Report | Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Liverpool 2 (Mac Allister 34, Quansah 40) Wolves 0

Nelson Semedo’s red card proved the turning point on the final day at Anfield, as Wolves finished the campaign with a 2-0 loss on Merseyside.

The Portuguese was dismissed midway through the first half, which made Wolves’ afternoon all the more difficult, after what had been a promising start. Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah, within the space of six first half minutes, hit the decisive goals for the hosts.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Wolves kept going and Matheus Cunha and Pedro Neto both came close, but that goal required for a fighting chance never materialized and Gary O’Neil’s side were beaten as the curtain closed on the 2023/24 campaign.

It was an opening half of two halves in a sense for Wolves, who’d looked comfortable with 11 and held a threat on the counter attack. With five minutes on the clock, Joao Gomes carried the ball into the Liverpool box and having an effort blocked, while Hee Chan Hwang couldn’t manoeuvre an opening from the loose ball.

Their next chance was even better. Seconds after Wolves had cleared from their own goal line, Matheus Cunha came to life, charging up field and slipping in a perfectly weighted pass for Hwang to run in on goal and the South Korean got his shot away towards the near post, but Alisson produced a fingertip save to keep it goalless.

Sadly, those promising opening 25 minutes were as good as it got for Wolves, who whom the assignment toughened significantly with the red card of Semedo. Initially given as a yellow for a high and late challenge on Mac Allister, referee Chris Kavanagh altered his decision following a VAR check and Wolves were down to ten men.

The resistance with ten men lasted only a matter of minutes however, and when Harvey Elliott swung in a cross, Mac Allister got there ahead of Santiago Bueno, timing his leap perfectly before guiding a header into the corner.

That lead was doubled four minutes before the break as Gakpo flicked a corner to the back post, where Mohamed Salah waited, and while Bueno got something in the way of the shot, the bounce fell perfectly for Quansah, who fired into the roof of the net from almost on the goal line.

Half-time | Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

The second half was played at a fairly slow pace, with Liverpool ahead and Wolves making a fist of it with ten men. Five minutes after the break the hosts did think they’d made it three, however after Cody Gakpo caught Sa in no man’s land and squared for Luis Diaz, his effort cannoned back off the underside of the bar and away from danger.

Although it wasn’t a siege, Liverpool were asking questions and Sa made himself big to keep out Gakpo and he did the same to Salah with a fingertip save.

Wolves should have at least got themselves on the scoresheet when Wataru Endo slipped and Cunha sparked into counter attack mode, feeding Ait-Nouri, who came inside on his right foot and laid off for the Brazilian, but he took an extra touch which allowed Trent Alexander-Arnold back to crucially block.

A welcome sight in the second half was the return of Pedro Neto, who didn’t waste much time leading a Wolves counter attack and being chopped down on the edge of the box. From that free-kick, Tommy Doyle laid off for Neto, who hit it clean and forced Alisson to parry away.

The Old Gold did have the ball in the net late on when Matt Doherty guided home Doyle’s cross. The offside was extremely tight and VAR had a look, but the on-field decision of no goal remained. As for the hosts, Salah squandered a big chance to add further gloss when he was denied by Sa.

Full-time | Liverpool 2-0 Wolves

Liverpool | Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Bradley 71), Quansah, van Dijk, Robertson, Endo, Mac Allister (Gravenberch 70), Elliott (Jones 81), Diaz (Nunez 71), Salah, Gakpo (Szoboszlai 81).

Unused subs | Kelleher, Gomez, Konate, Jota.

Wolves | Sa, Semedo, S Bueno (Doyle 84), Kilman, Toti, Ait-Nouri (H Bueno 78), Lemina, Gomes, Bellegarde (Traore 63), Hwang (Doherty 62), Cunha (Neto 78).

Unused subs | Bentley, Gonzalez, Chirewa, Fraser.