On January 23rd, it looked for a moment that Wolves were going to put an end to Liverpool’s invincible dream in front of their passionate home supporters.
However, following a succession of saves from Alisson Becker to keep out Adama Traore and then Raul Jimenez,
Roberto Firmino stepped up to clinch the winner after 84 minutes for the league leaders.
Following the action-packed match, we’re going to outline three things that we learned from Liverpool’s victory over Wolves.
Adama Traore’s Flourishing Partnership with Raul Jimenez Has Put Wolves in a Top-Four Race
Traore is, at present, one of the most challenging players to defend against in the Premier League. When the Spaniard first arrived in England back in 2015 from Barcelona, the then
Aston Villa winger showed glimpses of the attacker that he could become under the right coach and if given time to develop. However, since linking up with Wolves’ Mexican forward, Raul Jimenez, the 23-year-old has taken his game to the next level, and now Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have a real chance of securing Champions League football for next season.
The combination of Traore and Jimenez is now the most prolific partnership in the entire Premier league following the Mexican’s goal against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, with them combining for a total of eight goals in the 2019-2020 campaign. At the time of writing, Wolves are six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and the football betting as of January 24th places them at 10/1 to secure a Champions League spot next season.
The Reds Really Are Mentality Giants
Having suffered only one defeat over the course of the 2018-19 season and falling one point short of Manchester City despite having amassed 97 points, Liverpool are now showing that they truly are mentality monsters. After overcoming Wolves, the Reds have now moved 16 points clear of Pep Guardiola’s team at the top of the table and, in doing so, secured their 14th consecutive top-flight win. Since the German first uttered the words in a post-match interview, this Liverpool side has taken the idea of being mentality giants and turned it into reality on more than one occasion.
“Anfield” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Robert Cutts
Since the start of the season, the current league leaders have scored crucial late goals in ten separate matches across all competitions. Moreover, Liverpool has won 11 of their 23 league games by a one-goal margin, which epitomizes the fearless attitude that they have developed.
Although there is still a long way to go and anything can happen in football, results like these have historically been the work of champions.
Joe Gomez Is Establishing Himself As One of the League’s Best Defenders
Liverpool’s 22-year-old central defender didn’t have the best start to the season having missed several games due to injury before being involved in an altercation with Raheem Sterling when on international duty. However, since regaining his place in Liverpool’s starting side after injuries to both Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip, the former Charlton Athletic defender has gone from strength to strength.
Although it can be argued that Virgil van Dijk is the main reason for the Reds’ recent defensive improvement, the stats suggest that Gomez is playing a significant part.
Prior to Gomez returning to the starting eleven, Liverpool had kept only two clean sheets in the Premier League. Yet, over the last eight games, and when the 22-year-old is partnered alongside Klopp’s £75 million defender, the reigning champions of Europe had conceded only once in their previous eight matches at the time of writing, despite having faced the likes of Leicester City, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur.
Both Sides Have Plenty to Play for
Despite Liverpool’s lead at the top of the table, there is still a lot of football to be played before the turn their status as league champions from potential to official. With an invincible season still on the cards and a record-breaking points’ haul also a possibility, along with the small issue of defending their European title, the Reds will have their sights firmly set on what’s to come, instead of relishing in what they’ve achieved.
For Wolves, meanwhile, their season is still one that offers a lot of promise. Catching Chelsea isn’t an unrealistic objective, while they’re also competing on the European stage with a round of 32 clash against Espanyol on the horizon.