Taiwo Awoniyi struck the winner to lift Nottingham Forest off the bottom of the table courtesy of a shock 1-0 victory at home to Liverpool.
The Nigerian forward, who spent six years with the Merseysiders without playing a competitive game due to visa issues, capped an energetic display with a close-range finish on 55 minutes.
Liverpool enjoyed 74 per cent of the possession in the first period but struggled to find their best form with Virgil van Dijk somehow heading the best of their chances off target.
Forest were an occasional threat on the break but made it count following the restart when Awoniyi was on hand to tap home a rebound off the post after the visitors failed to deal with a free kick.
Liverpool struggled to find a response and Ryan Yates almost extended Forest’s winning margin, but he was thwarted by Alisson late on.
The result sees Forest rise up to 19th ahead of the rest of the weekend’s action, while Liverpool are seventh and could well fall further off the top-four pace as they are four points off Chelsea having played a game more.
Liverpool will now switch focus to Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Ajax before playing host to Leeds in the Premier League on Saturday night. Forest visit Arsenal on Sunday.
HUGE LIFT FOR FOREST AS LIVERPOOL HAVE NO ANSWER. Just six days on from a win over Manchester City that many felt would see Liverpool finally hit their best form comes a major blow for Klopp and Co.
Forest were worthy winners in the end as the Merseysiders produced a laboured display where they struggled to make the most of large spells of possession and some good chances. It’s a huge backward step and is harmful to their top-four hopes, with hopeful talk of the title way off the mark on this evidence.
Indeed, Liverpool have now failed to win any of their first five away league matches. They have only had a worse start on their travels on two occasions in PL history and there will obviously be grave questions asked following the nature of this loss.
As for Forest, there are clear signs that Steve Cooper and his players are beginning to find a flow and understanding. The influx of such a large number of players has led to a difficult start to life back in the top-flight, but with the break that will come with the World Cup, Forest fans will be hopeful time spent on the training pitch for the majority of their players can pay dividends in the second half of the season.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Taiwo Awoniyi (Nottingham Forest). The 25-year-old had a thankless task at times as he looked to feed on scraps on the break. He did a brilliant job and caused the visiting rearguard plenty of trouble throughout his time on the pitch. Deserved his goal and could develop into a real fans’ favourite at the City Ground.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST: Henderson 7, Williams 7, Cook 7, McKenna 7, Aurier 7, Freuler 7, Yates 8, Kouyate 8, Lingard 6, Gibbs-White 7, Awoniyi 8. Subs: Worrall 6, Johnson 6, Lodi 6, Mangala n/a.
LIVERPOOL: Alisson 7, Milner 6, Gomez 6, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6, Fabinho 6, Jones 6, Elliott 6, Carvalho 6, Salah 6, Firmino 6. Subs: Henderson 6, Alexander-Arnold 6, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6.
10’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCES! Elliott picks out Carvalho’s run through the middle. The forward produces a brilliant touch to race in on goal but can’t stab his finish beyond Henderson. Liverpool come again but Firmino heads a good opportunity from a right-wing corner off target.
31’ – NOTTINGHAM FOREST CHANCE! The home team break through Awoniyi, who sets up Lingard to rifle in a firm strike that is too close to Alisson.
37’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Van Dijk meets Milner’s whipped cross but heads across goal when he looked odds-on to bury it. He should have scored.
55’ – GOAL! – Nottingham Forest 1-0 Liverpool. The hosts catch Liverpool cold at a free kick. Yates hits the post and Awoniyi flashes in the rebound.
59’ – NOTTINGHAM FOREST CHANCE! Gibbs-White has to score when he collects Awoniyi’s pass in the area, but Milner is across to make a goal-saving block.
85’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Alexander-Arnold has a back post header well saved by Henderson after a neat move down the left carved the home side open.
86’ – NOTTINGHAM FOREST CHANCE! Yates darts on to Gibbs-White’s clever pass but sees his lifted effort brilliantly blocked by Alisson.
90+3’ – LIVERPOOL CHANCE! Van Dijk meets a left-wing corner but his downward header is kept out by a big left arm from Henderson.