB) – 6/10 – Steady and functional – not much else.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – 6/10 – Read the game well and seemed a bit more willing to impose himself on the game. Maybe a little bit too much for Jurgen Klopp as he was brought off with a booking to his name for the final 20 minutes.
Fabinho (CM) – 7/10 – Liverpool’s janitor, plugging the leaks and sweeping up after his team-mates. Unusually loppy on the ball now and again, but so, so important to his side’s control of games.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 5/10 – One of his more anonymous Liverpool performances. Brought off alongside Thiago for the last 20.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 5/10 – Been Liverpool’s player of the season so far but wasn’t really at it here. Not awful but too wasteful on the ball at times.
Diogo Jota (CF) – 7/10 – Led the line for the most part against his former team, though he did regularly swap positions with Salah and Mane in a fluid front three. Relieved to get his first goal after returning from injury.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 7/10 – Spurned a couple of excellent chances early on but caused Wolves problems with his incisive movement. Nice feint to play in Jota for his goal.
James Milner (Thiago, 67) – 6/10
Naby Keita (Wijnaldum, 67) – 5/10
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Jota, 82) – N/A