When things are going your way, in football, sometimes they really, really do go your way. As Liverpool looked to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League tree, VAR came to the aid of Jürgen Klopp’s side twice at the end of a frantic first half — much to the impressive Wolves’ dismay.
First, Anthony Taylor wrongly adjudged that Adam Lallana had handled the ball in laying-on a Sadio Mané goal.
VAR overruled the Mancunian referee, just as it is supposed to.
What really incensed the visiting Midlanders, though, was the technology’s interference to cancel out a seeming immediate equaliser.
Jonny Otto was shown to be offside by the tightest of margins, and Pedro Neto’s fine finish was thus chalked off.
Wolves put in a very good display at Anfield to take Liverpool all the way, just as they did in the final fixture of the 2018/19 season. In fact, this was possibly the trickiest home tie the hosts have faced in the Premier League this season, despite Wolves leaving both Raúl Jiménez and Adama Traoré out of their starting line-up.
But ultimately — as has been the case time and again in 2019 — Liverpool saw out the calendar year with another three points.
Here are your ratings:
Ali 7 — Did what was required on the odd occasion he was called into action.
Trent 6.5 — Very lucky to win Sky Sports’ man of the match. Should have had an early assist when Salah shot over, but looked very uncomfortable when defending one-on-one in the second half.
JoGo 8 — He’s back baby! Yet another key defensive performance from Joe this December. My man of the match.
Big Virg 7.5 — Weird off-moment for the Dutchman when dispossessed midway through the second half. Rest of his game, however, was symbolised by the raking pass which led to Mané’s goal, and the clearing header which ended the game.
Robbo 5.5 — Probably his worst display of the season, poor in possession.
Gini 7.5 — Played a crucial role in the centre of things. Contender for man of the match.
Hendo 7 — Dominant first half display but slightly less influence after the break.
La La Land 8 — Brought into the team and did himself proud. If the shoulder to Mané was intentional, it is a sublime piece of skill — and the former Southampton man’s work-rate was impressive.
Bobby 7 — Slightly wasteful with a couple of snapshots, but link up play was excellent.
Sadio 7.5 — Started slowly but the outstanding offensive player on the pitch for large parts of the game. Clinical first-time finish was ultimately the game-winner.
Mo 6.5 — Conversely to Mané, Salah started very brightly (despite a big early miss), before fading. Was lucky not to be taken off in the second half as he became more frustrated.
Naby 7 — Liverpool started keeping the ball better after the Guinea international was brought on.
Milly 6.5 — Little of note to mention.
Divvy 6.5 — Typical Divock cameo, unlucky not to be given a free kick after exhibiting pace and technique.