Having lost 1-0 against Nottingham Forest Liverpool’s winless streak on the road in the Premier League currently stands at five games.
At 05:15, Jurgen Klopp got the news that Thiago Alcantara wouldn’t be playing due to an ear infection and later, Darwin Nunez failed a late fitness test. Three of Liverpool’s four top strikers, three of the midfield’s best and three of the defense’s best were all out due to injury or rotation.
Nonetheless, they were in a good mood after winning two games in a row, against Manchester City and West Ham United. However, the disappointing showing and severe lack of high-quality scoring opportunities were a direct result of the players’ absences.
Forest, who were winless in nine games and sitting at the bottom of the table, were the superior team in the opening period. While the East Midlands club was as expected up for it, biting into every challenge with vigor and creating decent chances on the break, Liverpool dominated possession but lacked intensity.
Morgan Gibbs-White turned on the class, flicking balls around the corner and looking for the game-winning through the pass. In addition, he was relentless in his pursuit, never taking his eyes off the Liverpool defense and he was quick to break forward on the counterattack. On the other wing, Serge Aurier who is rarely praised was outstanding in his battle against Fabio Carvalho.
While at Liverpool, the 25-year-old was loaned out seven times but never played at a high enough level to earn a regular spot on the team’s roster.
The Nigerian forward was initially brought down unfairly by Joe Gomez on the halfway line, right when he appeared to have a clear path to the net. The ensuing free kick was taken to the left flank and crossed in low for Awoniyi, whose initial attempt at goal hit the post. On the other hand, the No. 9 had a great bounce, and he made no mistakes with his second shot.
Brennan Johnson who came on as a substitute for Awoniyi had a golden opportunity to seal the deal after a brilliant counterattacking move involving Gibbs-White and Cheikhou Kouyate, who had been outstanding in the middle of the field all game. Alisson made a good save, just like he made for Ryan Yates later on.
Late on Liverpool made a push highlighted by Virgil van Dijk’s hat trick of chances, which should raise serious worry given that the Dutchman was Liverpool’s most potent offensive threat. Despite Klopp’s best efforts, his team was unable to score more goals than Forest did in the opening game of the Premier League weekend.
The three points move Forest into 19th place ahead of Leicester City but Liverpool remains 11 points behind leaders Arsenal despite playing one more game.
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