Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are "ahead of schedule" after suggesting their third-placed finish in the Premier League marks a "statement" in a challenging competition.

Reds manager Klopp took charge of his final game with Liverpool in Sunday's 2-0 victory over Wolves, with Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah both on target in the first half at Anfield.

Liverpool threatened a title challenge midway through this campaign but fell away from contention alongside Arsenal and eventual winners Manchester City, settling for Champions League football next term.

Klopp refuted suggestions Liverpool need a significant "overhaul" as Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot prepares to start his tenure at Anfield next season.

"I'm sure you will all agree there does not need to be an overhaul," the departing Liverpool manager told Sky Sports after his emotional farewell on the pitch.

"We finished third. We were ahead of schedule. It's a statement in this strong league and I'm absolutely fine with that."

Klopp announced his intentions to leave back in January, with Sunday marking a memorable goodbye for the former Borussia Dortmund head coach.

"I thought it might be more sad in the beginning but when people realise, it's all good," he continued.

"If I carry on, these guys and others will say 'he's been there too long'. You have to be the spark. I love the squad. There is so much potential. They will make changes here and there.

"There has been such a long lead-up to this day and it was really intense. I had my bad moments as well but thank God, not today.

"I'm just thankful for what has happened, when you are in it, you forget sometimes how great it is. You take it for granted.

"Now I stand here, I'm just so happy I'm a part of the club's history. It's wonderful."

Klopp believes he leaves Liverpool having played the most entertaining football, even if his tenure ended with fewer trophies than some seasons merited due to the brilliance of Pep Guardiola's Man City.

"It's so super special that it's difficult to explain," Klopp added. "We live in a world where it's all about results for others.

"We learn that not getting absolutely everything is fine. It's such a massive lesson for life. It's not about that, it's about the journey and the togetherness and that's what I love. Things might not always go perfect.

"The other clubs, with the most money and the best managers, they win it. We didn't have the best manager and never had the best team but for a while we played the best football and I love that.

"We are a rock-solid club and don't overspend. People say 'you didn't spend enough.' What the heck do you want? I just understand this from the Liverpool way."

Jurgen Klopp brought his remarkable Liverpool reign to an end with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Wolves at Anfield, capping a memorable Premier League tenure with the Reds.

Klopp announced back in January his intention to leave Liverpool – who finish third in the league this term – and Sunday's triumph marked a fitting farewell for his nine-year stay on Merseyside.

Nelson Semedo's first-half dismissal opened the door for Liverpool to capitalise as Alexis Mac Allister, who was scythed down by the right-back for the red card, struck first after 35 minutes.

Jarell Quansah doubled the hosts' lead soon after in the opening 45 minutes as Liverpool eased to a final-day victory, with this defeat ensuring Gary O'Neil's Wolves end the season 14th in the table.

The Anfield crowd entered the stadium unusually early to create a roaring atmosphere for Klopp's farewell, but Liverpool were slow to get going after the emotional pre-match build-up.

A nervy opening almost proved the home side's undoing as Hwang Hee-Chan arrowed narrowly wide, with Virgil van Dijk denied at the other end just moments earlier.

Yet Wolves' encouraging showing was turned on its head when Semedo was shown a straight red card – following a VAR check recommending a review – for an over-the-ball lunge on Mac Allister's ankle.

Making use of that one-man advantage, Harvey Elliott floated into right-wing space before curling for Mac Allister to flick a neat header into the top-left corner.

Wolves suffered another blow just six minutes later as Mohamed Salah volleyed from Cody Gakpo's flick-on before Quansah prodded home with a simple finish from point-blank range.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half as Luis Diaz missed a glorious opportunity to make it 3-0, smashing against the crossbar with the goal gaping after Gakpo had rounded Sa.

Mac Allister deflected narrowly over soon after Sa had thwarted Gakpo in a one-on-one situation, while Van Dijk blocked an open goal for Matheus Cunha in a rare Wolves chance on Alisson's target.

Matt Doherty thought he had sliced the deficit with five minutes remaining, but the Wolves substitute was caught fractionally offside as Klopp signed off with a comfortable victory.

Klopp's Kop farewell

Liverpool's Kop End at Anfield stood in unison for one final time, waving goodbye to their great manager Klopp, who guided the Reds to eight trophies across his impressive spell.

His trophy-laden spell ends with Champions League glory and a Premier League crown as the most memorable moments of what was a storied tenure on Merseyside.

Klopp leaves Liverpool with 209 wins from 334 Premier League games, with his Reds scoring 714 goals and conceding just 331 across his successful period at Anfield.

Super Salah

Klopp's impressive tenure was aided by the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Salah as part of a fearsome front three – though the Egyptian is the only one who remains with the club.

Salah made his 250th top-flight appearance for Liverpool here against Wolves, while he has scored 155 Premier League goals for Liverpool under Klopp, with only Thierry Henry (175 under Arsene Wenger) netting more under a single manager in the competition.

The Reds forward also has the second-highest combined goals and assists tally by any player in their first 250 appearances for a single club in the competition (223 – 155 goals, 68 assists) – behind only Henry for Arsenal (243 – 171 goals, 72 assists).

Jurgen Klopp reflected on his "special" stint in charge of Liverpool ahead of his final game on Sunday.

Klopp will manage Liverpool for the last time when the Reds take on Wolves in their final Premier League match of the season.

Having taken over in 2015, Klopp has led Liverpool to their maiden Premier League title, a Champions League crown, the FA Cup, multiple EFL Cups, as well as the Super Cup and Club World Cup titles.

While this season's Premier League title challenge ultimately fizzled out, Klopp used his programme notes to laud his players and staff for their efforts.

He wrote: "If space allowed I could write name after name of people who I need to thank but there has never been a match programme of this size, so I will have to be more general. I could not be more appreciative of the players past and present who have served this club in the nine years that I have been here.

"What they have achieved in that time is special, not just in terms of the moments they have created and the success they have had, but also in the way they have underlined what it is to represent LFC.

"This will be the final time that we will see two of them – Joel Matip and Thiago Alcantara – at Anfield and I know they will be given the send-off that they deserve.

"You do not need me to tell you what they have achieved as individuals, you have experienced it all at first hand and as with others who have left us in recent seasons, they have more than made their mark on this club during a period which I think has been memorable for all of us.

"This will also be the end of an era for several members of our coaching and backroom staff who will also move on. To put it simply, I could not have more appreciation for the work that has been done by Pep Lijnders, Peter Krawietz, Vitor Matos, John Achterberg, Jack Robinson, Andreas Kornmayer, Andreas Schlumberger and Ray Haughan.

"The big positive for Liverpool is that no matter who is leaving, the club is still in a very, very good place. This season we aimed for the moon and ended up in the stars which is never too bad and the players and staff who are remaining are top, top class.

"Yes, they will have new leadership before too long but this is a club that is ready to take the journey in a new and exciting direction, not one that is ready for the journey to come to an end."

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot confirmed on Friday that he would be replacing Klopp.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Liverpool - Mohamed Salah

Salah is set to make his 250th Premier League appearance for Liverpool in this match. The Egyptian already has the second-highest combined goals and assists tally by any player in their first 250 appearances for a single club in the competition (223 – 155 goals, 68 assists), behind only Thierry Henry for Arsenal (243 – 171 goals, 72 assists).

Wolves - Hwang Hee-chan

No Wolves player has scored more Premier League goals this season than Hwang Hee-chan (12). He gave his side the lead in the reverse fixture against Liverpool at Molineux – the last Wolves player to score home and away against the Reds in a league campaign was John Richards in 1972-73.

MATCH PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL WIN

Liverpool have conceded at least once in each of their last 10 Premier League home games. They last had a longer run without a league clean sheet at home between January and November 1954, a run of 17 games that included relegation to the second division.

Between Christmas Eve and March 9, only the current top three sides earned more points in the Premier League than Wolves (22 – W7 D1 L3). Since then, only Sheffield United (two) have won fewer points than Gary O’Neil's side (five), with Wolves winning just one of their last nine (D2 L6).

Wolves have lost eight and won just one of their nine Premier League games on MD38. Their win rate of 11 per cent on the final day is the lowest of any side currently in the competition, while their current run of losing seven consecutive such games is the joint-longest in English top-flight history.

Liverpool have won 13 of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Wolves, with the exception being a 3-0 loss at Molineux in February last season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Liverpool - 65.6%

Wolves - 12.7%

Draw - 21.7%

Departing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would vote to remove VAR in its current guise from the Premier League, though he also believes officiating standards are a problem.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Wolves – who have been on the wrong end of several contentious decisions this season – had tabled a motion to abolish VAR from the top flight.

The club listed several "negative consequences" brought on by the technology's introduction, including an impact on in-stadium atmospheres, diminished accountability of match officials and its role in furthering "completely nonsensical" allegations of corruption from fans. 

The role of VAR is now set to be discussed at an annual shareholders' meeting on June 6, though Wolves' motion is thought unlikely to garner the 14 votes needed to pass. 

Liverpool were on the wrong end of perhaps the most high-profile VAR error this season, when Darren England mistakenly cleared an incorrect offside call on a Luis Diaz goal against Tottenham.

Liverpool face Wolves in their final game under Klopp on Sunday, and the Reds boss believes they are right to say VAR is not working in its current guise.

"I don't think they're voting against VAR, I think they'll vote about how it gets used, because that's definitely not right. I understand that," Klopp said.

"In the way they do it, I would vote against it, because these people are not able to use it properly.

"I do not think VAR is the problem but the way we use it is the problem. You cannot change the people, it's clear. You need them. So yeah, I would vote for scrapping VAR."

Meanwhile, it was also announced on Friday that midfielder Thiago Alcantara will leave Liverpool when his contract expires in June, after four injury-hit years at Anfield.

Thiago has been limited to just 68 Premier League appearances throughout his time with the Reds, including one match this campaign. 

"Before he even came to Liverpool I believed that if you really love football it would make a lot of sense if you watched Thiago Alcantara play," Klopp said of the Spaniard.

"Technically, he is so, so good, a talent who could play in any team in the world, and it was a privilege to have him with us."

Premier League clubs will be asked to vote on the prospect of scrapping VAR for next season following a proposal from Wolves.

The use of VAR in the Premier League has been a talking point since its introduction at the start of the 2019-20 season, with a number of controversial decisions intensifying the debate surrounding its use this term.

Wolves have been on the wrong end of several contentious decisions this season, starting from their opening game last August, as Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) representative Jon Moss apologised for a failure to award them a penalty during a 1-0 loss to Manchester United.

More recently, Wolves saw a potential stoppage-time equaliser against West Ham disallowed for a subjective offside call against Tawanda Chirewa, with boss Gary O'Neil given a one-match ban for a post-match outburst towards referee Tony Harrington.

Nottingham Forest have also been angered by several decisions in recent weeks, while PGMOL memorably apologised to Liverpool after Luis Diaz saw a goal wrongly disallowed in a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham last September.

Wolves have now tabled a resolution calling for VAR to be abolished, with clubs set to vote on the issue at an annual general meeting on June 6. Premier League rules require 14 of 20 clubs to vote in favour of a proposal for it to pass.

In a widely reported statement, Wolves said VAR had been introduced "in good faith and with the best interests of football and the Premier League at heart" but lamented a number of negative repercussions. 

The club say VAR has caused frustration and confusion among match-going fans, negatively impacted the atmosphere at games, diminished accountability of match officials and overreached beyond its original aim to correct "clear and obvious" errors.

Wolves also said persistent errors being made despite the presence of VAR were difficult to accept and had furthered "completely nonsensical" allegations of corruption from supporters.

The club added: "Our position is that the price we are paying for a small increase in accuracy is at odds with the spirit of our game, and as a result we should remove it from the 2024-25 season onwards."

A Premier League spokesperson said: "The Premier League can confirm it will facilitate a discussion on VAR with our clubs at the annual general meeting next month.

"Clubs are entitled to put forward proposals at shareholders' meetings and we acknowledge the concerns and issues around the use of VAR.

"However, the league fully supports the use of VAR and remains committed, alongside PGMOL, to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans."

Sweden recently became the first country to opt against the implementation of VAR at the top level following a fan backlash.  

Wolves boss O'Neil has repeatedly spoken out against the use of VAR since saying the award of two controversial penalties to Fulham in a 3-2 loss last November had turned him against the technology. 

Wolves boss Gary O'Neil says there is a "lot of work to be done" at Molineux ahead of next season, after their downturn continued with a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday.  

Michael Olise, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Eberechi Eze were on target as Wolves were beaten in their final home game of the campaign, with the in-form Eagles making it five wins in six matches.  

Wolves have won just one of their last 10 games in all competitions (two draws, seven defeats), a run which began with a dramatic FA Cup quarter-final collapse against Coventry City in March.

After beating Fulham 2-1 on March 9, O'Neil's team sat eighth in the Premier League table, just one point adrift of the top seven.

However, injuries to key attackers Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha stunted their momentum and a once-promising campaign will now fizzle out to a bottom-half finish.

O'Neil has previously said Wolves will not be able to spend big in the transfer market ahead of 2024-25, but he knows they need to strengthen. 

"There's lots that we have to improve," he said. "In the first two thirds of the season we looked like a team chasing Europe, and in the last third of the season you could see the issues that we've had and those have come to light. 

"As a football club, we need to have a real good look at the last few weeks.

"People are starting to come back, and we still haven't managed to regain that impetus and momentum that we had before. 

"There's a lot of work to be done between now and the start of next season, and a tough away game next week at Anfield."

Wolves go to Liverpool for their last game of the season next week, as the Reds' final opponents under departing boss Jurgen Klopp.

Michael Olise would have scored at least 20 Premier League goals if he had stayed fit throughout the entire season, believes his Crystal Palace captain Joachim Andersen.

Olise continued his excellent form as Palace stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a deserved 3-1 win at Wolves on Saturday, opening the scoring with a curling finish and later adding an assist for Eberechi Eze.

The creative midfielder – who has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea in recent weeks – has been involved in 15 goals in just 18 league appearances this campaign (10 goals, five assists).

That is his best return in a single Premier League season, bettering the 13 goal contributions he managed in 37 outings in 2022-23 (two goals, 11 assists).

Speaking to Palace's website, centre-back Andersen said: "Imagine if he played all 37 games! 

"He would have scored 20 or 25 goals if he was playing like this. He's a crazy player and we're lucky to have him, and hopefully he will score again next weekend."

Palace have won seven (38.9 per cent) of the 18 Premier League games in which Olise has featured this term, compared to five of 19 without him (26.3 per cent).They have also averaged one goal more per game when Olise has been involved (1.9) than they have without him (0.9).

While Olise's return from a hamstring injury has been a major boost for the Eagles, the appointment of Oliver Glasner has also had a transformative impact.

Since he took charge of his first Premier League game in February, only Manchester City (nine wins, 29 points) and Arsenal (nine wins, 28 points) have bettered Palace's six victories and 21 points.

Asked what has changed under Glasner, Andersen said: "Everyone is happy and everyone understands what we need to do on the pitch, everyone knows their role.

"I think you could see it from the first games, even though we didn't get the results straight away. I think we were a little bit unlucky with some of the results.

"It's just fantastic to see how everyone is understanding his messages and getting on board with what he wants."

Crystal Palace continued their impressive form as goals from Michael Olise, Jean-Philippe Mateta and Eberechi Eze gave the Eagles a 3-1 victory over Wolves at Molineux. 

Olise broke the deadlock with a curling strike after 26 minutes before Mateta grabbed a second just three minutes later to set Palace on the route to victory. 

Matheus Cunha pulled a goal back for the hosts, but Eze restored their two-goal cushion with 17 minutes remaining, and they hung on despite Naouirou Ahamada receiving a second yellow card late on.

Wolves drop to 13th with defeat as Palace leapfrog them on goal difference into 12th position in the Premier League table, having enjoyed a resurgence under new boss Oliver Glasner.

With both sides tucked safely in mid-table, it was – perhaps unsurprisingly – something of a slow burner at Molineux.

Max Kilman headed over for Wolves early on, before Mateta intercepted a pass and slid in Eze for a shot on goal, which he could not direct on target.

Olise spurned another good opportunity when he shot wide at the back post from Mateta's cross, but he then opened the scoring with a delightful left-footed curling strike, which was perfectly placed beyond the stretching arm of Dan Bentley.

The in-form Mateta then swiftly doubled Palace's advantage with a close-range finish after Nathaniel Clyne had struck the post following excellent work from Olise.

Wolves nearly responded before half-time when Matt Doherty rattled the crossbar with a header from Rayan Ait-Nouri’s cross, then Cunha forced Dean Henderson into a smart save after the interval.

Cunha managed to halve the deficit with 66 minutes played, however, firing into the roof of the net with a VAR check awarding the goal after Hwang Hee-chan was flagged offside.  

Clyne then made an important interception to deny Hwang an almost certain goal before Olise split the Wolves defence to find Eze, who rounded the goalkeeper and tapped in Palace's third. 

They held on despite Ahamanda being sent off late on, receiving his second booking for a rash lunge on Cunha. Referee Thomas Bramall originally pointed to the penalty spot but after a VAR review, the decision was overturned and a free-kick awarded outside the area.

Wolves lack solid foundations

After a positive first half of the season which saw them on the cusp of a potential European place, Wolves’ final home match of the season ended in defeat and Gary O’Neil’s side are now destined to finish in the bottom half of the table. 

Their recent slide has seen them win just once in their last nine matches.

Wolves' defence has let them down lately – only Sheffield United, Luton Town and West Ham have conceded more goals in their last 15 Premier League games – but losing Jose Sa in the build-up to illness did not help here. 

Bentley though could do little to stop any of the Palace goals as the game quickly got away from Wolves in the first half.

Eagles continue to fly

Glasner will be delighted that his side could follow up Monday's 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United with just a second away victory in 13 matches. 

Palace extend their unbeaten run to six games, with the front three of Olise, Mateta and Eze once again excellent and at the forefront of this win. 

A victory on the final day at home to Aston Villa could reward the Eagles with a top-half finish after a campaign which threatened to see them in a relegation scrap. 

The only downside to this win was a first-half injury to Will Hughes, which Glasner will be hoping is nothing serious. 

Crystal Palace defender Daniel Munoz believes the Eagles are beginning to hit the levels they expected to reach under new boss Oliver Glasner, as they look to continue their strong form against Wolves on Saturday.

Palace are one of the form teams in the Premier League, with Monday's 4-0 rout of Manchester United making it four wins and one draw from their last five matches. 

Michael Olise netted twice as Palace demolished the Red Devils at Selhurst Park, recording their biggest league win over United since they managed a 5-0 success back in December 1972.

Palace can leapfrog Fulham and Wolves into 12th in the table with a victory on Saturday, and right-back Munoz says confidence is high within the squad.

"It was a very special win for all of us. Everyone is happy – the players, the fans, our families," Munoz said, reflecting on Monday's game.

"It was a great game. The team is getting to the level we all want and that is reflected on the pitch.

"I think the dressing room has started to believe. I think you can feel that belief from the new coach."

While Palace are ending a middling campaign on a high, Wolves have seen a fine season fizzle out somewhat, their European hopes fading amid a spate of injuries to key attackers.

Gary O'Neil's side will likely need to beat Palace to keep hopes of a top-half finish alive, and star forward Matheus Cunha says a strong finish will also help to build momentum for 2024-25.    

"I think six points would be very important," Cunha said, looking ahead to Wolves' final two games.

"It's hard, we play Liverpool and an important game against Crystal Palace at home – we have around the same points, so we need to play and get three points and keep focused.

"We've done an unbelievable season, but we cannot finish with a bad feeling. We need to win to make it feel like a good season and keep going for the next one."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wolves – Hwang Hee-chan

Following goals against Luton Town and Manchester City in his last two games, Hwang is looking to score in three consecutive Premier League matches for the first time. 

He has 12 goals overall this season, with only Raul Jimenez netting more in a single Premier League campaign for Wolves (13 in 2018-19, 17 in 2019-20).

Crystal Palace – Jean-Philippe Mateta

Since Glasner's first Premier League game in charge of Palace on February 24, only Cole Palmer (11) and Alexander Isak (10) have scored more goals in the competition than Mateta (nine). 

He has scored six goals in his last six league appearances, and with Olise and Eberechi Eze providing him with service, he should get plenty of chances at Molineux. 

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW 

Wolves have lost five of their last six Premier League games against Palace, including a 3-2 defeat at Selhurst Park in September's reverse fixture. However, the one exception was a 2-0 win in this exact fixture last campaign.

Palace have won 55 per cent of their Premier League games against Wolves (6/11), only managing a better ratio against Stoke City (70 per cent, 7/10) among teams they have faced at least 10 times in the competition.

However, with little to play for, it would be no surprise to see the spoils shared at Molineux; Wolves have not won their final home league game in any of the last three seasons (two draws, one defeat), having done so in six of their previous seven campaigns.

The Eagles, meanwhile, have not won their final away league game in any of the last four seasons, drawing one and losing three since triumphing 3-2 at Cardiff City in 2019.

Only bottom club Sheffield United (16) have scored fewer away goals in the Premier League than Palace (17) this season, so a repeat of Monday's free-flowing display may not be on the cards.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Wolves – 36.9%

Crystal Palace 33.1%

Draw – 30% 

Erling Haaland blasted four goals past Wolves in a one-man Premier League show but the Manchester City forward says it would not be possible without manager Pep Guardiola or his team-mates.

The City talisman took his top-flight tally to 25 for this season, moving five clear of his nearest challenger in the Premier League Golden Boot race, after Saturday's 5-1 thrashing of Wolves.

Haaland was twice on target from the penalty spot as part of his first-half hat-trick, adding another after the interval with an arrowed strike into the top-left corner.

It was the first time the Norway star has managed four goals in one Premier League game, with his quartet of strikes coming in 54 minutes. Only Gabriel Jesus has scored as many earlier in one match, doing so in 53 minutes against Watford in April 2022.

Haaland also became the third player to score multiple first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (also against Nottingham Forest last season), along with Andrew Cole and Michael Owen (two each).

Yet the superstar attacker says his exploits would not be possible without his City colleagues or boss Guardiola.

"I've got a not-too-bad manager who pushes me and look at the players around me," Haaland told Sky Sports when asked about his motivations.

"Without them, it would not be possible. Look ahead, look to next one – four finals left for the season. We're going to go for it and focus on Fulham."

It was Haaland's sixth Premier League hat-trick for City, with only seven players netting more in the competition’s history. All six of those trebles have been at the Etihad, only three have more at a single venue.

Haaland's second strike came from a towering header following Rodri's right-wing centre, which he suggested would delight his father Alfie.

"That's a beautiful goal," the Norwegian said of his headed finish. "My father is going to be happy with that one.

"A nice celebration, I enjoyed that one. I'm scoring more headers, I try to develop and keep going."

City are within a point of Premier League leaders Arsenal and Guardiola's side still have a game in hand against Tottenham on May 14.

Despite the thrashing of Wolves, Haaland insists Guardiola remains intent on winning the remaining games, rather than calculating the probabilities needed on goal difference.

"First of all it's about winning the games but, of course, you want to have the best possible goal difference," he added. "Let's not think about that. Think about Fulham."

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is "back to business" after his four-goal demolition of Wolves that kept Manchester City in touch of Premier League leaders Arsenal.

The Gunner dispatched Bournemouth 3-0 earlier on Saturday but Haaland's first-half hat-trick – including two penalties – started a roaring response from City at Etihad Stadium.

Haaland added his fourth after the interval before Julian Alvarez wrapped up the scoring, with Hwang Hee-Chan's second-half strike a mere consolation in a 5-1 hammering of Wolves.

Victory extended Man City's unbeaten run in the Premier League to 20 games (W16 D4), while they have won each of the last six in a row, netting 4+ goals on five occasions in that run.

Moving just a point with Arsenal and still boasting a game in hand, Guardiola was relieved to see a firing return to form for Haaland, whose April was hampered by injury issues.

"It looks comfortable but it was not," the City manager told Sky Sports. "In the end we created more chances but in the transition we were not precise in the last pass.

"But Erling is back to business. Penalties are a guarantee but the second and fourth [goals] were unbelievable.

"The 20 minutes he [Haaland] played against Nottingham Forest was really good and today as well. We won, but it was so long an injury.

"It is welcome he arrived in the right moment, but we arrive together because Erling and Kevin [De Bruyne] have been out."

Having scored a hat-trick in this exact fixture last season, Haaland became just the third player to score a home treble against the same opponent in consecutive Premier League campaigns.

The Norway talisman also became the third player to score multiple first-half hat-tricks in Premier League history (also against Forest last season), along with Andrew Cole and Michael Owen (two each).

Yet the City forward appeared somewhat annoyed with his late substitution for Alvarez.

"He's a little bit frustrated, but I understand," Guardiola added. "He was frustrated with the referee. With the long balls sometimes they push him and he is pulled. Yes, it is like that."

City will play their game in hand against Tottenham on May 14, with that their chance to move clear of Mikel Arteta's side.

Guardiola insists his team must win all their remaining fixtures to lift the top-flight trophy once more.

"Goal difference is not possible, we cannot draw," he added. "The way Arsenal have been playing has been so good and consistent.

"It's three games, hopefully we win the first and the second and arrive to the third with our destiny in our own hands."

Erling Haaland's four-goal haul ensured Manchester City continued their Premier League title charge with a 5-1 triumph over Wolves, as Pep Guardiola's team responded to Arsenal's victory earlier on Saturday in style.

Arsenal moved four points clear at the league summit with their 3-0 win over Bournemouth but Haaland eased any City nerves with his dominant first-half hat-trick at Etihad Stadium.

That quickfire treble included two penalties before Haaland added to his tally after the interval – following Hwang Hee-chan's consolation strike – to move to a competition-leading 25 goals this term.

Haaland’s replacement Julian Alvarez added further gloss late on, as City, who have a game in hand on Arsenal, cut the gap to the Gunners to just one point. Wolves remain 11th with just one win in their past eight league games.

City needed just 12 minutes to take the lead. Rayan Ait-Nouri conceded a penalty for an inadvertent collision with Josko Gvardiol, and Haaland made no mistake from the spot after a VAR review confirmed the on-field decision, sending Jose Sa the wrong way and sweeping into the bottom-left corner.

Sa was equal to Haaland shortly after, though, tipping away the striker's header following Bernardo Silva's right-wing centre – but the Wolves goalkeeper was powerless to prevent the Norwegian doubling his tally after 35 minutes, as Haaland climbed high to redirect Rodri’s back-post centre into the bottom-right corner.

And Haaland had his hat-trick when, on the stroke of half-time, he repeated the trick from 12 yards after he had drawn a clumsy challenge from Nelson Semedo, with the VAR having recommended an onfield review of the incident.

Wolves reduced the deficit eight minutes into the second half as Hwang fired into an empty net from Ederson's unconvincing punch, though City restored their three-goal advantage just a minute later.

Haaland latched onto Phil Foden's over-the-top pass before cutting inside and blasting an arrowed left-footed strike into the top-left corner for the finest of his four strikes.

There was time for City to increase their goal difference, too, as substitute Alvarez wrapped up the scoring after Rodri regained possession high before finding the Argentine, who angled a low effort across Sa.

Golden Boot within Haaland’s grasp

For every Arsenal victory, Guardiola's side continue to respond with three points of their own and still boast a game in hand away against Tottenham to move clear of the Gunners.

City are now unbeaten in their last 20 Premier League games (W15 D4), becoming the second side to manage a streak of 20+ undefeated league matches on five separate occasions – after fierce rivals Manchester United (seven).

That is in large part thanks to Haaland, whose four goals came in just 54 minutes here. Only Gabriel Jesus has scored as many times earlier in a Premier League game, finding the net four times in 53 minutes against Watford in April 2022.

He is now five clear of his rivals in the hunt for the Premier League Golden Boot, and surely he has all but wrapped up that award now.

Frustration grows at Wolves

Gary O'Neil has regularly voiced his concerns over the depth of Wolves' squad, with his side suffering from numerous injury issues across a troubled season.

Matheus Cunha and Ait-Nouri – the latter who conceded the first penalty for an accidental collision with Gvardiol – returned to the starting XI from injury, but that did little to mask Wolves' problems.

Injuries have played their part in hampering O'Neil's tenure, though this clash was a stark reminder of their shortcomings – Wolves have now lost eight of their last nine Premier League visits to Man City.

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City's players cannot dine out on their past achievements and must prove themselves all over again in their last four games of the Premier League season, starting against Wolves on Saturday. 

The title race remains in City's hands despite Arsenal leading the way by a single point, with Guardiola's men possessing a game in hand as they chase a fourth successive crown.

After welcoming Wolves to the Etihad Stadium, they face back-to-back trips to London to take on Fulham and Tottenham, then host West Ham on the final day.

Guardiola says City – who should have Ederson, Ruben Dias and Phil Foden back on Saturday – cannot assume this title rice will go the same way as others. 

"We have to prove it tomorrow against Wolves and then in the next games," Guardiola said.

"We know we have to win and get all 12 points, otherwise it will be difficult because Arsenal are so strong and so consistent. It's difficult to drop points.

"It depends on us. It's just tomorrow and then three games in one week, no more complicated than that to analyse.

"I would love to say what we have done in the past is going to happen this season, but nobody knows."

Wolves, meanwhile, are still eyeing a top-half finish after halting a six-game winless run by beating struggling Luton Town 2-1 at Molineux last week, with goals from Hwang Hee-chan and Toti Gomes.

A spate of injuries saw their European hopes slip away, but with Pedro Neto back in full training alongside Hwang and Matheus Cunha, they could start with their first-choice front three for the first time since October.

Boss Gary O'Neil, who will serve a one-match touchline ban on Saturday, said: "To have all the senior players back and the group starting to look stronger again takes me back to October and how we felt at that moment. 

"So we're looking forward to seeing them all back together."  

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne has started six Premier League matches against Wolves, recording five goals and five assists against them, though nine of those involvements came at Molineux (five goals, four assists).

The Belgian also laid on two assists against Nottingham Forest last week to move to 110 overall in the Premier League – just one behind second-placed Cesc Fabregas in the all-time rankings.

Wolves – Hwang Hee-chan

Hwang scored 10 Premier League goals before the turn of the year, then went exactly four months without a goal due to international duty and injuries before netting against Luton last week. 

Both he and Cunha have 11 Premier League goals this season, and there have only been three previous instances of a player netting more for the club in a single campaign – Steven Fletcher in 2011-12 (12) and Raul Jimenez in both 2018-19 (13) and 2019-20 (17).

MATCH PREDICTION – MANCHESTER CITY WIN

Wolves inflicted City's first defeat of the Premier League season back in September, and they now have the chance to complete just their second top-flight double over them since 1960-61, having previously achieved the feat in 2019-20.

However, City are in ominous form, going unbeaten through their last 19 Premier League games (15 wins, four draws). 

They have already enjoyed four unbeaten runs of 20 or more matches in the competition – three of them under Guardiola – and could become just the second team to achieve the feat five times (Manchester United have done so seven times).

All five of Wolves' away Premier League wins this term have either been against either teams starting the day in the relegation zone (two) or versus London clubs (three). 

They have lost 18 of their 20 Premier League away games against sides starting the day inside the top two, winning the others at Tottenham (in December 2018) and City (October 2019). The champions have no margin for error, and a slip-up from them looks unlikely at this stage.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Manchester City – 71.2%

Wolves – 9.6%

Draw – 19.2% 

Wolves have taken up their option to sign Tommy Doyle from Manchester City on a permanent deal.

The 22-year-old midfielder has made 30 appearances in all competitions for Wolves after joining the club on loan this season.

Wolves have now exercised their option to make the move permanent, which will take effect on July 1, for a reported fee of just under £5 million.

Doyle has signed a four-year contract with Wolves, with an option for two further years, tying him to the Molineux club until at least 2028.

He previously spent loan spells with Hamburg and Cardiff City, before helping Sheffield United win promotion from the Championship last season. 

The Man City academy product also made seven appearances for Pep Guardiola's side.

"We’ve never seen Tommy as a player on loan, and he hasn’t acted like one," said Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs after the deal was confirmed on Friday.

"He’s gradually earned more minutes and become more important, which I think is an ideal first year. What he offers to our midfield is something different to the others, so there was a huge amount of inevitability to this.

"He buys into who we are as a club and what we’re trying to create culturally within the group. He’s a great player to have for what we’re trying to achieve off the pitch and he gives us so much on the pitch, so he’s the exact type of player I think Wolves should be signing."

Hobbs is confident that Doyle has a bright future in the game, adding: "If you look at the type of players we like to sign as a football club, they generally haven’t reached their ceiling yet and have loads more to come.

"Tommy is a fraction of the player he will become, with the more he gets used to the league and the greater his understanding gets.

"I’m really excited for now but also his future at Wolves."

Man City play Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday, but Doyle is ineligible to take part.

As well as expressing his excitement at joining Wolves, he reflected on his City exit, saying: "I’ve had many, many years as a City player, coming through the academy and eventually playing for the first-team, and I take great pride in what I’ve done for that club..

"It’s nice to close that chapter and open up the new one with Wolves and try to progress as much as I can and keep enjoying it.

"I wanted to have somewhere where I’m stable, essentially somewhere I enjoy, and I enjoy it here. It’ll be good to do it all again next season.

"It’s amazing. I’m really happy. I found out not too long ago what’s going to happen and it’s obviously very exciting for me, having enjoyed this season so far, and I’m looking forward to trying to better what we’ve done next season.

"I’ve known for a little while that there were talks, and the other day it was more official. I’ve enjoyed it here, everyone’s been really great with me, the manager, the staff and especially the lads. It’ll be good to battle in the league again with them next season."

Wolves are 11th in the Premier League with three games to play in Gary O'Neil's first season in charge.

"You can see the way we’ve played this season, some of our football’s been really good," added Doyle, who has played for England up to Under-21 level.

"We’ve been very unlucky with injuries, and it’s died out a bit the last couple of games which has been frustrating, but that’s something we’ll learn from.

"The club said they were happy with what I’ve done this season and, for me, I feel there’s a lot more I can give. We’re going in the right direction as a club, we’re progressing, so it’s exciting to be part of that journey."

Hwang Hee-chan ended his four-month goal drought to help inspire Wolves to a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Luton Town at Molineux on Saturday. 

Hwang opened the scoring late in the first half at the end of a lightning counterattack, his strike deflecting off Teden Mengi and nestling in the bottom corner.

A clever set-piece routine allowed Wolves to double their lead after 50 minutes as Toti Gomes nodded in from Mario Lemina's cross, though Luton set up a grandstand finish when Carlton Morris fired home.

However, they failed to find an equaliser in the final 10 minutes plus stoppage time and stay 18th, one point adrift of Nottingham Forest in 17th. Wolves, meanwhile, move into the top half with 46 points.

Luton started brightly and Ross Barkley called Jose Sa into action just five minutes in, but the Wolves goalkeeper dived to his right to palm his strike away from danger.

Hwang then made a superb run in behind as Wolves showed their teeth, but he shot down the throat of Thomas Kaminski after latching onto Lemina's throughball.

Luton should have gone ahead after 39 minutes as Jordan Clark teed up Morris, but he could only power his header into the hands of Sa.

They were made to pay just 18 seconds later as Matheus Cunha picked out Hwang inside the box. The Wolves forward cut back onto his right before shooting low, and his deflected effort found its way into the bottom-right corner.

Five minutes after the break, Lemina was found on the edge of the box from a short corner, and his sensational first-time cross allowed Toti to send a bullet header into the net.

Nelson Semedo should have made it three for Gary O’Neil’s side as he found himself one-on-one with Kaminski, but the Luton goalkeeper rushed off his line to make a strong stop. 

Luton pulled one back after 80 minutes as Alfie Doughty’s cross was nodded back into a dangerous area by Reece Burke, and Morris pounced to volley home.

However, Wolves clung on through six added minutes to end their six-match winless run.

Hwang ends long wait

It’s four months to the day since Hwang last found the net in the Premier League, with injuries and international duty frustrating him since he scored twice against Brentford on December 27th. 

He looked back to something approaching his best on Saturday, working the channels effectively and settling Wolves' nerves with his opener, which came after a strong start from Luton. 

The victory takes Wolves into the top half ahead of Bournemouth facing Brighton on Sunday, though they remain some seven points adrift of the top seven and a potential European place.

Luton’s survival hopes dented 

Luton could have climbed out of the relegation zone with three points against Wolves, but they remain in 18th place, one point behind Forest and just one clear of Burnley.

Some soft defending cost the Hatters on Saturday, and they have kept just two clean sheets in their 35 Premier League games this campaign.

With just three games remaining, Rob Edwards will be desperately hoping his side can turn things around after a tricky run, their defeat at Molineux making it three losses in a row.  

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