It was a result that no one could see. Nottingham Forest started bottom of the Premier League table. Liverpool had just won three in a row, including a brilliant 1-0 win over Manchester City.
When referee Paul Tierney blew his final whistle to confirm Forest’s surprise 1-0 victory, Liverpool’s winning streak was in tatters, with the Reds still without an away win in the league this season.
“It feels as low as possible,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said. “A massive, massive blow because I have no idea how we can lose this game to be honest.”
While Klopp was investigating his side’s third league defeat of the season, his counterpart Steve Cooper was wondering if it could be the result of a change of season.
“It’s a day job,” he said. “That’s it. We have to succeed.”
Liverpool, who sit 11 points behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand, struggled to create chances from open play as they slumped to a second straight away defeat in the league.
“It’s a big blow for us because we wanted to come here and get the three points,” said Klopp. “Under normal circumstances we should have won this.”
Liverpool were not helped by the loss of midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who woke up at 05:15 BST with an ear infection requiring hospital treatment.
Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate and Darwin Nunez were already without, injured.
“We arrived with consistency, but we had six games with a limited squad playing three high-intensity games in a week,” Klopp added.
“That’s the way it is, we can’t change that and we have to fight. As for the results, we should show consistency. We would get it by finishing the situations.
“Given a team six clean sheets after one goal, I’m not sure where to give 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. to”.
‘Forest believe in Cooper’
While Bournemouth, Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa have sacked their managers, Forest have decided to be patient with theirs.
Despite their struggles this season, Cooper signed a new contract until 2025 earlier this month and they have now picked up four points from their last two games.
Cooper has gone a long way to mending what was a fractured relationship between the fans and the club, and there were jubilant scenes after a famous victory in the last leg.
“It’s a great win,” said the Welshman, before adding: “We’ve got to build on that.
“If we show any signs of complacency, I will do well.”
Former England striker Peter Crouch said Forest deserve praise for showing patience with Cooper during their nine-game league winless run.
“Forest believe in what they do,” Crouch added to BT Sport.
“Clubs are sacking their managers but Forest showed they have faith in Copper and this result rewards that decision.”
“Always grateful to Liverpool”
To rub salt in Liverpool’s wounds, Forest’s winner came from Taiwo Awoniyi, one of their former players, who did not celebrate one of the greatest goals of his career out of respect for his former club.
“Scoring against Liverpool is a day I will never forget,” said the Nigerian striker Forest joined for £17m in June from Union Berlin in Germany.
“I will always be grateful to Liverpool for looking for me from Nigeria.
“In these types of games we have to look back and build. The game is over and now we concentrate on the next one.”