WOLVERHAMPTON, England (REUTERS) - Liverpool will spend Christmas on top of the Premier League after goals from Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk earned them a 2-0 win at Wolves on Friday (Dec 21), opening up a four-point lead over second-placed Manchester City.
City can reduce that gap back to a point with a win over Crystal Palace at the Etihad on Saturday, but Juergen Klopp's side will enjoy their Christmas dinner perched in first place.
In driving rain, on a foul night at Molineux, Wolves began brightly, the promoted side showing why they are in seventh place and Moroccan midfielder Romain Saiss forced Liverpool keeper Alisson Becker into an early save.
But Liverpool grabbed the lead in the 18th minute with a beautifully-worked goal. After a clever exchange with Sadio Mane, Brazilian midfielder Fabinho's pull-back was exquisitely turned in off the outside of his foot by Salah.
Jonny and Matt Doherty both tested Alisson before the break, suggesting that Wolves were still very much in the game but it was the visitors who extended their lead in the 68th minute.
Salah drifted a ball into the box towards Van Dijk and the towering Dutch defender calmly slotted past Rui Patricio from close range.
That killed off Wolves although substitute Morgan Gibbs-White should have scored near the end after a slip-up from Liverpool defender Andy Robertson.