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Klopp “doesn’t see reasons” for Forest anger as Nuno refuses to “comment” on ref

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he saw nothing wrong with Darwin Nunez’s controversial stoppage-time winner at Nottingham Forest.

Nunez marked his return from injury by heading home in the ninth minute of time added on to seal a 1-0 win, which lifted his side four points clear at the top of the Premier League.

But the Uruguay international’s last-gasp effort left Forest’s players, staff and fans furious at the final whistle after referee Paul Tierney had stopped play before the build-up to Liverpool’s winner for an apparent head injury to Ibrahima Konate.

Tierney blew with Forest in possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area and after Konate had quickly recovered, the official dropped the ball to visiting goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who then started the move that led to his side’s dramatic winner.

Klopp said: “It happened exactly the same in the first half didn’t it? Exactly the same, just the other way round.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the ninth minute of injury time during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I accepted it would happen like that because it happened in the first half. If it didn’t happen in the first half, I would have asked the question as well.

“I would assume that’s the rule, I don’t know. But because it happened twice and got handled exactly the same, I don’t really see their reasons for a discussion.”

Earlier in the game, Tierney halted a Liverpool attack after Forest skipper Ryan Yates was felled by Harvey Elliott‘s shot and play resumed with home goalkeeper Matz Sels taking possession.

Klopp said: “I understand 100 per cent the excitement and the anger of Nottingham, of course, they fought for everything. But it happened twice the same and was consistent.”

Nunez’s last-gasp effort secured Liverpool their first league win at the City Ground in almost 40 years and 14 matches to heap the pressure on Manchester City and Arsenal, who play on Sunday and Monday respectively.

Klopp said it had been a huge effort from his injury-hit squad, who have registered six straight wins in all competitions, including last Sunday’s League Cup final win over Chelsea.

“Four games in 11 days, come on. Five in 15,” Klopp added. “It’s really tough. With our squad situation it’s super-tough and how the boys fought through that is really special.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the ninth minute of injury time during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The fourth game was the toughest. It was an unbelievable effort the boys put in. A proper, proper shift.

“If you had asked me 12 days ago if it was possible to win all four games, I’d have said no.”

Forest’s players and staff surrounded Tierney at the final whistle, with coach Steven Reid shown a red card, while boss Nuno Espirito Santo refused to comment on the incident after the final whistle.

Forest later dismissed reports that owner Evangelos Marinakis had chased Tierney down the tunnel.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott (L) takes on Nottingham Forest's Nicolás Domínguez during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Nuno said: “I will not comment on the referee. We played a very good game against a very good team, fantastic players and manager and we limited them.

“They had chances, we had chances, it was a good game of football. We had clear chances to do better, to improve. We should have been more clinical.

“I’m proud of the boys because they worked very hard. They combined, they helped each other, they defend the box, they did two-on-ones – they did everything. But we can improve.”