Liverpool got the better of an entertaining second half to run out 3-2 winners against a struggling Nottingham Forest side.
It was actually a relatively flat atmosphere inside Anfield during the first half, as Nottingham Forest looked to keep it tight and frustrate the hosts.
It was a totally different matter after the break though as Liverpool took the lead early in the second half. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner resulted in a game of head tennis in the box before Fabinho nodded it across goal and Diogo Jota headed home to kick-start an absolute goal-fest.
Forest quickly levelled the scores, Neco Williams racing forward and taking advantage of being in acres of space down the right before the former Red fired home with a drilled effort that took a wicked deflection off Andrew Robertson.
However, parity lasted just four minutes as the hosts retook the lead following some awful defending from Forest. A Robertson free-kick from the left picked out Jota, who was afforded time and space to control with his chest and strike beyond Keylor Navas.
Forest did however strike back once more, a long throw-in from the right only being cleared to the edge of the box, before Morgan Gibbs-White fired through a crowd of players to beat Alisson.
Having twice been pegged back, Liverpool once again took advantage of some sloppy Forest defending to retake the lead for a third time, with Mohamed Salah unmarked inside the area to lash home a Trent Alexander-Arnold free-kick. The goal was the Egyptian’s 183rd since moving to Merseyside, moving him level with Robbie Fowler in the club’s all-time scorer list.
Liverpool held on to claim all three points to move them up to seventh in the Premier League, and speaking after the game Jurgen Klopp said his side ‘deserved’ all three points in what was a ‘super difficult’ game.
“It was a difficult game against a low block, super difficult first half, we didn’t create a lot, but didn’t give a lot away, which is important,” he told Match of the Day.
“You always need a positive start to the game and if you are positive you can control it. Diogo Jota had a massive chance from the set-piece, but then the throw-ins come into the game and that became really tricky. But all the goals came from set pieces which is strange. We deserve the three points which is the most important thing.”
“I liked that we stayed in the game and all this chaos around the throw-ins which you have to try to avoid,” he continued.
“Too many situations, we couldn’t clear properly but apart from that I am really pleased with a lot of things.
“We gave away two goals too easily and in a game like this you have to control possession. You don’t have to force it and sometimes we forced it.”
Diogo Jota has endured a difficult injury-hit season, but has found form with his brace today taking his tally to four in two games for the Reds.
“That’s what goals can do, they give you a boost and confidence,” Klopp said of the Portuguese. “He did miss a sitter which was the easiest out of them all, but the second goal was very special.”
Liverpool are just six points off the top four, though have played a game more than fourth placed Newcastle, with Spurs and Aston Villa between them and the Champions League places.
“Honestly top four at the moment, we have nothing to do with it we will see about that in a few weeks,” Klopp said. “The rest we have no influence.
“We take it game by game and we have West Ham next which is really tough and then we go from there but it will be tough again, but I am happy we got all three points again.”
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