Steve Cooper’s side put on arguably their best performance since joining the Premier League and, although the half-time whistle was blown with the two teams deadlocked at 0-0, the first 45 minutes of play were a positive for the struggling Reds, having maintained fantastic discipline to form and movement of the ball in the first half.
Liverpool did look strong, although it was clear to those keeping an eye on this fixture that their squad was trying to rush the game a little too much, and didn’t look quite as settled as their opponents. Having made 5 changes for this game, off of the back of 5 previous changes in their last, it seemed that Klopp’s starting 11 were struggling to find traction in their typical form – despite looking dangerous as ever when looking for their counter-attacking opportunities.
Centre-back Virgil Van Dijk missed the best opportunity to open up the first half’s scoring, 37 minutes into the game when he missed the chance to slot away an open header in Forest’s box – making the bizarre decision to try and nod the ball back across goal to Roberto Firmino instead.
This decision left Liverpool fans somewhat peeved and confused at Van Dyke’s decision making, with Forest fans breathing a huge sigh of relief with something to chuckle about as the danger dissolved for keeper, Dean Henderson.
Van Dijk was not the only one guilty, however, with Mo Salah also missing a plain-as-day chance when he completely missed a volley when the ball found him unmarked at the back post.
Having gone into the changing rooms at halftime deservedly feeling positive about keeping Liverpool at bay, Forest would come out even stronger when the game commenced, with Taiwo Awoniyi opening up the scoring just 10 minutes into the second period of play!
His initial effort from Steve Cook’s zipping low-cross from into the box ricocheted off of the goalkeeper’s near post, straight back into his path.
There was no hesitation from Awoniyi as his redemption chance fell into his lap, and he calmly placed the ball into the back of Alisson Becker’s net as the goalkeeper remained grounded from his first dive.
It must have left the sweetest of tastes in the 25-year-old Nigerian’s mouth, having failed to make a single appearance in his 7 years with Liverpool between 2015-2021 – spending most of his career with the Merseyside club out on loan in Germany and Belgium.
Watch the goal below!
Forest were visually lifted by this ice-breaker, and continued the game with the same discipline, desire and energy that they had shown in the first half of battle with their Merseyside visitors.
Liverpool were not counting themselves out though and gave as good as they got, with the storyline being the same for them in the second half as it was in the first – everything was there barr the goal they sorely needed.
Klopp’s side continued to create chances throughout the game (15 in total, with 7 of them being on-target), but it was clear that Forest were determined to hold on to the lead they had worked so hard to forge during the first 55 minutes of play, as they fought tooth and nail to aid Henderson in keeping his clean sheet.
The final scoreline was not as a result of a lack of trying by Klopp’s men, with Van Dijk having another 2 chances saved by Dean Henderson in the dying minutes of the game, as Trent-Alexander Arnold’s late header meeting the same fate, as the goalkeeper reminded Forest’s fans of his weight in gold.
It was a glorious day for the Nottinghamshire fans, whose side ended their woeful 9-game run without a win in the most satisfying way possible in this victory over Liverpool.
The only blight on the afternoon was a report that certain factions of the home supporters gave their best efforts at rekindling distasteful chants surrounding the Hillsborough disaster – something of which the boys who got the job done out there today will no doubt have a zero tolerance for.
Forest’s next fixture is with League-topping Arsenal – and with their slaying of Prem giants Liverpool this afternoon, who knows what Nottingham Forest could pull off against The Gunners on the 30th of October!