Home News Nott’m Forest 0-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

Nott’m Forest 0-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

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Liverpool left it as late as late can be but Darwin Nunez has sent us four points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Liverpool

Premier League (27), City Ground
March 2, 2024

Goals: Darwin Nunez 90+9′


Caoimhin Kelleher – 8 (out of 10)

When Elanga ran through one-on-one in the first half the Irishman produced yet another brilliant one-on-one stop.

Then it was similar: a long watching brief until reflexes were called upon, saving a low shot to his right, down at the near post.

Confidence and rhythm doing wonders for Kelleher of late – and we’ve needed it.

Conor Bradley – 7

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Conor Bradley during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A little quiet in the first half in comparison to his lung-busting best. Was improved in that fashion after the restart but his crossing wasn’t the best on this occasion and Hudson-Odoi gave him some problems one-on-one at times.

Playing a lot of football of late and it not quite as fresh as a result.

Ibrahima Konate – 8

Excellent again. Whether direct duels to outrun Elanga or showing Awoniyi who had the greater pace and power, our centre-back continued his fine run of recent form and rarely let Forest get a clear sight of goal.

Virgil van Dijk – 9 – Man of the Match

Pretty dominant in the defensive third, cutting out the ball several times when Forest went direct and making sure to give himself a yard against Elanga, who is rapid.

Second half he made two big blocks, the latter one halting a massive chance in a three-on-two counter late on. Best player on the pitch.

Andy Robertson – 6

Must have thought he had a rare goal just after the restart but saw his shot blocked. Booked for a bit of a wild jump into Neco Williams and was subbed just around the hour mark.

Still getting back to his top level clearly, and has a way to go.

Joe Gomez – 7

Another run-out in the No.6 role for our man for all occasions and, apparently, all positions.

Fine in positional terms and ball-recycling in midfield, but obviously we lose something with Gomez there compared to actual midfielders – whether that’s agility, vision from deep or the total aggression of Endo.

Good second half as his usual reliable self during which time he went full-back on both sides of the pitch.

Alexis Mac Allister – 8

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Alexis Mac Allister during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A few moments of magic with a back-heel on goal and a lofted pass to free Gakpo, but otherwise a bit marginalised by a first half without enough structure to it.

Much better involvement second half, always looks the most composed player on the park. His defensive work rate was outstanding, against counters or sustained build-up play. Tremendous late ball back in to assist the winner.

Bobby Clark – 6

A deserved start for the talented youngster, who hasn’t made headlines like some have recently, but has just been quietly…very good. Not at all out of place in the team, essentially, and that’s why he was able to start a Premier League game here.

Typically good with his distribution and ability to move away from opponents, perhaps caught a couple of times in possession but certainly wasn’t embarrassed by any stretch. Will have more impactful games in future but a first league start is a big milestone.

Harvey Elliott – 6

Hard running and plenty of recycling the ball, but nothing much cutting edge or helping to find a way through the massed ranks of red shirts, in truth – neither by individuality, runs behind, delivery from wide or shots himself.

How is he able to even run around after the shift he’s put in in the last fortnight?!

Cody Gakpo – 4

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

One or two moments of good link up play but his two most notable contributions were to nick the ball off Van Dijk from a corner and to misplace a header back into the box when played in by Alexis.

Second half was pure and desperately poor, though.

Was a non-entity for long stretches at a time then wasted one of the only clear chances we fashioned, blazing wild and wide with two in the centre waiting for a pass.

Luis Diaz – 7

Denied twice in the first half-hour with opportunistic, goal-bound strikes but wasn’t his usual all-action self. In fairness, that’d be at least in part due to a really fractured performance from the lines behind him.

Certainly made more happen second half than anybody else managed, ran at his man continuously and wasn’t afraid to take on the shot. Not enough came off for him though.

 

Substitutes

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)

Wataru Endo (on for Robertson, 59′) – 7 – Knitted play quickly without doing anything major into the final third.

Darwin Nunez (on for Clark, 59′) – 8 – Brought a bit of power and speed but not his shooting boots. Thankfully he can score with his head as well though.

Dominik Szoboszlai (on for Elliott, 76′) – 6 – Looked rusty with some underhit passes. Understandably, in truth.

Kostas Tsimikas (on for Bradley, 83′) – n/a – A couple of corners and one low cross but not much time for more.

Jayden Danns (on for Gakpo, 83′) – n/a – Wanted a penalty, barged the keeper, freed Kostas down the left. Impactful.

Subs not used: Adrian, Quansah, McConnell, Koumas.

 

Jurgen Klopp – 9

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Even if this had finished 0-0, it’s hard to criticise Klopp for anything in terms of the lineup the subs used or the approach – our mix-and-match team sheets were bound to have an impact sooner or later and they did so here in our buildup play.

Inexperience in midfield came in both years and positional terms today, but even then the Reds were mostly dominant, just didn’t really create too much.

But the reason we win this game isn’t options off the bench, returning faces or even a dodgy referee, in spite of Forest fans’ chants: it’s instead the long-term culture Klopp has created, the knowledge that a game is never over until the whistle goes, the expectation that somehow, some-when, we’ll find a way.

In the summer Jurgen will leave behind a wonderful squad, but an even bigger legacy will be that absolute, overpowering belief which won us another three points today.