Saturday, May 21

Rui Patrício’s injury overshadows Liverpool winner Diogo Jota against Wolves | Premier league

Get well soon, Rui Patrício. That thought was the main one on everyone’s mind at Molineux after the Wolves goalkeeper was taken off the pitch with a head injury suffered just before the end of a match decided by Diogo Jota’s goal in the first. part. Patrício was injured in an accidental collision with the knee of his teammate Conor Coady when the pair tried to shut down Mohamed Salah.

The goalkeeper was said to be conscious, but the Lobos are all too aware of the danger after a head injury, as their forward Raúl Jiménez is still recovering from a skull fracture he suffered against Arsenal in November.

Until Patrício’s misfortune, the main consideration here was the influence of the sole scorer. No matter his return to Molineux, Diogo Jota is back with Liverpool. His 10th goal for the Merseyside club since arriving from the Wolves last summer was the first since he regained form after a three-month hiatus and not only gave Liverpool maximum points from a vibrant contest, but which confirmed how important Jota is to Liverpool’s hopes. to save the joy of a miserable season.

However, those thoughts were replaced by concern for Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patrício, who was pulled off the court with a head injury near the end after colliding with Conor Coady’s knee.

Having accepted that Liverpool’s only path to glory this season is the Champions League, and given that injuries have hampered his team throughout the campaign, Jürgen Klopp might have been tempted to give rest to one or two key players to preserve them for European competition, even if it meant inviting other clubs to finish above them in the Premier League. But that’s rarely the way Klopp operates, or an institution of Liverpool’s stature, and his selection here suggested that he regretted playing with the rotation in his team’s last league game, that ineffective 1 loss. -0 at home to Fulham. Instead, he sent the same team that started last week’s Champions League victory over RB Leipzig, arguing that regaining momentum on the home front could help his team advance on the continent.

Diogo Jota scores what turned out to be Liverpool's winner at his former club Wolves
Diogo Jota scores what turned out to be Liverpool’s winner at his former club Wolves. Photograph: Paul Ellis / EPA

That meant Jota returned to Molineux for the first time since his £ 45 million transfer last summer. The Portuguese is fondly remembered in the Midlands but, truth be told, he was not as vital for Wolves in their final months there as he has been for Liverpool. His recovery after three months off due to injury has been good news for Klopp. However, the forward was relatively calm until breaking the deadlock just before the break.

Until then, the wolves had given everything they had. Willy Boly returned to the center of his defense in his only alteration from his last game, but the Liverpool center-backs entered the game under more scrutiny, with Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips hoping to show, in their third start together, that they could bring safety to the game. Liverpool’s most vulnerable sector.

The visiting defense stretched in the second minute when Adama Traoré flew past Andy Robertson and delivered a cross that it took Alisson two attempts to claim. Moments later, the goalkeeper stopped a shot from Nélson Semedo, who had made a foray down the same flank after Traoré moved into the box to wreak havoc.

Nuno Espírito Santo had been frustrated all season by his team’s habit of starting games slowly, but the evidence here suggested that he had found a solution to that problem, as the Lobos were more ready and orderly across the field since the beginning. But Liverpool opened them in the 11th minute when Georginio Wijnaldum released Sadio Mané. Rui Patrício forced the Senegalese to open wide, making the angle too narrow for him to shoot after passing over the goalkeeper. The wolves were quick to snuff out the opportunity.

Rui Patrício is taken on a stretcher
Rui Patrício is taken on a stretcher. Photograph: Paul Ellis / AP

Now the contest had an exciting flow, with teams launching tit-for-tat attacks, though none were able to produce a killer finishing touch. Kabak did well to prevent Traoré from shooting from 15 yards after another skillful play by the Lobos. Conor Coady made a crucial block in the 24th minute to deny Wijnaldum a chance after a wonderful right-wing mischief from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Salah. Soon Phillips had to organize an equally important intervention at the other end.

Five minutes before the break, Salah and Alexander-Arnold combined very well again before the defender crossed for Mané, who sent a header wide from 11 meters. Jonny Castro invited Rúben Neves to give the Wolves a lead into the interval, but he too couldn’t find the target, shooting 15 yards. He regretted it even more when Jota attacked moments later.

The goal came from a counterattack starring the three Liverpool forwards, and when Mané passed Jota on the left side of the area, the Portuguese fired at the near post, with Patrício putting a hand in but without power. for.

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The wolves came out as a party determined to correct a mistake. Willian José would have had a chance to equalize if Phillips hadn’t passed him to a center. Then Coady received a free header from eight yards, but jumped it. The wolves were in force, but Liverpool threatened to hit the counter again in the 55th minute, only for Jonny to ambush Salah just as the striker finished off a shot.

Liverpool handled the rest of the game well, with Alisson making comfortable saves from Traoré and Fabio Silva.

But then Salah was played, slightly offside, and when Coady and Patrício tried to deal with it, they collided. Such was the delay to the treatment that there were almost 108 minutes on the clock when the full time was passed.

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