Five talking points as Diogo Jota haunts Wolves on return to earn Liverpool win

Liverpool were forced to dig deep as they saw off Wolves at Molineux to return to winning ways.

The Reds have lost six of their last seven in the league but Diogo Jota’s first-half strike was enough to seal the three points.

Wolves’ worst fears were realised when their former player returned to score the decisive goal.

The front three all combined as Jota’s shot beat Rui Patricio, although the goalkeeper should’ve done better.

Nuno Espirito Santo will feel aggrieved that his side were not awarded an early penalty when Nelson Semedo was bundled down.

Wolves had their moments but were unable to find the equaliser as their struggles in the final third continue.

Goalkeeper Patricio was involved in a horror head collision late on which saw him taken off on a stretcher.

Here are five talking points from Molineux.

Liverpool battled to the three points

1. A sign of the times

Liverpool won by a one-goal margin here last season, but that was perhaps the only similarity with tonight’s showing.

The Reds played like a side who are in the process of trying to remind themselves who they are.

Their decline since the New Year has been well documented and threatens to cost them dear.

Winning whilst playing well is for tomorrow, today they need to simply get back into the habit.

It was a shaky win, but when you’ve only won once in seven league games confidence isn’t going to be sky high.

Jurgen Klopp though will be thrilled that they backed up their European win over RB Leipzig with another success.

Diogo Jota opened the scoring
Diogo Jota opened the scoring

2. Jota forces the issue

It seemed written in the stars that Jota would come back to Molineux and score.

The Portguese star opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time against his former club.

He has come in for Roberto Firmino over the past couple of games and already looks to be stamping his authority on a starting berth.

With Liverpool set for a reshuffle this summer there have been whispers that the Brazilian could make way.

The Reds front three is not firing on all cylinders like it has done in recent years and Jota can only be ignored for so long given the form he is in.

Very much a different player to Firmino, but on this evidence he is equally as effective.

Wolves had a frustrating night in the final third
Wolves had a frustrating night in the final third

3. Fine margins

Wolves may be struggling to hit the lofty heights of the past two seasons, but on this showing they aren’t a millions miles off.

Yes this performance is not totally reflective of their season when they have, at times, been poor.

But Raul Jimenez’s absence has long been cited as a factor in their decline and it remains very evident.

The Mexican’s clinical touch is a huge miss and they haven’t been able to fill the void.

Wolves will also feel that the lack of a final ball undermined some good attacking positions and patterns.

It is often the minor touches that separate the top teams from the rest and that is perhaps why Wolves are where they are.

Alisson will not be filling his defence with confidence
Alisson will not be filling his defence with confidence

4. Unconvincing Alisson

Conceding goals in going to knock any goalkeeper’s confidence, but Liverpool’s No 1 certainly does not look as assured as he once did.

We can go back to his howlers against Manchester City for evidence that he’s not in top form.

But even basic actions are giving off a sense of uncertainty.

Alisson flapped at an early cross and was lucky not to give away a penalty.

Later in the first-half he opted to punch, rather than catch, a high ball when under no pressure.

5. An early escape

Penalty decisions have dominated the weekend following the north London derby on Sunday.

Michael Oliver’s big decision ultimately proving crucial as Arsenal ran out winners.

Craig Pawson was faced with a big call less than two minutes into the clash at Molinuex – and plenty may feel he got it wrong.

Alisson spilt a cross and bundled into Semedo as he looked to atone for his error.

The Wolves star may well have got a shot off had the goalkeeper not come clattering into him.

It may depend which camp your in when it comes to your assessment of the situation, although Jamie Carragher was in no doubt that Pawson should’ve pointed to the spot.

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