Sometimes things seem to be written in the stars. With Liverpool seems likely to lose two points and hand the initiative to Arsenal and city of manchester in the title race, he took a step forward Darwin Nunez.
The Reds had never won at Nottingham Forest in the Premier League era and could easily have fallen behind had Anthony Elanga converted one of the two outstanding chances.
But then, in the ninth minute of stoppage time, Forest failed to clear a corner, Alexis Mac Allister crossed and Núñez, a second-half substitute, climbed higher to finish.
The giddy scenes of celebration in the visitors’ dugout were matched in the visitors’ camp, but Forest felt desperately aggrieved. About a minute before the goal, play had been stopped due to a head injury to Ibrahima Konate, as Callum Hudson-Odoi was preparing to cross.
Instead of giving possession back, Liverpool played on and although the goal did not develop immediately, Forest were furious. A member of the coaching staff received a red card after the final whistle as referee Paul Tierney was surrounded, and insults rained down from the stands.
Darwin Nunez scored an injury-time goal as Liverpool kept pace in the title race.
The Reds striker headed the winning goal in the ninth minute of added time to win the match.
It was desperation for Forest who thought they had gained a vital point in the battle against the drop.
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This leaves Forest in further danger as they await a possible points deduction for breaching spending rules next month, but for Liverpool, a haul of four trophies in Jurgen Klopp’s final season remains a possibility.
Divock Origi will always be loved at Liverpool thanks to his crucial goals, especially in the 2019 Champions League final, but here he seemed to be in the mood against his former club.
In the 15th minute, the Belgian shook off Andy Robertson on Forest’s right and charged upfield, his powerful shot from 25 yards flying inches wide.
At the other end, Luis Díaz’s shot touched Andrew Omobamidele and skimmed the post. Even without several key men such as Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool have continued to push forward thanks largely to the emergence of an impressive group of academy products.
Two of them, Conor Bradley and Bobby Clark, made up the starting eleven here, while Forest left their most dangerous striker, Taiwo Awoniyi, on the bench, and the Nigerian would surely have taken advantage of Anthony Elanga’s chance midway through the first half. half.
Seconds after Alexis Mac Allister squandered a good chance for the Reds, Origi sent Elanga racing past Virgil van Dijk only for Caoimhin Keller to parry the effort with his feet.
Liverpool tried to make Forest pay instantly. Clark collected himself on the edge of the area and when his shot hit Omobamidele, Luis Díaz appeared to have a touch. However, the Colombian’s first touch was shaky and that allowed Murillo to rescue Forest with a good last-minute clearance.
In the final moments of the half, Cody Gakpo headed a Mac Allister shot across the goal and with goalkeeper Matz Sels out of the game, Forest were relieved to see that there was no Liverpool player there to take the lead.
In the early stages of the second half it was clear that Liverpool had pushed the pace with Omobamidele and Murillo at full throttle to keep them out, the former to block Robertson’s attempt and the latter to put his head in the path of Mac’s volley. Allister. .
Both coaches sent for their number 9s around the hour mark, with Klopp introducing Darwin Nunez and Nuno Espirito Santo introducing Awoniyi. Nunez was quickly called into action, firing into the side netting, before Elanga missed his second glorious chance of the match.
Callum Hudson-Odoi played Harry Toffolo on the left and Elanga’s first shot at the far post deflected off Kelleher, but it went just wide. Awoniyi then found himself running towards the visiting centre-backs only to get into trouble in front of goal.
The game was now becoming more open and when Mac Allister robbed Neco Williams in midfield, Gakpo should have done better than cut wide from the angle.
Bobby Clark started for Liverpool as the Reds continued to rely on their young stars
Jurgen Klopp watches as his team struggle to defeat a stubborn Forest team.
For long periods of the match, Forest frustrated the Premier League leaders at The City Ground.
As his team struggled to break through, Klopp was becoming irritable and had to be reprimanded by Tierney after a particularly spirited reaction when Forest won a free-kick for a foul on Dominguez.
Luis Díaz could not provide relief either, as he shot wide from the edge of the area. Kelleher was as confident as ever in the Liverpool goal, making a solid save to deny Hudson-Odoi.
Jayden Danns replaced Gakpo and soon demanded a penalty when Forest substitute Danilo appeared to bring him down in a corner. If Danns was unlucky, he was perhaps lucky enough to receive only a yellow card for jumping on Sels and smashing him, even though the Forest goalkeeper had the ball in both hands.
With eight minutes of stoppage time marked, a sliding Núñez just missed Kostas Tsimikas’s low cross and Hudson-Odoi was furious when Awoniyi failed to spot his run after taking possession from Wataru Endo in midfield.
Forest escaped the final penalty thanks to Sels, who showed extraordinary reflexes to keep his team level after a deflection off Murillo’s shoulders.
Forest pressed again and won a corner when Gibbs-White’s low shot was blocked by Virgil van Dijk, but should have done better with an excellent counter-attacking chance. Then came the controversy, the furor and the winning goal. How important could this be come May?