Liverpool survive Wolves scare as Origi nets late winner
Second half substitute, Divock Origi, nets last-minute goal to send Liverpool above Chelsea in the Premier League table as the Reds overcame Wolves 1-0 at Molineux on Saturday.
The dramatic breakthrough arrived in the 4th minute of additional time when Mohamed Salah raced down the right and pulled the ball back for Origi, who controlled, turned and fired past Jose Sa to decide a game that looked certain to finish goalless.
Liverpool dominated possession and had two particularly presentable chances, but they were mainly handled well by a strong Wolves defence until the late drama.
Adama Traore troubled the Liverpool midfield and backline with his power and pace, but ultimately it was not enough to avoid defeat.
After a quiet start, the game came to life around the half-hour mark as Trent Alexander-Arnold and former Wolves man Diogo Jota missed opportunities from crosses, but it was Salah who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half.
The Egyptian was about to tap in an Andy Robertson ball across the box when Romain Saiss somehow nicked the ball away from the Premier League’s top scorer at the last moment.
Liverpool continued to look for an opener in the second half and could not believe they were not ahead on the hour. Jota seized on a mistake between Jose Sa and Saiss but inexplicably smashed the ball straight at Conor Coady on the goal-line.
After trying to blow the Wolves’ door down, the winner finally arrived when Salah squared for Belgian substitute Origi, who made no mistake to send his team top of the table for at least a few hours.
Liverpool had scored four goals in each of their last three league games and two or more in 18 straight games, but saw that run come to an end due to a rare off day with their finishing.
Elsewhere, West Ham defeated Chelsea 3-2 courtesy of Arthur Masuaku’s bizarre late goal on.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side had lost only one Premier League game before Saturday’s match at the London Stadium and had conceded only six goals in 14 matches.
Chelsea led twice, through a Thiago Silva header and Mason Mount’s spectacular volley, but they were pegged back both times by a penalty from Manuel Lanzini and Jarrod Bowen’s strike.
And with three minutes remaining substitute defender Masuaku, lurking out on the left-wing, swung a speculative effort towards the Chelsea goal, deceiving Edouard Mendy as it arched past the stunned goalkeeper.
“So, was it a cross or was it shot,” Masuaku asked on Twitter. “(Hint: I was as surprised as you).”
Tuchel complained about Chelsea’s errors and cheap that led to their defeat.
“The schedule we play and effort we play, sometimes you feel tired, but you just need to accept it and control our risk management,” Tuchel told the BBC.
“We hate to lose, we have to digest it now. It is not a performance to be mad about, but in detail we need to be better again.
“If we won the game nobody would have given us the title and if we lose it I don’t think anybody else gets it this weekend.”
West Ham, who had already ended Liverpool’s long unbeaten run this season, as well as knocking Manchester City and Manchester United out of the League Cup, consolidated their place in the top four.