Diogo Jota returns to Molineaux with winner as Fabinho shows importance

Liverpool got back on the winning trail in the Premier League thanks to a goal from the returning Diogo Jota, as they beat Wolves 1-0 at Molineaux.

The Reds and Wolves traded chances in the first half until Jota’s opener right on the strike of half-time, a fine left footed strike inside the box that goalkeeper Rui Patricio probably should have done better with.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men created some good openings, with Adama Traore’s final decision letting them down several times as Liverpool held on for all three points. The game was marred by a clash between Conor Coady and Patricio in goal as they tried to stop Mohamed Salah from scoring – only for the offside flag to be raised after Salah put the ball in the net. Patricio was stretchered off after a near 15 minute delay.

The Reds made it back-to-back wins in all competitions and secured their first Premier League win in three games, following defeats to Liverpool and Fulham. It was a fairly solid performance from Jurgen Klopp’s side, who were arguably only missing three players from what would be considered their strongest lineup.

Fabinho returned to a midfield role for the first time since Virgil Van Dijk’s injury back in October in the Premier League and he was imperious once again as the Reds kept their third clean sheet since the turn of the year in the league.

He proved what many have been saying for a while that Klopp should have trusted his younger defenders earlier in the season and kept Fabinho in midfield during the injury crisis rather than putting him into an unnatural position.

With him at the base of the midfield, Liverpool are still solid at the back and have a better passer to keep possession ticking over and sustaining attacks. He is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world and it showed in this game.

Further forward, Diogo Jota proved that it wasn’t just a hot streak at a new club as he got on the scoresheet once again in his second Premier League start since November. He provided an injection of pace but also a versatility to be able to move to both wings and allow Sadio Mane and Salah to move centrally on occasion too.

With Roberto Firmino struggling hugely in the last 18 months or so to make a real impact, his place is most certainly up for grabs and Jota is making Klopp seriously consider giving him that role on a more permanent basis with his performances.

As for Wolves, they continue to struggle to create and score goals without Raul Jimenez leading the line. They’ve scored only 17 league goals in the 19 league games since the Mexican striker’s injury in the Arsenal game and Adama Traore made it 47 games without a goal in the league and despite having some impressive runs going forward, he constantly made bad decisions or had a poor final product.

It’s an area that needs addressing for them as they sit just nine points clear of the relegation zone with nine games to go. Liverpool moved up to sixth in the league, five points behind Chelsea in fourth and two points behind fifth placed West Ham having played a game more than the Hammers.

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