Diogo Jota and Darwin Núñez scored in the first half while Mohamed Salah scored in an empty net in the second as Liverpool earned a fairly comfortable 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest Sunday afternoon at Anfield. Liverpool were so dominant, that Forest only recorded a single shot on goal which came deep in stoppage time.
Liverpool had the first chance of the game but Darwin Núñez was denied by Matt Turner. In the 8th minute, the Reds earned a corner but the cross was claimed. The Reds continued to dominate possession as Alexis Mac Allister fired a shot from a distance, but it went wide.
Trent Alexander- Arnold was booked for a yellow card inside 20 minutes and then had a powerful shot blocked. Liverpool earned another corner in the 25th minute, but they could not score from the set piece. Núñez forced Turner into another save a the half-hour mark, but in the 31st minute, the Reds struck on the counter-attack. Turner made the initial save on a Núñez shot, but Diogo Jota was first to the ball, sending home the rebound for a 1-0 lead,
The Reds doubled that advantage a few minutes later, in the 35th minute, as Núñez got his goal thanks to an assist from Dominik Szoboszlia. Ryan Gravenberch and Szoboszlia forced saves from Turner in the 40th minute as Liverpool had to settle for the 2-0 halftime lead
Salah tried a shot early in the second half, but he mis-hit the chance. Liverpool earned a free kick in the 52nd minute, but they could not capitalize on a scramble in the box. Salah forced another Turner save moments later.
Harvey Elliott came on the pitch as a sub in the 60th minute and made an immediate impact with a shot that was deflected out for a corner. Salah sent a free kick over the bar. The Reds kept the pressure on with yet another corner in the 66th minute, but the resulting shot from Elliott was high.
From that point, Liverpool seemed to be content holding the ball in possession. Nottingham Forest threatened with a deep throw-in, but once the danger was dealt with Liverpool struck. Szoboszlai spotted Salah running down the pitch. Turner came way off his line and Salah cut around him and finished in the empty net for a 3-0 in the 77th minute.
Forest got one of their few shots in the 85th minute, but Anthoney Elanga hit the bar. Former Red Neco Williams delivered a nice corner moments later, but Alisson claimed the cross. Cody Gakpo appeared to have scored in stoppage time, but it was chalked off after a VAR review. As a result, Liverpool settled for a 3-0 win.
The victory meant the continuation of several important streaks for Liverpool. Nottingham Forest have not won at Anfield since 1969. Mohamed Salah has now either scored or assisted in a record 14 straight EPL matches. He also becomes just the third player in club history to score in five straight home matches to start a season. Diogo Jota has now scored 6 goals in 5 matches vs Nottingham Forest, the first coming when he was with Wolves when both sides were in the Championship.
A Helping Hand
Dominik Szoboszlai came into the match still searching for his first assist in a Liverpool shirt. Now he has two. His first came from a tough angle as he squeezed the ball through to Nunez in the box and he also showed his accuracy as he laid the ball right in the path of Salah for the third goal.
Taking A Look At The Table
LFC Globe Verdict
This is about as comfortable as a win can be in the Premier League. Liverpool controlled nearly 80 percent of the possession and Forest only recorded a single shot on goal. Forest are a better team than last year so that stat is impressive. It was also good to see Darwin Núñez put a shot in the back of the net after having several hit the post in the last match. In all, this is probably the most complete performance the Reds have had all year.
Man Of The Match
I know the honour usually goes to a goal-scorer, but Dominik Szoboszlai bossed the pitch all day long. He showed good vision on both of his assists and kept working his way into dangerous areas.
- Diogo Jota 31'
- Darwin Nunez 35'
- Mohamed Salah 77'
- Cody Gakpo for Diogo Jota 58'
- Harvey Elliott for Ryan Gravenberch 59'
- Wataru Endo for Darwin Núñez 80'
- Joe Gomez for Trent Alexander-Arnold 89'
- Harry Toffolo for Ola Aina 69'
- Taiwo Awoniyi for Willy Boly 69'
- Ryan Yates for Nicolas Dominguez 69'
- Andrey Santos for Orel Mangala 83'
- Neco Williams for Morgan Gibbs-White 83'