THE CITY GROUND, NOTTINGHAM — Liverpool’s winless run on the road now stands at five Premier League games, after falling to a 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.
The day began at 5:15 for Jurgen Klopp, with Thiago Alcantara reporting an ear infection which caused him to sit this one out, while Darwin Nunez failed a late fitness test. The huge injury list combined with a spot of rotation meant Liverpool were missing three of their four best attackers, the same figure in midfield, and three of their five strongest defenders.
However, they were in relatively high spirits, having picked up back-to-back wins against Manchester City and West Ham United in the last week. The absentees told, though, with a frustrating performance in which there was a real dearth of quality chances.
Forest — who were rooted to the foot of the table and without a victory in nine — were the better side in the first half. Liverpool dominated possession, but the intensity was completely lacking, while the East Midlands club were predictably up for it, biting into every challenge with ferocity and creating solid chances on the break.
Morgan Gibbs-White showed his class, turning on the style with balls flicked round the corner and hunting for the killer through ball. He combined that with constant chasing, always on the case of the Liverpool back seven, while breaking forward with energy on the counter. On the opposite flank, Serge Aurier had a similarly impressive half dealing with Fabio Carvalho.
Liverpool began the second period with a much-needed spring in their step, but that was soon halted by Taiwo Awoniyi. The man who bundled home the winner in Forest’s only other win this term — against West Ham United here in August — repeated the trick.
The Nigerian striker initially found himself hauled down cynically on the halfway line by Joe Gomez, just as he looked to have found a free run towards goal. From the resulting free-kick, the ball made its way to the left flank, put in low to Awoniyi, whose first stab was stopped by Alisson. But the rebound fell kindly for the No.9, who made no mistake on the second attempt.
The man who eventually replaced Awoniyi, the harrying presence of Brennan Johnson had a chance to wrap up the game after Gibbs-White and Cheikhou Kouyate — impressive in central midfield throughout — combined to burst down the left and play in the striker. Alisson denied him well, as he did for Ryan Yates later in proceedings.
Liverpool pushed late on, particularly through a trio of opportunities for Virgil van Dijk — signalling a real concern in itself, that the Dutchman was their brightest attacking threat. But Klopp’s men ended up with no more shots on target than Forest, who were worthy victors in this opening game of the Premier League weekend.
The three points lift Forest above local rivals Leicester City and into 19th, while Liverpool are 11 points adrift of leaders Arsenal having played a game more.
Manager reaction to follow.
The Sporting News was following the match live, providing score updates and commentary below.
Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool live score
Goals: Awoniyi (55)
Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool live updates, highlights from Premier League
FULL-TIME: Forest hold on for the 1-0 victory!
95th min: Salah has a looping header pushed over by Henderson. Into the dying embers now.
92nd min: Van Dijk again! This time Henderson dives low to deny a header from the centre-back, who rose well.
90th min: Another effort from Van Dijk goes wide. Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick finds the Dutchman at the back post, who strikes it across goal to no avail. Five minutes of stoppage time will follow.
85th min: At the other end, Yates escapes Fabinho and is played in, but Allison saves his low strike.
83rd min: After Van Dijk and Johnson both spent a couple of minutes on the ground receiving treatment, Liverpool get things back underway with an effort at the back post. Alexander-Arnold ghosted in from the right to meet Salah’s cross, but Henderson makes the save.
76th min: Liverpool are struggling to build any concerted pressure or carve open this back-line. The latest foray sees Van Dijk nod the ball into Firmino in the middle of the box, but the ball gets caught under his feet to summarise their afternoon.
69th min: Johnson could’ve killed the game off! Gibbs-White did magnificently on the left flank to curl a first-time through ball to Kouyate, who continued the break and squared for the substitute on the run, only for Allison to save with a big right hand.
64th min: The hosts take off a tiring Lingard and goalscorer Awoniyi for the energetic Brennan Johnson and Joe Worrall.
62nd min: Usual starters Alexander-Arnold and Henderson are on for Liverpool, with Milner and Carvalho making way.
59th min: Liverpool almost respond immediately, Elliott firing powerfully with his right to the near post, but Henderson is equal to it. Forest then go straight up the other end and have Gibbs-White teed up in the area, but his strike is blocked by the sliding Milner. This game has caught fire!
55th min: GOAL! Awoniyi wasn’t feeling sorry for himself for long! From the resulting free-kick, the ball goes out to the left flank before coming back in for the Nigerian six yards out. His first stab is stopped by Alisson, but it falls back into the path of Awoniyi, who makes no mistake on the rebound. 1-0 to Forest!
*Video available in UK:
Right place at the right time for Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi! 💥
The City Ground has ERUPTED! pic.twitter.com/1O52sduvcZ
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 22, 2022
*Video available in USA:
Nottingham Forest go up 1-0 early in the second half.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) October 22, 2022
54th min: Awoniyi battles past Gomez on the halfway line and the England international cynically pulls the striker down. It’s the correct decision to only award a yellow, but Awoniyi will be extremely frustrated as he was clean through.
52nd min: Liverpool have certainly started this half with more intent, and are setting up camp in the final third. The biggest chances fall to Salah and Carvalho on a free-kick, with the first missing his kick and the second skying it.
46th min: We’re back underway. No changes at the break.
HALF-TIME: It’s goalless, with Forest the more threatening team.
45th min: The first half has completely petered out. A big interval for Klopp to improve this performance, with one minute of injury time until that happens.
37th min: Wow. Van Dijk has a completely free header at the back post, and instead of nodding in, attempts to put it back across goal for Firmino. Instead, it goes nowhere near the Brazilian and beyond the goal.
*Video available in UK:
You’d have fancied Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk to find the net with this opportunity… pic.twitter.com/ddLLxAOR0Q
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 22, 2022
34th min: Salah has spent a couple of minutes on the ground receiving treatment after a slight push from McKenna in the box, though no real appeals for a penalty.
31st min: Big opportunity for the hosts. Awoniyi, a real handful for Gomez, gets his side in a two-on-two situation. The Nigerian draws Van Dijk and Gomez together to free up Lingard for the pass, but the playmaker’s strike is comfortably saved.
30th min: It’s all Forest across the last few minutes. They’re now using the left flank, and ex-Liverpool prospect Williams, well. A trio of half-chances have frightened Liverpool, who also look lax in possession at the back and are floating aimless balls forward.
22nd min: A nice move from the right flank ends with Awoniyi cutting back to Kouyate, whose effort is saved. Liverpool respond with a cutback for Salah at much closer range, which Henderson is equal to, as both sides have their best attacks of the game so far.
19th min: An awkward, looping backpass from Milner almost goes horribly wrong, but luckily for him, Alisson beats Awoniyi to the ball. A few minutes later, Jones copes well under intense pressure from Lingard after a short ball from the goalkeeper. Liverpool showing very little at either side of the pitch.
12th min: First opportunity of the game falls to Firmino, who heads harmlessly wide from a corner having won the aerial battle a little too easily. At the other end, Gibbs-White bursts forward on a very promising counter, but his pass to Lingard is caught on the heel of the former Manchester United star.
7th min: No real chances as yet, but Forest pressing hard in midfield as you’d expect. Kouyate got the crowd off their feet early doors with a combination of strength to shrug off two players before the silky feet to get round another. Meanwhile, Salah is the out-ball for Liverpool.
KICK-OFF: We’re underway, and the City Ground is as deafeningly loud as it’s been all season.
15 mins to KO: On the key absences from the Liverpool XI, Klopp told BT Sport: “No [it’s not precautionary], I wish I could do that. For Darwin, the game comes too early, he still feels the intensity of the game muscle-wise so there was no chance he could play today. Maybe he could play tomorrow or on Monday but not today.
“And Thiago got a bad ear infection overnight. The decision was made this morning at 5:15. That’s how it is sometimes and that’s the reason for that.”
30 mins to KO: This fixture is of course steeped in history, with the 1978/79 European Cup clash being among the most famous in Forest folklore. Liverpool were the defending continental champions heading into that tie, but Brian Clough’s men emerged 2-0 winners here en route to winning the trophy themselves. That came during a five-year spell in which only Forest (two) and Liverpool (three) won the competition.
45 mins to KO: Forest have been in a horrendous run of form since their home opener against West Ham in August, which remains their sole victory of 2022/23. They recently faced three successive Midlands derbies in a run from which they took just a point – part of a nine-game winless streak that has seen 21 goals shipped.
1 hour to KO: Team news is in, with Nunez and Thiago missing from the squad entirely! Alexander-Arnold and Henderson are on the bench in a rotated lineup for the Merseyside giants.
Our line-up to take on Nottingham Forest today 👊⚪#NOTLIV
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 22, 2022
✌️ Two changes for The Reds
🇸🇳 Kouyaté comes into the starting XI
🇳🇬 Awoniyi leads the line
— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) October 22, 2022
1 hour 15 mins to KO: In his programme notes, Forest boss Cooper has called on his troops to improve in attack, despite the focus on their defence: “I said to the players after the Brighton game that we need to be more of a threat going forward.
“We know that we are going to have to defend a lot more than we did last season, and we have been focussing on that recently, but our idea remains to be creative and attacking. We are committed to this style.”
1 hour 30 mins to KO: A half-hour until team news releases at the City Ground. All eyes will be on whether star striker Darwin Nunez is fit enough for the visitors, with Klopp yesterday telling his prematch press conference: “He is one of the cases where we need to have a look because he was not injured, but he felt something and I don’t know if he feels that still today and what the medical department tells me then, we have to see.”
1 hour 45 mins to KO: Welcome to the sunny East Midlands for The Sporting News’ coverage of Forest vs. Liverpool to open the Premier League weekend. Incredibly in October, Liverpool are searching for their first away win of the league campaign.
Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool lineups
Nottingham Forest lineup (4-3-3): Henderson (GK) — Aurier, Cook, McKenna, Williams — Yates, Freuler, Kouyate — Gibbs-White, Awoniyi, Lingard
Liverpool lineup (4-3-3): Alisson (GK) — Milner, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson — Fabinho, Jones, Elliott — Carvalho, Salah, Firmino
What time is Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool?
Nottingham Forest play host to Liverpool at the City Ground in Nottingham, England. It kicks off at 12.30 p.m. BST on Saturday, October 22.
|Date||Sat, October 22||Sat, October 22||Sat, October 22||Sat, October 22|
|Time||12:30 BST||07:30 ET||07:30 ET||22:30 AET|
How to watch Nottingham Forest vs. Liverpool
|TV channel||BT Sport 1||USA Network, Universo||–||–|
|Streaming||BT Sport app||fuboTV, Universo Now, Telemundo en Vivo||fuboTV||Optus Sport|
UK: The match will be broadcast on BT Sport 1 which can also be live streamed on the BT Sport app.
USA: The game will be shown on USA Network (English) and Universo (Spanish), with both channels streamed on fuboTV.
Canada: Every Premier League game streams live and on demand exclusively via fuboTV.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream matches live and on demand on Optus Sport.