Mohamed Salah scored one and made another as Liverpool thrashed a hapless Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 in front of 2000 fans in the Premier League on Sunday on a night to forget for Wolves captain and former Reds player Conor Coady.
The occasion marked a triumphant return to Anfield for Liverpool’s supporters, who had to watch on TV due to the COVID-19 pandemic as their club secured a first league title since 1990.
The win over a lacklustre Wolves lifted Liverpool back up to second in the table on 24 points, behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who beat Arsenal 2-0 in the North London derby earlier on Sunday, on goal difference. Wolves are 10th on 17 points.
The Kop roared its approval as the game got underway and the home fans did not have to wait long to cheer a goal following a moment of indecision by Coady.
The centre back, who came through Liverpool’s academy, attempted to chest the ball down in front of his own goal but instead allowed Salah to steal in and score in the 24th minute.
Coady’s evening went from bad to worse just before halftime when a penalty Wolves had been awarded for what looked like a foul on him by Sadio Mane was overturned by referee Craig Pawson following a video review.
That led to whistles and boos for Coady from the vocal fans in attendance, but that was soon forgotten as the Wolves defender failed to get a shot away when in on goal and moments later Georginio Wijnaldum made it 2-0 in the 59th minute.
The Dutch midfielder latched on to a Jordan Henderson long ball and scored with a brilliant curling effort, before Joel Matip headed a third from a pinpoint Salah cross eight minutes later.
A Nelson Semedo own goal rounded off the rout to the vociferous approval of the fans, whose last visit to the stadium was for a Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid, which they lost.
“It’s wonderful – really excited when we heard supporters were allowed. It was a great feeling they were back,” scorer Wijnaldum said.
“The fans helped the performance a lot because they cheered during the game and before we only had the bench for support,” he added.
Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp wasted no time before greeting the home support at the final whistle, pumping his fist and thumping his chest as he approached the Kop to celebrate.