Liverpool 3 - 2 Nottingham Forest
Liverpool: Jota 46’, 55’, Salah 70’
Nottingham Forest: Williams 51’, Gibbs-White 68’
Jürgen Klopp decided to stick with the same starting XI that spanked Leeds United on Monday. Nottingham Forest, meanwhile, are stuck in the bottom three without a win in 10 games. They’ll be desperate to get a result, and let’s be honest — that hasn’t been too daunting a task this season. Hopefully the Reds keep the good momentum going.
No surprise seeing the game start with Liverpool controlling possession and Forest players content to take on the pressure and wait for their opportunity. Trent Alexander-Arnold seemed eager to get stuck in at his new, more attacking position.
Liverpool forced some early set pieces, but were unable to convert. Virgil van Dijk came close, but his headed effort was tapped over the bar by Navas.
Neco Williams had an annoyingly good first half in the Forest defense and is one of the main reasons that this game is still level. You’re welcome, Steve.
There’s a penalty shout by Liverpool for a handball, but replays show that the right call was made. The ball hit Niakhate’s back and then his arms behind him when he battled with van Dijk for possession.
Probably the best chance of the half came from another set piece. This time it was a free kick sent into the box by Alexander-Arnold right to the head of Diogo Jota. The goal was open and free for the taking, but Jota’s header was off target and hit the side netting.
As the minutes ticked down on this frustrating half where every Liverpool player was good, yet not quite good enough to get a goal, that creeping suspicion that it’s going to be ‘one of those games’ started to hit.
Hopefully the second half will bring better vibes.
Ask and ye shall receive. Second half vibes already much better than the first. One minute in, thanks to yet another Alexander-Arnold set piece, Diogo Jota opened the scoring for Liverpool. The ball bounces off of several Liverpool heads before Jota got it home past the keeper.
Not five minutes later, unsurprisingly, if you’ve been watching so far, it’s Williams who evened the score for Forest, via a bad deflection off of Andy Robertson that wrong-footed Alisson.
And yet! Five minutes later, it was Jota again, doing his damndest to make up for lost time in the scoring department. Two braces in two games, yes please, I’ll take it. This one came off yet another set piece. This time, to change things up a bit, it came from a free kick from Andy Robertson. Jota had tons of space, but still did a great job of controlling the ball with his chest, turning and slamming it past Navas for Liverpool’s second.
After 45 minutes of frustration, this opening 10 minutes of the second half has been a blast.
Fabinho and Cody Gakpo were taken out after only 60 minutes, replaced by Thiago Alcantara and Darwin Núñez.
Jota wanted that hat trick and came so close at 64 minutes. A fantastic pass from Ibra Konaté found the Portuguese player. His header was placed well, but Navas barely got control of it to tip it over the bar for a corner.
Nottingham Forest made them pay for the miss only moments later. This time it was Gibbs-White who lobbed a volley into the corner of Alisson’s net. This is like a completely different game.
Two minutes and another Alexander-Arnold set piece and Mohamed Salah got in on the action, once again turning the game in Liverpool’s favor.
Taiwo Awoniyi, former Liverpool player, nearly tumbles in a bicycle kick goal from close range, but it bounces into the top netting instead. That seemed extraordinarily dangerous, but what do I know, I guess.
78 minutes on, Brennan Johnson is thankfully denied by the crossbar. He managed to get behind Konaté and control a throw-in. His dink towards the goal sailed over Alisson, but was just inches too high.
80 minutes in, Jota came off, denying him the opportunity to nab that hat trick. In his place is Luis Díaz, along with James Milner for Curtis Jones.
Núñez almost grabbed a fourth for Liverpool, but couldn’t quite convert his close range header.
90th minute vibe check: vibes are very good.
Wow, that second half was a ride. Liverpool managed three goals and three points and two whole victories on the bounce.