Liverpool Suffer Chastening Defeat To Nottingham Forest
The Reds Season Lurches From Bad to Worse After Humiliating Defeat to Bottom Side Forest
The 2022/23 season has not been one to write home about for Liverpool fans. The signs were obvious from the first match week of the season when they spluttered out of the starting blocks with a 1-1 draw with newly promoted Fulham. They followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace and then a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United, a team they had beaten 9-0 on aggregate last season.
There have been high points. The late winner from recruit Fabio Carvalho against Newcastle. There was the 7-1 victory against Rangers. The victory over Manchester City, and of course the 9-0 humbling of Bournemouth at Anfield. All four, in different ways, have been seen as ‘the start of Liverpool’s season’.
That has simply not been the case. Things have gone so far off the tracks that the Bournemouth side Jürgen Klopp’s men defeated 9-0 are now above The Reds in the Premier League standings.
Another False Dawn
Liverpool came into the match against newly promoted, dead-last Nottingham Forest, riding high after securing three wins in a row in all competitions. Most bookies had them as unbackable favourites and the likes of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk were back in form.
From the moment the team sheet dropped, eyebrows were rising. Darwin Nunez was out of the squad completely with a muscle injury. Thiago Alcantara was also missing after sustaining an ear infection the night before the fixture. A couple of huge outs.
Then the match started. Liverpool dominated the first 45 in terms of possession, but never really created a chance on goal. Despite their huge territory advantage, Liverpool looked disjointed. There were signs that Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk weren’t on the same page from early on as well.
The second half came, and it was always going to be former Liverpool academy graduate Taiwo Awoniyi who would score. Forest took the lead and, try as Liverpool might, there was simply no way past Dean Henderson, who was tremendous for Forest.
When the final whistle went, you would have been forgiven for thinking Forest had just won the EPL title. The fans were delirious, likewise the players. Dean Henderson jumped into the crowd to celebrate. Everywhere you looked, Forest players were lapping it up, and deservedly so.
Post Match Comments
Andy Robertson fronted up to the media post-match and had these comments to make.
“Credit goes to Forest. I thought they were really good, in our faces in front of their crowd and everything, but I don’t know how we’ve not scored today, I really don’t. We’ve had so many chances, set-pieces we knew could have been a huge weapon today. Some of the balls in were good, finding free headers or landing on people’s feet and we’ve just not had that composure to put it away."
“When you have a game like that, it’s so frustrating. When you’re in a better position in the league, it’s sometimes a wee bit easier to accept. You walk off and think, ‘You know what, it’s just not our day.’ But when you’re in the position we are in, when you have dropped the points we have dropped already, it’s that bit more difficult.”
Liverpool now switches their focus to the Champions League clash against Ajax in Amsterdam in a few days. A win there could secure their passage through to the knockout phase of Europe’s elite competition. Going off of what we saw at the City Ground this past weekend, that is no certainty to happen.
Stuart Kavanagh is a journalist currently residing in Broken Hill, Australia. He writes for the Barrier Truth newspaper, along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, He co-hosts the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast and contributes at edgeofthecrowd.com when time permits. He is also the Media & Communications Director at the Newosis Mental Health Foundation. You can find more about the work Newosis Mental Health Foundation does here.
Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.