Liverpool secured back-to-back Premier League wins as they held on to a 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest at Anfield.
The home side enjoyed more of the possession in the first half, creating their best chances from set pieces. Virgil van Dijk forced a strong save from Keylor Navas first, then Diogo Jota should have done much better with his effort before the break.
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Jurgen Klopp’s side began the second half in perfect fashion after early pressure forced a corner, and this time Jota made no mistake when Fabinho directed the ball back into the danger area.
That seemed to ignite the match as former Liverpool defender Neco Williams equalised for Forest with a deflected effort that caught Alisson off-balance, only for Jota to restore the advantage with a well-taken left-footed finish just four minutes later.
The visitors restored parity once again through Morgan Gibbs-White, but it was Mohamed Salah whose effort was decisive after connecting with Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s cross, securing what could be a very important three points for Liverpool as they bid to make a late surge for a European place.
The Reds were impressive from set pieces and created plenty of chances. That’s another step forward toward a late top-four chase for the Reds, who have scored nine goals over the course of two successive victories.
Liverpool’s defending from throw-ins was poor as they conceded two goals when leaving Williams and Gibbs-White in too much space, making hard work of the win at times.
Manager rating (1-10; 10 = best)
Jurgen Klopp, 7 — Klopp’s system ensured control of the game and he also timed his substitutions well. While there will be some work to do on defending second phases from some set pieces, there are clear signs of improvement in the tweaks that he has made recently, and he deployed them well again in this game.
Player ratings (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson 6 — Alert to the danger in the moments where he was called upon, the 30-year-old was quick to anticipate crosses during counter-attacks. Off-balance when conceding the first equaliser.
DF Andy Robertson 7 — Got forward to provide an option for Jota, whom he assisted for Liverpool’s second. Enjoyed success finding space on the left flank, where he was instinctive with his decision-making to get a cross into the box.
DF Virgil van Dijk 6 — Liverpool’s best chance of the first half fell to Van Dijk, who drew a strong save from Keylor Navas. A key intervention stopped a dangerous Nottingham Forest attack late on.
DF Ibrahima Konate 7 — The France international was the player Nottingham Forest were happy to let have the ball, and he played out from the back well with positive decision-making to begin moves. Almost picked up an assist with a precise direct ball to Jota.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold 8 — The pick of the Reds’ best attacking plays often came from Alexander-Arnold, who dictated play and created regular chances for his side with excellent set-piece delivery. Finally got his reward when assisting Salah for Liverpool’s third goal.
MF Fabinho 7 — Broke up the play to stop counter-attacks well and tried to get forward to help pin the opponents in their half. Had an effort from range that was completely fluffed. Rarely gave the ball away with his passing and assisted Liverpool’s opener.
MF Curtis Jones 6 — Kept play ticking from midfield against an organised defensive setup. Got forward more in the second half to help create more space for Liverpool’s attacking players.
MF Jordan Henderson 6 — Positive link-up play saw the Liverpool skipper help unlock Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah, and he also chose his moments to move into more advanced areas.
FW Diogo Jota 8 — Another brace for Diogo Jota, via astute movement for his first goal and an excellent left-footed finish that restored the Reds’ lead after Nottingham Forest’s equaliser.
FW Cody Gakpo 6 — Moved into channels to link play and held the ball up well. His only real effort came from range as he looked to catch Keylor Navas out at his near post, before he was replaced by Darwin Nunez at the hour mark.
FW Mohamed Salah 7 — Salah looked to challenge his opponent directly, and the visitors seemed to struggle when the winger was able to play close to Alexander-Arnold. Scored the crucial goal to earn Liverpool three points.
Darwin Nunez (Gakpo, 60′) 6 –– The forward couldn’t quite get the space he normally enjoys in this one. Should have been more aware of Gibbs-White on Forest’s second goal.
Thiago (Fabinho, 60′) 6 — Tried to settle the game down in midfield during a hectic second half. Patient as ever with his decision making.
Luis Diaz (Jota, 81′) N/R — A second appearance in a row for Diaz who continues his return to full match fitness after a long injury layoff.