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Liverpool fall short of elusive league title despite Wolves victory

Pin Mané's goals were not enough to clinch Liverpool the league title. AFP
Mané's goals were not enough to clinch Liverpool the league title. AFP

Liverpool fall short of elusive league title despite Wolves victory

Tom Cunild by Tom Cunild @besoccer_es - 1 6,387

Liverpool beat Wolves 2-0 at Anfield on a Sunday afternoon of mixed emotions at Anfield, but it was only enough to secure a second place finish as their 29 year wait for a league title goes on.

A Sadio Mané double was enough to see off a plucky Wolves side on Merseyside, but Jürgen Klopp's men must now lick their wounds and turn their attention to the upcoming all-English Champions League final against Tottenham as the German looks to finally bring his first silverware back to Anfield.

Liverpool controlled large swathes of the first half, retaining a near monopoly over the ball as they probed for a opening against a stubborn and well-organised Wolves side. 

Chances, however, were few and far between in a cagey opening 45 minutes at a nervous Anfield, where many fans seemed to spend more time trying to figure out what was going on in the City match on their phones than watching the game. 

Despite this, Sadio Mané did manage to break the deadlock fairly early on; the Senegalese international put Liverpool ahead in the 17th minute after a sweeping team move as he was on hand to tuck home Trent Alexander-Arnold's low cross from the right to score his 21st league goal of the season.

This goal sent the home fans into raptures, and their ecstacy was intensified minutes later as news started to filter through that City had fallen behind at Brighton - for two minutes, it seemed as though Liverpool had won the league.

Of course, City quickly responded to snatch the title back out of Liverpool's hands, and the second half was, it has to be said, in large part a flat affair. Just before the interval, however, Wolves nearly dragged themselves level, with the ever-impressive Irish international Matt Doherty clipping the Liverpool crossbar with a well-hit first-time effort from the edge of the box.

Wolves looked the better side after the break, with the overlapping runs from their wing-backs (Doherty in particular down the right) causing a leggy looking Liverpool team constant problems. Unsurprisingly, the Reds looked low on gas after their gargantuan Champions League efforts just 4 days ago against Barcelona, and had their goalkeeper Alisson to thank for keeping their lead intact.

The Brazilian seemed determined to secure his Golden Glove award, as he made two important saves from Diego Jota on the way to keeping his league-high 21st clean sheet of the season.

Liverpool seemed to be hanging on when, in the 81st minute, Alexander-Arnold once again found Sadio Mané from the right, allowing the in-form winger to bundle home his 22nd league goal of the season with a powerful diving header past Rui Patricio.

There was definitely a hint of offside about Mané's second, but what can't be questioned is the quality of Alexander-Arnold's delivery - another pinpoint delivery from the prodigious Englishman helped Liverpool move out of sight and killed off any hopes that Nuno might have had of taking at least one point back to the Midlands.

Virgil van Dijk almost added a third when his looping header bounced off the top of the crossbar, but at this point the atmosphere around Anfield suggested even the fans had given up any slight hopes they had of 29 years of hurt coming to an end this time around.

So, despite finishing on 97 points - the third highest total in the history of top-flight football - and losing just one game all season, Liverpool once again come up short in their hunt for an elusive league title. Klopp's side do have one more chance at glory this season, however, as they look to bring home a sixth European Cup in Madrid on 1st June.

Tom Cunild

Tom Cunild

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