Liverpool followed through on their end of the bargain with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on Sunday. However, Manchester City’s 4-1 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion ensured that the Reds agonisingly missed out on the Premier League title on the final day of the season.
Liverpool began strongly in search of a goal, and they got their reward after 17 minutes as Sadio Mane found himself unmarked in the box to slot home from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross. Wolves posed a threat on the counter, with Matt Doherty hitting the bar shortly before half-time. However, the Reds held on and preserved their lead heading into the break.
With City storming into a lead in their game, Liverpool knew that winning would not be enough, and their second-half showing certainly lacked energy. Wolves certainly looked the most likely to score, but Mane popped up with his second after 80 minutes, again getting on the end of an Alexander-Arnold cross to head past Rui Patricio.
However, despite their victory at Anfield, the league title remains out of Liverpool’s grasp for at least one more year.
Check out our breakdown of the game below.
Key Talking Point
The race for the league title dominated proceedings during the game, and Liverpool came up just short. The Reds of the 2018/19 season are now officially the best team to never win the Premier League title but, whilst many will be unhappy with that honour, fans should look back with positivity.
3 times Liverpool have been in a position to win the premier League and 3 times they have failed to do so. I’m proud of my team always, especially with their performances this season, but it’s still heartbreaking. Congratulations Man City. #LFC #YNWA
— DralZ (@dralzx) May 12, 2019
Liverpool’s (only) defeat to Man City over New Year meant that they didn’t:
– win the league
– reach 100 points
– have an invincible season
Football is ridiculously harsh sometimes.
— David Childs (@DavidChilds) May 12, 2019
So proud of Liverpool. 97 points is a massive achievement. Especially in what position we were in 3 years ago.
Klopp has us among the elite again.
Roll on Madrid , and we go again.
— Alex (@MxGill_) May 12, 2019
What Jurgen Klopp’s men have done this season is nothing short of extraordinary. They have stood toe-to-toe with Pep Guardiola’s City – one of the strongest club sides in league history – and often even looked to be the better side. To pick up 97 points is stunning, and there will be a real hope that they can replicate that form next year.
Truthfully, they deserved the league title, it’s just a shame that City did as well.
Starting XI: Alisson (7); Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (6), Van Dijk (6), Robertson (6); Henderson (6), Fabinho (7), Wijnaldum (6); Salah (7), Origi (6), Mane (8*).
Substitutes: Milner (6), Gomez (N/A), Oxlade-Chamberlain (N/A).
STAR MAN – Sadio Mane
Winning was a necessity for Liverpool, and Mane clearly knew that. He constantly looked like he wanted goals, perhaps spurred on by his own pursuit for the Golden Boot award, and his two strikes moved him level with Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang atop the scoring charts. However, Salah’s superior assists tally means he takes consecutive titles.
Mane deserves the golden boot out of everybody.
— Nishen Padayachee (@nishen_p) May 12, 2019
Sadio mane is the best player in the League…. just saying
— Thomas (@Thomashodges8) May 12, 2019
At Anfield, he was a persistent menace, using his speed and dribbling to terrorise Wolves’ defence. His positioning brought him two deserved goals, and he always looked to be the most likely to get on the score sheet.
His teammates around him often lacked energy, but Mane did all he could to help push them on. Liverpool came up just short, but it has certainly been an impressive season for Mane.
Key Talking Point
Wolves were the only team who came into the final day of the season knowing exactly where they would finish. Coming in seventh, Wolves have secured their best league finish since 1980, and deservedly so.
— Joe (@joegalvan1771) May 12, 2019
Decent enough display by Wolves in a game that meant little with seventh already guaranteed. Gave an outstanding side some problems but just came up short. Boly excellent in defence. All about what and where next now. #WWFC
— Alex Richards (@AA_Richards) May 12, 2019
They may have been on the losing end at Anfield, but their performance shows exactly why they have been so hard to beat. Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are so tough to break down, and they boast an impressive combination of physicality and technical ability which causes their opponents more than a few problems.
They may lack the star quality to break into the top six, which was evident in their struggles to create against Liverpool, but the transfer window is just around the corner. It’s time to spend and improve, and who knows what next season might hold.
Starting XI: Rui Patricio (6); Bennett (6), Coady (7), Boly (7); Doherty (7), Dendoncker (7*), Neves (6), Moutinho (6), Jonny (6); Jimenez (6), Jota (5).
Substitutes: Traore (6), Gibbs-White (N/A), Vinagre (N/A).
STAR MAN – Leander Dendoncker
Wolves had to weather a storm in the first half, and Leander Dendoncker was vital to their hopes of staying in the game. The Belgian was his typically powerful self and constantly disrupted Liverpool’s hopes of building any momentum.
Destructive work from Dendoncker who wins it back in Liverpool’s half and Jimenez set Doc rampaging into the box – he looks for the Mexican with his cut-back but Liverpool clear
— Tim Spiers (@tim_spiers_Star) May 12, 2019
He popped up with interceptions all over the field, but his impact was not just felt on the defensive end. He often pushed his team forward, looking for passes or runs to help his side keep the pressure on Liverpool.
Ultimately, he could not steer Wolves to victory, but it was certainly an impressive showing from the 24-year-old.
As for Wolves, the result brings their stunning season to a close, and they can now look at the summer transfer window to help strengthen the team on their push for European football next season.