Reds Dominant Throughout
This was an emphatic result that never seemed in doubt. For over a year now, Liverpool have entered far too many games with the fanbase unsure of what would happen, whilst almost expecting an early goal to be conceded, or some VAR decision to scupper the team’s performance. Since the resumption of the league campaign (after the last international break), there appears to be an increased air of confidence about the group. Vital players finally maintain their form, thereby remembering who they are and what they are capable of. Unfortunately, some horrendous news meant that our Colombian flyer, Luis Díaz, was in no position to participate in this match, which saw Diogo Jota start once more. Later we learned that the former Porto winger’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, asked that his teammates dedicate this result to their LFC brother. They did not let their teammate down.
The Starting Eleven
Trent Alexander Arnold
Virgil van Dijk (c)
Alexis Mac Allister
Cody Gakpo – Diogo Jota (61 mins)
Harvey Elliott – Ryan Gravenberch (61 mins)
Wataru Endō – Darwin Núñez (80 mins)
Joe Gomez – Trent Alexander Arnold (89 mins)
Liverpool 1 – 0 Nottingham Forest
Diogo Jota (Darwin Núñez) 31 mins
Liverpool 2 – 0 Nottingham Forest
Darwin Núñez (Dominik Szoboszlai) 35 mins
Liverpool 3 – 0 Nottingham Forest
Mohamed Salah (Dominik Szoboszlai) 77 mins
Important Match Stats
Liverpool 74% – 26% Nottingham Forest
Liverpool 22 – 8 Nottingham Forest
Liverpool 27 – 11 Nottingham Forest
Liverpool 5 – 1 Nottingham Forest
The First Half
The opening period of this game saw the home side immediately look to impose their will on their opponents. Territorial advantage was gained from the starting whistle, and it seemed like only a matter of time before a breakthrough came about. Mohamed Salah was delightfully inventive and always looking to feed in his strike partner, Darwin Núñez, who had several half chances to take the score to 1-0. Eventually, a searing run and snapshot paved the way for Diogo Jota to place the ball into a half empty net, as the Uruguayan strikers saved shot landed at his Portuguese teammate’s feet. From here, the power and pace of Dominik Szoboszlai was able to fully end the game as a contest, as he latched onto a wonderfully creative through ball from the Egyptian King, before firing across the box to his rushing number 9. A simply tap-in took the score to 2-0, with a dominating first half taking everything away from Steve Cooper’s visiting team.
The Second Half
On resumption of the second half, our Hungarian powerhouse continued to run the game, as Alexis Mac Allister and Trent Alexander Arnold recycled and controlled the tempo of possession. Periodic moments would arrive for the away team; however, the defensive shape was coordinated superbly by Ibou and Virgil especially. With the game all but won, the affair became about pure game management and utilising the talented bench of reserves. The confidence and manner of the second period was very reminiscent of the title-winning team of years gone by, where there felt little need to play beyond third gear. In this scenario, the scoreline remained as was until an audacious 70-yard assist, one which saw the Forest defence and keeper gift Salah his inevitable goal, to take his Premier League tally to eight for the campaign. A disallowed goal for Cody Gakpo stopped the result becoming a more reflective one, yet the 3-0 result was still very much in line with how the game played out.
What Are My Final Thoughts…?
I am very much enjoying how this Liverpool version 2.0 is developing, including the adjustments our German manager has implemented to his previously stubborn approach to the Reds’ football. Reinvention and regeneration are words that best describe what is unfolding at Anfield, as new superstars continue their creation and evolution under the watchful eye of a world-class coach. This season may well end up as an empty-handed one, though I suspect with one or two more pieces added (a defensive midfielder is a must), then I do not see why this group cannot one day soon emulate those that trod the Merseyside pitch before them.
Liverpool 4 – 1 Nottingham Forest