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Liverpool 1-0 Wolves: Sadio Mane on target as Klopp’s side restore 13 POINT lead at Anfield but visitors are left incensed after VAR controversy strikes again

Sadio Mane had opened the scoring for the hosts after latching on to Adam Lallana’s pass and rifling beyond Rui Patricio at the near post. The goal was initially been chalked off by referee Anthony Taylor after a supposed handball from Lallana, before a lengthy VAR check overruled the decision. 

Wolves then saw a leveller ruled out in first-half stoppage time, with another delay discovering that Jonny had been marginally offside seconds before Pedro Neto swept home from inside the box.

MATCH FACTS AND STATS

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Lallana (Keita 67), Henderson, Wijnaldum (Milner 85); Salah, Firmino (Origi 65), Mane

Subs not used: Adrian, Jones, Elliott, Williams

Scorers: Mane 42 

Booked: Lallana 

Wolves: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Kilman; Jonny, Dendoncker (Traore 58), Neves (Saiss 58), Moutinho, Vinagre; Neto, Jota (Jimenez 71)

Subs not used: Doherty, Ruddy, Otasowie, Buur  

An aggrieved Wolves showed more ambition after falling behind, with Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez both introduced from the bench in the second period, but Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson had little to do as the hosts maintained their relentless form.

After winning the Champions League and Club World Cup this year, Liverpool will now enter 2020 as overwhelming favourites to end their 30-year wait for a domestic league title.

Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum both fired over from presentable positions inside the Wolves box as Liverpool dominated the first period against opponents who were content to play a containing game less than 48 hours on from their 3-2 win over Manchester City, while a Roberto Firmino header flashed narrowly wide.

The Reds did find the breakthrough after 42 minutes when Lallana diverted Virgil van Dijk’s lofted ball into Mane’s path and the striker stroked home a first-time finish.

After a lengthy delay, VAR ruled Lallana had not used his hand, the ball instead striking the top of his shoulder, although it also appeared the ball had hit Van Dijk on the arm earlier in the move.

Wolves’ frustrations at the decision were soon heightened when Neto found the bottom-left corner from Jonny Castro Otto’s deflected cross, only for VAR to once more rule against them, with the latter player adjudged offside by the narrowest of margins.

The visitors understandably took more chances after the break and Alisson was forced to stand firm at his near post after Diogo Jota had caught Van Dijk in possession before shooting powerfully at goal.

Although Liverpool’s own threat faded, they faced few other moments of alarm until the closing minutes, when Joao Moutinho and Romain Saiss both shot wastefully over and Ruben Vinagre sliced an even better chance wide.

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