Liverpool 2-0 Wolves: Van Dijk and Salah give Reds much-needed win in race for top four

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Liverpool got the better of Wolves on a wet night at Anfield, eventually beating their familiar opponent 2-0 thanks to second-half goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah.

It was the fourth meeting between the two teams in the last two months, having also faced off twice in the FA Cup third round as well as at Molineux in the Premier League.

That familiarity could explain why it was such a tight contest for the first three-quarters, with neither team able to create much of note before Van Dijk's header 17 minutes from time.

Salah gave his team some breathing space four minutes later as Liverpool moved up to sixth in the table as they hunt down the top four and Champions League qualification.

It was the visitors who had the first chance of note, with Joao Moutinho forcing Alisson into an early save down to his right with an effort from just inside the box.

An organised Wolves kept Liverpool at bay for much of the first half, though Harvey Elliott should have given the hosts the lead in the 40th minute.

Elliott headed wide from close range after Darwin Nunez had cut the ball back from the left, before Jose Sa denied him again just before the break after Nunez had chested the ball to him on the edge of the box.

Liverpool thought they had taken the lead just after the hour when an incisive run from Diogo Jota allowed Nunez a chance to hammer the loose ball into the net, but referee Paul Tierney decided Jota had fouled a Wolves defender after being sent to the monitor by the VAR.

Jurgen Klopp's men were ahead in the 73rd minute though when Van Dijk directed a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick towards goal off his shoulder, with Sa saving well to his right, only for Jota to pull it back for the Dutch defender to head in.

It was two shortly after as a one-two between Kostas Tsimikas and substitute Cody Gakpo allowed the Greek left-back to race forward and provide Salah with a simple tap in and Liverpool with three valuable points.

What does it mean? Reds starting to find domestic form

Last week's 5-2 humbling against Real Madrid in the Champions League arguably made Liverpool's form look worse than it was.

In the league, Klopp's side have now won three of their last four (D1), keeping four clean sheets in a row as they try to close down those above them.

Wolves would have risen two places in the table with a draw, but defeat keeps them in 15th place, just three points away from the relegation zone.

Salah gets closer to Reds record

Salah has now scored in his last three home league games against Wolves, and his strike here was his 127th Premier League goal for Liverpool, just one away from equalling Robbie Fowler in becoming the Reds' highest scorer in the competition.

Wolves run out of puff

It had been another impressive showing against Liverpool for Wolves in the first half, but in truth the Reds dominated them in the second.

After getting off four shots in the first 45 minutes at Anfield, Julen Lopetegui's men did not manage a single one in the second, while the Reds had eight, including the two goals.

What's next?

Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday while Wolves are at home to Tottenham on Saturday.