Liverpool moved 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League after Roberto Firmino struck a late winner in a 2-1 defeat of Wolves at Molineux.
The Brazil striker’s 10th goal of the season in all competitions six minutes from time was enough to seal a 22nd win from 23 league games this season for Jurgen Klopp’s runaway leaders.
There was something of a setback for the visitor, though, which lost Sadio Mane to injury in the first half.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had gone 725 minutes without conceding a goal in the top flight, stretching back to the 5-2 win over Everton in December, until Raul Jimenez cancelled out Jordan Henderson’s opener.
It looked as though Wolves would be heading for what would have been a deserved point until Firmino fired home from inside the box, as Liverpool stretched their unbeaten league run to 40 matches.
The loss of Mane came after Liverpool had assumed control of the game, Henderson having run unchecked to head in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner eight minutes in.
Wolves were causing some problems in attack and Matt Doherty wasted a glorious chance to level when he sent a free header wide from six yards out, although he made amends with a fine block to deny Mohamed Salah before the break.
The home side continued to carry a threat and it was level 51 minutes in, the persistently dangerous Adama Traore racing into space down the left and crossing for Jimenez, who sent a superb header beyond the reach of Alisson.
Alisson made a fine one-handed save to deny Traore, then blocked a Jimenez effort with his face after the striker had been played onside by Andy Robertson.
Salah fired wide from a promising position and Firmino was denied by Rui Patricio, but Liverpool’s number nine made no mistake with his next chance, collecting Henderson’s pass, working space on his left foot and firing into the net.
Diogo Jota had a chance to equalise in injury time but could only lift the ball over the bar when leaning back to connect with Jimenez’s lay-off.
What does it mean? Mane the bigger concern for Liverpool
This was a major test for Liverpool but, once again, Klopp’s men found a way to keep their remarkable winning run going.
The title is more firmly in their grasp with every passing week, but the more pressing concern will be the condition of Mane. Liverpool’s threat diminished after he went off, and Klopp will certainly hope the forward has not sustained any serious damage.
Wolves, who deserved better than defeat, missed out on the chance to climb into fifth place, but they will certainly consider themselves contenders for a top-four finish.
Jimenez a real handful
Traore was a constant menace but Jimenez led the Wolves line superbly, and his excellent header was just reward. He now has 20 goals in all competitions this season.
Traore too much for Robertson
Robertson was guilty of being pulled out of position in the build-up to Wolves’ equaliser, and he generally found it tough going against Traore. He also played Jimenez onside for what was a clear chance.
Key Opta Facts:
– Liverpool has amassed 67 points from a possible 69 in the Premier League this season (P23 W22 D1 L0); this is at least five more than any side in English top-flight history has ever previously had after as many games of a campaign (assuming three points for a win all-time).
– Raul Jimenez’s goal for Wolves ended a run of 725 minutes without conceding a Premier League goal for Liverpool since Richarlison scored for Everton at Anfield exactly 50 days ago.
– Liverpool has won three league games on a Thursday this season (also vs Leicester on Boxing Day and Sheff Utd in January), becoming the first club to win three top-flight games on this day in the same season since Leicester City in 1933-34.
– Jordan Henderson has scored more than once in the same season for Liverpool in all competitions for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign; five of his last six goals for the Reds have come away from home.
– Roberto Firmino has scored six goals in his last eight games for Liverpool in all competitions, as many as he had in his previous 32 appearances for the club before this. All 10 of his goals in all competitions for the Reds this season have come away from Anfield.
– Wolves duo Adama Traore and Jimenez have combined for eight Premier League goals this season, more than any other partnership in the competition.
Liverpool heads to Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup on Sunday before its title challenge is resumed at West Ham on January 29. Wolves, knocked out of the cup by Manchester United, travels to the Red Devils in the league on February 1.