Firmino secures Liverpool win at Wolves

Afp, Wolverhampton

25 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Firmino secures Liverpool win at Wolves

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino celebrates with teammate Virgil van Dijk after scoring the winning goal during their English Premier League match against Wolverhampton at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton on Thursday. — AFP PHOTO

Roberto Firmino struck another late winner for Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp’s men opened up a 16-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory at Wolves on Thursday.

The European champions’ now 14-game winning streak in the league seemed set to end as Raul Jimenez cancelled out Jordan Henderson’s early opener.

Liverpool also lost Sadio Mane to a first half injury and were grateful to goalkeeper Alisson Becker for not falling behind in the second half.

However, like crucial victories against Leicester, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace earlier in the campaign, Liverpool left it late to snatch another vital three points in their quest to end a 30-year wait to win the title as Firmino smashed home six minutes from time.

Liverpool, who now have 22 wins in 23 league games this season, also have a game in hand over second-placed Manchester City to come.

Defeat leaves Wolves still six points off the top four in seventh.

Set-pieces have been one of the keys to Liverpool’s success and just like against Manchester United on Sunday, a well-worked corner got the visitors off to a flying start.

Wolves’ attention was taken by the towering presence of Virgil van Dijk and instead it was Henderson who met Trent Alexander-Arnold’s near-post delivery with a header that rebounded onto his shoulder and past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Most sides would have been disheartened by that early blow, but Wolves showed why they are contenders for a top-four finish by immediately putting the European champions on the back foot.

Liverpool then suffered a major blow as Mane pulled up and had to be replaced by Takumi Minamino.

The Senegalese has scored 15 goals this season and could now be a doubt for the first leg of Liverpool’s Champions League last 16 tie at Atletico Madrid in less than four weeks’ time.

Mane’s presence was missed as Liverpool struggled to regain control in the second half.

Jimenez and Adama Traore were left on the bench when the sides met in late December just two days after Nuno Espirito Santo’s side had come from behind to beat Manchester City and Wolves’ two most dangerous attacking weapons made a huge difference.