Liverpool v Wolves: Live matchday blog
Sadio Mane's goal late in the first half saw Liverpool end 2019 with a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.
Victory takes the Reds' Premier League record this season to 18 wins and a draw from 19 games and restores their lead at the top to 13 points.
A difficult game against a tough opponent, but 3 points are a great way to close out 2019 🙌🏾 Get in Reds!! 💪🏾🔴… https://t.co/uTSEAuVnlv— GWijnaldum (Gini Wijnaldum) 29th Dec 20:00
Tough game to finish 2019 - but another big 3️⃣ points 💪🏻🔴 #YNWA https://t.co/4JGeMehhRu— JamesMilner (James Milner) 29th Dec 19:48
2019 you’ve been fun. 2020 let’s go 👊🏽 https://t.co/HSD5XIN2F1— TrentAA (Trent Alexander-Arnold) 29th Dec 19:48
Jürgen Klopp's reaction
The boss reiterated the pride he feels about his team after watching Liverpool battle their way to a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Wolves.
"As I have already said tonight five or six times, if it would be easy to win that number of games a lot more teams would have done it. It is not easy and you have to fight with all you have," Klopp said.
"Sometimes we have more and sometimes less and the boys do that all the time, so I couldn’t be more proud of what they did again. To get that result over the line is just impressive and I am really happy about it."
Click here to read a full transcript of Klopp's post-match press conference.
Superb performance 💪💪 @J_Gomez97 is your #LIVWOL Man of the Match 👏 https://t.co/igsrMlzH55— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 19:42
Van Dijk reaction
Virgil van Dijk felt Liverpool displayed the required maturity and patience this afternoon in order to pick up another important victory.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com post-match, the No.4 said: "It's never easy for both sides to play in the circumstances – last week and this week a lot of games, travelling for both sides.
"They made it tough for us and we're obviously very happy that we kept the three points.
"You have to be very patient, you have to stay positive. We kept the ball for a while and were very patient, I think that's the most important thing.
"It's not always easy because you want to score goals as quick as possible but you had to be very patient today because they were defending well and when they had the ball they did good things as well. It was tough."
Klopp: "It was a hard-fought win. That's no surprise as Wolves are a proper, proper team. We had chances in the first half and scored the goal but their counter-attacking threat is massive."
And here's how the top of the table looks after the Reds' final match of 2019...
Here's how Opta recorded today's action...
50 @premierleague games unbeaten at Anfield 💪 https://t.co/ke4n9BgVyy— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 18:51
📊 Liverpool’s 2019 in PL: Jan LWWD Feb DWDW Mar DWWW Apr WWWW May WW —————— Aug WWWW Sep WWW Oct WDW Nov WWWW Dec W… https://t.co/OGcAadtcNb— SkySportsStatto (Sky Sports Statto) 29th Dec 18:43
@LFC end a full calendar year unbeaten at home in all competitions for the 5th time, following 1893, 1979, 1980 and 1990.— ged0407 (Ged Rea) 29th Dec 18:39
2.65 - Liverpool end 2019 having earned 98 points from 37 Premier League matches; their ratio of 2.65 points per ga… https://t.co/56rcPbkEb4— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 29th Dec 18:38
Liverpool 1-0 Wolves
It’s all over at Anfield and a glorious 2019 ends in fitting fashion: with a Liverpool win.
It was tight and it was tense, but Sadio Mane’s 42nd-minute strike was enough for the unbeaten Premier League leaders to make it 18 wins from 19 top-flight games so far this season.
The Reds’ advantage at the top of the table is back up to 13 points, while they also have a game in hand over second-placed Leicester.
Traore shoots from range but it's deflected wide and Van Dijk wins a towering header from the corner.
Vinagre slices a shot wide from a good position down the left.
We're into four minutes of added time.
Moutinho and then Saiss blast way over from the edge of the area after good spells of possession for Wolves.
A double change for Liverpool.
Milner and Origi are on for Wijnaldum and Firmino.
Superb defending from Gomez to get back and divert Jimenez's shot off target.
A third and final change for Wolves.
Jimenez is on for Jota.
A rare lapse from Van Dijk sees the No.4 dispossessed, but Alisson bails his teammate out by saving Jota's shot.
A first sub for Liverpool sees Keita replace Lallana.
A nice move from the Reds ends with Salah finding Firmino, who can't keep his half-volley from 18 yards out down.
A double change for Wolves: Saiss and Traore on for Neves and Dendoncker.
Better from the Reds, and Alexander-Arnold swings in a cross that is deflected wide.
Wijnaldum's header from the resulting corner nicks off a defender and behind, but the second set-piece comes to nothing.
Some Wolves pressure at the start of the half leads to Moutinho having a snap-shot from range, but Alisson gathers comfortably.
Liverpool, attacking the Kop end, get the game restarted.
Check out the story of that half in stats below...
30 - Sadio Mané is only the second player to be directly involved in 30 Premier League goals during 2019 (24 goals,… https://t.co/7AkYGLBLsQ— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 29th Dec 17:19
Liverpool 1-0 Wolves
A dramatic end to a half the Reds controlled sees the league leaders go in 1-0 up at the break.
Sadio Mane's cool 42nd-minute finish, which was initially disallowed for handball against Adam Lallana before VAR intervened, is the difference after Pedro Neto's 'equaliser' on the stroke of half-time was ruled out for offside following a VAR check.
Wolves think they've equalised through Neto, but VAR rules there was an offside in the build-up.
Get in, Sadio!
Van Dijk's lofted pas is knocked on by Lallana and Mane slots in coolly from close range.
Referee Taylor initially rules it out for handball against Lallana, but replays clearly show the ball hit the No.20's shoulder and VAR overturns the decision.
1-0 to the Reds!
Van Dijk finds Alexander-Arnold with a brilliant cross-field pass.
The No.66 cuts in on his left foot before over-hitting his cross towards Mane.
The pressure is building and now Mane sees his shot blocked and deflected wide for a corner after a slick Reds move down the right.
Then, Firmino heads narrowly wide from Robertson's corner.
Mane throws everything at Alexander-Arnold's cross in a bid to get a nick on it from close range, but Wolves just about manage to clear before he gets there.
Great effort, Mo!
Mane does well to knock Van Dijk's long pass down into Salah and the No.11 hits a volley from 20 yards that's saved by Patricio.
A quick Liverpool break ends with Salah feeding Firmino and the Brazilian seeing a shot loop up off a defender and into Patricio's arms.
Trent takes a quick corner and Lallana swings in the cross. The ball drops to Wijnaldum, but his half-volley clears the bar.
Neat link-up between Salah and Lallana gets the Egyptian in down the right of the penalty area, but he'd strayed narrowly offside and the flag goes up.
Pedro Neto threatens to run in behind the Reds' defence but superb recovery pace from Joe Gomez thwarts him.
The resulting corner leads to nothing.
Lovely football from Liverpool.
Lallana slips in Alexander-Arnold and the right-back finds Salah with a low cross, but the No.11's side-footed effort goes narrowly over the bar.
Salah drifts in a cross from the left after collecting a good pass from Robertson.
Alexander-Arnold meets it first time, but his slightly mis-hit shot is blocked and deflects out for a throw-in.
Wolves get us under way.
Liverpool are attacking the Anfield Road end in the first half.
The teams have emerged from tunnel and You'll Never Walk Alone rings out around Anfield.
Kick-off is very close now...
1️⃣0️⃣ minutes to go! ✊ #LIVWOL https://t.co/deNM4iOISe— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 16:20
3️⃣5️⃣0️⃣ apps | @JHenderson 1️⃣5️⃣0️⃣ apps | Sadio Mane 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ apps | @VirgilvDijk https://t.co/lSY5IR75ab— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 16:05
Did you know?
Jordan Henderson is today making his 308th Premier League appearance since the start of 2010, confirming that the Liverpool captain has played in more matches than any other player in the competition this decade.
📍 Anfield Back home for the final time in 2019 💪 #LIVWOL https://t.co/ItAWmRf465— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 15:54
Very excited pupils from @PinehurstP were thrilled to welcome @LFC players as they arrived at #Anfield ahead of tod… https://t.co/GHOhH1WKiD— Red_Neighbours (Red Neighbours) 29th Dec 15:43
Klopp explains team selection
Xherdan Shaqiri being ruled out meant Liverpool were unable to make further changes to their starting line-up today, Jürgen Klopp has explained.
Adam Lallana replaces Naby Keita in the Reds’ midfield as Klopp’s only alteration from the Boxing Day win at Leicester City 72 hours ago.
“We thought of course about it [making more changes] but it was, for different reasons, not really possible,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“Maybe one more change would have been possible. Shaq would have started today but he’s not available and so that’s the line-up. So, all good.
“Yes it’s intense for everybody, but we’ve known that for ages so we have to fight.”
Inside the home dressing room...
Good afternoon, fellas...
📋 Today's #LIVWOL team news... https://t.co/hVyFySi1dg— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 15:30
Here's how Wolves line-up for tonight's @premierleague fixture against @LFC. #LIVWOL 🐺📋 https://t.co/BWvxPOKkFL— Wolves (Wolves) 29th Dec 15:30
Mane on the mic
Pre-match media duties are taken care of by Sadio today.
Liverpool’s teamsheet shows one change to the team deployed at Leicester City on Boxing Day as Adam Lallana comes in for Naby Keita.
Xherdan Shaqiri misses out due to a slight muscle strain, so Harvey Elliott is on the bench.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Milner, Keita, Origi, Jones, Elliott, Williams.
Join us LIVE from Anfield for the final time this year 🙌 Build-up to this afternoon's game against @Wolves with… https://t.co/AZ135PPyH8— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 14:47
A Sadio Mane interview appears in today's matchday programme as the speedster outlines his ambition to end the historic year of 2019 in the best way possible.
The No.10 says: “It has been a fantastic year. I think even if we hadn't won the Club World Cup it had already been a great year, but to win that trophy for the first time for Liverpool is very special.
“So we are happy with 2019 but, of course, it could still be even better and we are looking forward to hopefully ending it well by taking the three points today.”
On this day...
Liverpool played on this very date exactly one year ago - and enjoyed an emphatic 5-1 win over Arsenal at Anfield.
Remind yourself of what happened in our video below.
Anfield. https://t.co/IIMY27p8ui— James_Carroll84 (James Carroll) 29th Dec 14:05
🙌THIS MEANS MORE!🙌 ⚽️50% of net proceeds go to the @LFCFoundation Military Veteran Programme. 🤩50% of net procee… https://t.co/XCagFeQiHj— LFCLotto (LFC Lotto) 29th Dec 14:00
MATCHDAY 🔥 We’re up again! 💪🏾 Are you ready Reds!? 🔴 #YNWA #LIVWOL https://t.co/B56Uc3wf8C— GWijnaldum (Gini Wijnaldum) 29th Dec 09:35
😍 https://t.co/6Y0ztbf9Cw— LFC (Liverpool FC) 29th Dec 13:53
The @LFCLotto returns today, giving fans chances to win huge cash prize, signed @LFC merch & a chance to meet the 1… https://t.co/JriXpx6qiA— LFCFoundation (LFC Foundation) 29th Dec 13:29
TV channels and live coverage details
Today's match will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK.
Extended highlights will be available on LFCTV GO from midnight.
You can listen to the game live with our free audio commentary service and follow the build-up, action and reaction as it happens right here with this blog.
For Reds fans outside of the UK, global TV listings for the game can be found here.
Gladbach fans make annual Anfield visit
A group of Borussia Monchengladbach supporters will arrive at Anfield today to continue a special relationship with Liverpool FC which has thrived since their maiden visit in 1992.
The two teams met in three European ties during the 1970s, beginning with the 1973 UEFA Cup final, and a lasting friendship between the two sets of supporters was formed.
This will be the 27th annual visit to Anfield made by the German side's official supporters' club, who - with the Bundesliga paused for a winter break - will cheer on the Reds this afternoon.
Since the start of last season, @trentaa98 has provided 20 #PL assists - at least 3 more than any other player… https://t.co/3iOjtG0sx5— premierleague (Premier League) 29th Dec 08:25
VVD put in a colossal display against @Wolves last season 👊🔴 https://t.co/LF7K4I8T2G— LFC (Liverpool FC) 28th Dec 19:44
Who's in charge today?
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Mike Dean
VAR: Simon Hooper
Assistant VAR: Andy Garratt
Watch the story of Liverpool's stunning Boxing Day victory at Leicester from a pitchside perspective with our alternative highlights package...
Klopp: It's in our gift to view pressure as a positive
Jürgen Klopp wants his Liverpool players to view the many tests that lie ahead as an opportunity to achieve something special rather than a burden.
"This group of players know they set their own agenda and their own benchmarks," the boss writes in his programme notes for today.
"They know they have the capacity to decide if going into a game we allow ourselves to feel fatigue or we choose to be fresh in body and mind. It’s a choice we can make – we have the power to decide our own approach."
Last time v Wolves
Sadio Mane's brace earned the Reds a 2-0 win over today's opponents on the final day of last season...
Did you know?
Liverpool have taken 79 points out of a last possible 81 in the Premier League (26 wins and one draw).
We caught up with Trent Alexander-Arnold at Melwood ahead of today's game - and, of course, we asked him about his incredible performance against Leicester last time out.
"I'd say [it] was probably the best output attacking-wise that I've had in my career so far," the No.66 told us.
"I think Watford at home last season when I got three assists, that's probably the one that has come closest. But to get a goal as well was special and always makes it better."
THE SCOUSER IN OUR TEAM ✊🔴 What a goal, @trentaa98 🤩 https://t.co/s7nflVKJKJ— LFC (Liverpool FC) 27th Dec 16:03
Liverpool to wear FIFA Champions Badge
The Reds will wear the gold FIFA Champions Badge on their shirts today as a one-off in the Premier League.
We'll have confirmed team news here for you at 3.30pm GMT, but Jürgen Klopp reported no new injury concerns ahead of today's game when we spoke with the boss at Melwood on Saturday afternoon.
Captain Jordan Henderson is fit to play after sustaining a knock late on at Leicester, while Fabinho, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain remain sidelined.
Ton up for the big man?
Virgil van Dijk is set to make his 100th appearance for Liverpool this afternoon.
The No.4's first two years with the Reds weren't too bad, were they?
Last time at Anfield...
A Mohamed Salah brace earned a 2-0 win over Watford in our last home outing. Watch the behind the scenes story of that game with Inside Anfield...
'Bobby is so important for us'
Firmino ran over to celebrate with Klopp after slotting in his second goal against Leicester - and the boss offered an insight into why after the game.
"Bobby, in the last three games he has now scored four times. Before that, it was a bit like – I don’t know exactly how – he didn’t score that often and a journalist tells me then, ‘Bobby Firmino didn’t score for a while’ and I don’t even realise," Klopp said.
"When I think about Bobby, I don’t think about scoring – I just think about how important he is. We had a little talk because, for the first time since I knew him, he looked a little bit concerned about that fact and I told him I am not interested in that number because he is the connector for our team.
"He is so important for us. He is not the only one who can play the position but he can play the position in a very special way. He doesn’t have to come [to the manager] after every goal but this time we had this little thing where he thought I was calm enough to leave him on the pitch in these games, which I never thought about, so he thought he had to say thank you, that’s all."
Liverpool are 90 minutes away from going a whole calendar year undefeated at Anfield.
The Reds have played 25 home games in 2019, winning 22 and drawing three.
And here's how the top of the table looks heading into today's games...
Speaking of Boxing Day...
Remind yourself of exactly how the Reds routed second-placed Leicester at the King Power with our highlights package...
Jürgen Klopp held his pre-match press conference following Liverpool's 4-0 win at Leicester City on Boxing Day.
Catch up with everything the boss said below...
Compare and contrast the sides' Premier League seasons to date below...
It's matchday (again!)
The Reds are back for the final time in 2019 this afternoon as Wolves visit Anfield in the Premier League.
Stick with Liverpoolfc.com's live blog for the most comprehensive rolling coverage of all the build-up, action and reaction from L4.