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Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool. Premier League.

The City GroundAttendance29,245.

Nottingham Forest 1

  • T Awoniyi (55th minute)

Liverpool 0

    Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool: Taiwo Awoniyi goal moves Steve Cooper's side off the bottom of the Premier League table with shock win

    Report as Steve Cooper's Nottingham Forest win their first game since August, while Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool continue to wait for their first Premier League away win of the season

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    FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Nottingham Forest’s win against Liverpool in the Premier League

    Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the Premier League table with a shock 1-0 win over Liverpool thanks to Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal early in the second half.

    Amid a frenzied atmosphere at the City Ground, Steve Cooper's side competed throughout to earn their first win since August as Liverpool's recent revival was dramatically halted. Jurgen Klopp's wait for a first away win of the Premier League season continues.

    It was a disjointed performance throughout by Liverpool. Robbed of Darwin Nunez as well as Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota, it was left to Mohamed Salah to lead the way but the best chances all fell to Virgil van Dijk - with Dean Henderson saving brilliantly from him in stoppage time.

    The scenes of celebration at full time were extraordinary, belief renewed that Forest can really enjoy rather than merely endure their return to the Premier League. Only goal difference keeps them in the drop zone. Liverpool? They stay seventh.

    Player ratings

    Nott’m Forest: Henderson (9), Aurier (9), Cook (9)< McKenna (8), Williams (8), Kouyate (9), Yates (8), Freuler (8), Lingard (8), Awoniyi (9), Gibbs-White (8).

    Subs: Johnson (6), Worrall (7), Renan Lodi (6), Mangala (6).

    Liverpool: Alisson (6), Milner (5), Gomez (4), Van Dijk (5), Robertson (6), Fabinho (6), Jones (5), Elliott (6), Salah (5), Firmino (5), Carvalho (6).

    Subs: Alexander-Arnold (6), Henderson (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6).

    Player of the match: Steve Cook.

    How Forest stunned Liverpool

    Forest started brightly from the outset and while Liverpool had the better openings in the first half, it was the home side who were given a standing ovation at the break following a battling performance that showed just enough enterprise on the counterattack.

    Jesse Lingard and Morgan Gibbs-White provided good support, with the recalled Awoniyi providing the focal point. Liverpool's attack initially appeared more fluid in the absence of Nunez but for all the movement, the best chances fell to a defender.

    Team news

    Brennan Johnson dropped to the Nottingham Forest bench for the first time in the Premier League with Taiwo Awonyi coming in. The other change for Steve Cooper was one he made on the hour against Brighton with Orel Mangala replaced by Cheikhou Kouyate.

    Jurgen Klopp made five changes to the Liverpool team that beat West Ham. In came the five players who came off the bench in that game. That's James Milner, Harvey Elliott, Andy Robertson, Curtis Jones and Fabinho. Out of the squad went Darwin Nunez and Thiago.

    In the first half, it looked easier for Van Dijk to head beyond Henderson when six yards from goal and between the width of the posts, but he attempted a nod down to a team-mate instead. It was symptomatic of Liverpool's uncertainty as they chased that first away win.

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    Joe Gomez could not contain Awoniyi and it was from a free kick conceded by the defender that the breakthrough came. Steve Cook did superbly to bring the ball down and blast across goal, where Awoniyi beat Alisson after the first attempt bounced back off the post.

    Klopp threw on Trent Alexander-Arnold in an attempt to salvage something from the game and the full back almost headed in the equaliser, only to be denied by Henderson. That was nothing compared to the save from Van Dijk in stoppage time, clawing his header away.

    That aside, Cooper will be thrilled by how his team defended all game, with Cook prominent as they stunted the visiting attack. Back-to-back clean sheets reflect the improved resolve of his team and the reward is that they move above rivals Leicester in the table.

    Liverpool could have moved ahead of Manchester United into fifth had they taken the points. Instead, it is three dropped and further doubts cast on their form. Klopp has ruled out a title bid. Champions League qualification will be the concern on this evidence.

    FPL stats: Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool

    Goals Awoniyi
    Bonus points Awoniyi, Henderson (3pts) | Aurier (1pt)

    Cooper thrilled by nostalgic Forest win

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    Steve Cooper said their ‘brilliant win’ against Liverpool hopefully proves to themselves that Nottingham Forest belong in the Premier League and he’s been impressed with how hard his players have worked during their tough spell.

    Forest boss Steve Cooper...

    "To win a game against Liverpool you have to play well and have big moments, particularly in both boxes. It is a positive result that we needed because of the run that we have been on but it is also a positive result in terms of the history and nostalgia around the game.

    "I know that Forest supporters, when the fixtures came out after getting promoted, would have looked at when today's game was going to be. I am pleased that we have pleased many generations of supporters today. So that was good as well.

    "We are nowhere near where we want to be in the league table or on the points tally that we would have wanted by now. But this has given us a good reference point to build on. That is what we have to do. We don't just want that to be words."

    Klopp bemoans Liverpool's finishing

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    Jurgen Klopp says he doesn't need to lift the Liverpool players after their 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest and isn't worried about their away form in the Premier League.

    Jurgen Klopp...

    "Who can we blame for not finishing the situations off? There are not a lot of people we can blame. Just us. It is a big blow for us because we came here and we wanted to get the three points. In normal circumstances we should have won this game but we didn't.

    "They defended pretty much with everyone they had. We had to do better. We never ever played before in this formation and the most difficult thing in football is to play against a deep defending side. We were lacking runs in behind and vision in the centre."

    That was a reference to the absences of Nunez and Thiago. The striker is expected to return for the next game. "This game was just too early." But there is less certainty over Thiago's ear infection. "There was no chance for him to do anything." He was badly missed.

    Analysis: Awoniyi makes a difference for Forest

    Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Liverpool
    Image: Nottingham Forest's Taiwo Awoniyi celebrates with team-mates after scoring against Liverpool

    Cooper acknowledged that he had checked in with Neco Williams beforehand to ensure that he was in a good frame of mind to take on his former club but it was another ex-Liverpool player whose goal was the difference between the sides on the day.

    Awoniyi spent six years on the books at Anfield without playing a single game for the first team. He has now scored against them. Gomez struggled throughout, his physical presence proving too much for the England defender to deal with at times.

    "He works so hard," said Cooper. "We played him today because we thought that he could be a handful for whoever played centre-back. He really proved to be that and he deserved his goal. I am pleased for him. It puts him on three goals now."

    Three goals in his first three Premier League starts at the City Ground, in fact. He has been in and out so far having been recalled for this one in favour of Brennan Johnson. Perhaps Awoniyi has done enough for an extended run now.

    Whatever happens, he has given these Forest fans a day they will not forget.

    Forest's amazing win in stats

    • Nottingham Forest picked up their first Premier League win in 10 matches, while they recorded their first home league win over Liverpool since a 1-0 victory in March 1996 under Frank Clark.
    • Liverpool have failed to win any of their first five away games in a Premier League season for the first time since 2006 under Rafael Benitez.
    • Liverpool have never won in six Premier League away games against Nottingham Forest - the City Ground is the only ground the Reds have played at more than once in the competition and never won.
    • Liverpool have failed to win on any of their last 13 league visits to Nottingham Forest - this is currently their longest ongoing winless run as a visiting side in league football.
    • Nottingham Forest became the first newly promoted side to win a home Premier League game against Liverpool since February 2017, ending a run of 16 such games without a win for newly promoted sides.
    • Liverpool have lost three of their 11 Premier League games this season, one more than they lost in the whole of the previous campaign.
    • Taiwo Awoniyi became the first Nottingham Forest player to score in each of his first three Premier League starts at the City Ground.

    What's next?

    Live: SNF

    Nottingham Forest are back in action on Sunday October 30 when they travel to Arsenal in the Premier League; kick-off 2pm. Liverpool travel to Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday, before welcoming Leeds to Anfield in the Premier League on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 7.45pm.

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