Diogo Jota returns with inevitable winner as Liverpool record successive wins

It was never going to be anyone else.

But the match ended amid worrying, sombre scenes after a sickening injury to Wolves keeper Rui Patricio which meant all of Jota’s thoughts would be with his former team mates.

Patricio was out cold, needed to be stretchered off and 14 minutes of injury time were needed in what were devastating scenes on the pitch.

Thankfully, this time, Wolves boss Nuno revealed afterwards that Patricio was conscious in the dressing room after the game and talking normally.

That was a huge relief especially with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez who was looking on from the stands four months on from him suffering a fractured skull at Arsenal.

It felt like history was repeating itself and the biggest relief was seemingly a clean bill of health after yet another wake-up call for head injuries in football.

Diogo Jota bagged the winner

This time it might raise the question about whether play should carry on when the offside flag goes up because the injury happened after Mo Salah went through.

Salah was offside but play continued because the officials are under instructions to rely on VAR technology and Patricio was knocked out after an accidental collision with Conor Coady’s knee as the Wolves captain chased back.

Ultimately, it finished with a much-finished victory for Liverpool and a reminder of Jota’s quality and what he brings to Jurgen Klopp’s forward line.

Amid all of Liverpool’s problems this season, Jota has been one of their shining lights as he has been a huge success since arriving in a £45m deal from Wolves last summer.

It was Jota’s tenth goal of the season in all competitions for Liverpool and it does make you wonder what might have happened if he had not missed so many games himself through injury, not playing between December and March when his new team’s season fell apart.

Jurgen Klopp's side have now won successive games
Jurgen Klopp’s side have now won successive games

Jota also perhaps provides new competition, a shake-up for Liverpool’s front three and maybe a different option and dimension for the future.

The understanding between Jota, Sadio Mane and Salah has gelled nicely already and was the key to the winning goal in first half injury time.

Mane and Salah combined beautifully, Mane then put Jota through and his low left foot shot beat Patricio at his near post to squeeze in and give Liverpool the lead.

The home side probably had every right to complain about not getting an early penalty when Liverpool keeper Alisson dropped the ball, took out Nelson Semedo in his desperation and yet referee Craig Pawson waved away the appeals.

But, bearing in mind it came just 24 hours after Arsenal were given a penalty for a similar incident involving Davinson Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette, it will once again raise big question marks and leave Wolves feeling hard done by.

The game was overshadowed by Rui Patricio's injury
The game was overshadowed by Rui Patricio’s injury

Liverpool’s defence, however, did calm down as their centre half pairing of Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak looked much more solid and Wolves rarely threatened the visitors’ goal.

The bigger worry for Liverpool was perhaps Thiago Alcantara who was booked just before half time and spent the rest of the second half before eventually being substituted living dangerously as he continued to fly into tackles.

The final whistle was heavily delayed after the injury to Patricio but ultimately it brought relief and a much needed win for Liverpool before the best news of the night followed that the Wolves keeper had recovered.

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