Liverpool moved into the Premier League’s top six as goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah deepened Wolves’ relegation fears with a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were again far from the force of recent seasons, but have now taken 10 points from a possible 12 in their last four league games to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish.
The Reds close to within six points of fourth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand over Spurs still to come.
Wolves remain just three points above the relegation zone in 15th as the visitors were made to pay once more for the lack of a goal threat going forward.
A fourth meeting between the sides in less than two months bred boredom rather than contempt for the first 45 minutes.
Harvey Elliott headed wide the best chance of the opening half and then tested Jose Sa with a drive from outside the box.
One week on from Liverpool’s record-equalling home European defeat in a 5-2 humiliation at the hands of Real Madrid, there was far less to get the crowd at Anfield off their feet.
But Klopp will see signs of progress in a fourth consecutive Premier League clean sheet after urging his side to “strike back”.
Klopp should at least have more forward options to choose from for the run in with Diogo Jota back available and Luis Diaz close to a return.
A foul by Jota on Max Kilman denied Darwin Nunez the opening goal midway through the second half as the Uruguayan’s strike was ruled out after a VAR check.
But Jota did have a hand in breaking the deadlock as he teed up Van Dijk to head into an unguarded net after Sa had parried the Dutch centre-back’s first effort.
The home side’s second goal was much more like the Liverpool of old as Wolves were cut open by a rapid counter attack.
Konstantinos Tsimikas played a one-two with Cody Gakpo before the Greek galloped into the Wolves box and picked out Salah to force the ball in with his thigh.
A rampant Manchester United will pose a far tougher test of Liverpool’s road to recovery when the Red Devils visit Anfield on Sunday.
But they are at least back in the hunt for a seventh consecutive season of Champions League football.
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