It was a result no-one saw coming. Nottingham Forest started the day bottom of the Premier League table. Liverpool had just won three in a row, including a magnificent 1-0 victory over Manchester City.
When referee Paul Tierney blew his final whistle to confirm Forest’s surprise 1-0 win, Liverpool’s winning run was in ruins, with the Reds still without an away win in the league this season.
“It feels as low as possible,” said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp. “Massive, massive blow because I have no idea how we can lose this game to be honest.”
While Klopp was conducting an inquest into his team’s third league defeat of the season, his counterpart Steve Cooper was wondering if this could be a season-changing result.
“It’s a good day’s work,” he said. “That’s it. We need to crack on.”
Liverpool, who are 11 points behind leaders Arsenal having played one game more, struggled to create chances from open play as they slumped to a second successive away defeat in the league.
“It’s a big blow for us because we came here and wanted to get three points,” said Klopp. “In normal circumstances we should have won this this.”
Liverpool were not helped by the loss of midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who woke up at 05:15 BST with an ear infection which required hospital treatment.
They were already without Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate and Darwin Nunez due to injury.
“We arrived with consistency but we had six games with a limited squad playing three high intense games inside a week,” added Klopp.
“That’s how it is, we cannot change that and we have to fight through. Result-wise we should have showed consistency. We could have had it by finishing situations off.
“Giving a team six clear chances after a set piece I’m not sure where I should put the praise to be honest. Nottingham Forest are a great team and Steve Cooper is a great manager but we have to win here and we didn’t, so credit to Nottingham.”
‘Forest believe in Cooper’
While Bournemouth, Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa have sacked managers, Forest have decided to stay patient with theirs.
Despite their struggles this season, Cooper signed a new contract until 2025 earlier this month and they have now secured four points from the past two games.
Cooper has gone a long way to repairing what was a fractured relationship between fans and the club, and there were jubilant scenes at the final whistle after a famous win.
“It’s a brilliant win,” said the Welshman before adding: “We have to build on this.
“If we show any signs of complacency, I’ll be right on it.”
Former England striker Peter Crouch said Forest deserve praise for showing patience towards Cooper during a nine-game league run without a win.
“Forest believe in what he doing,” added Crouch to BT Sport.
“Clubs are sacking their managers but Forest showed they believe in Cooper and that result rewards that decision.”
What it means. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/X4ClQvxJ0M— Nottingham Forest FC (@NFFC) October 22, 2022
‘Always grateful to Liverpool’
To rub salt into Liverpool’s wounds, Forest’s winner came from Taiwo Awoniyi, one of their former players, who did not celebrate one of the biggest goals of his career out of respect for his former club.
“To score against Liverpool is a day I will never forget,” said the Nigeria forward, who joined Forest for a reported £17m in June from German side Union Berlin.
“I will always to be grateful to Liverpool for scouting me from Nigeria.
“This kind of game we have to look back on it and build on it. The game is over and now we concentrate on the next one.”