Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio has been carried off the field on a stretcher due to a serious head injury suffered late in the hosts’ 1-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool.
Reds striker Diogo Jota struck in first-half stoppage time to claim a hard-earned win at Molineux.
Yet the main talking point came late on when Portugal international Patricio was struck clattered into on 87 minutes, the knee of teammate Conor Coady catching the goalkeeper in the head.
Wolves captain Coady looked particularly concerned as medical staff attended to Patricio with caution – treating him on the pitch for 14 minutes.
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Patricio was carried off wearing an oxygen mask in worrying scenes for Wolves, who are already missing striker Raul Jimenez after he fractured his skull in a clash of heads playing a league match at Arsenal in November.
Jimenez was in the stands at Molineux on Monday night.
Giving an update on Patricio after the match, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo told Sky Sports: “He is OK, he is conscious, he remembers what happened, he is aware.
“So the doctor told me he is OK.
“It was a collision with Coady, I think the knee of Coady, on the head. But he’s OK. We speak already.
“All these situations when it is a concussion in the head gets all of us worried. But he’s OK.
“He’s going to recover, so everything is OK.”
Jota scored the winner against the club he left for Anfield last September.
The Portugal forward’s low shot squirmed into the corner of the goal in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, with Patricio getting a hand to the ball but failing to keep it out at his near post.
Jota’s first goal since November arrived in his fourth straight game since returning from three months out with a knee injury.
It was Liverpool’s second win in their past eight league games of a title defence that has imploded in the second half of the season.
The Reds climbed two places to sixth, still five points behind fourth-place Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification with nine games remaining.
Wolves remain 13th after their losing streak to Liverpool in the league was extended to nine games – equalling their unwanted club record set against Brighton between 1979-1989.
Aided by the return of Jota to spark the attack and Fabinho in the holding midfield role, there are small signs of a revival for the Reds, who also beat Leipzig last midweek to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Reds veteran James Milner came off the bench in the 67th to make his 158th Premier League appearance as a substitute, the joint-most in the competition’s history alongside ex-Liverpool striker Peter Crouch.