Liverpool got the job done at Anfield versus a Nittingham Forest team cemented in the relegation zone to secure three much-needed points. Things started slow, picked up tremendously in the second half and, while no one watching could rest easy at anytime, the Reds came out on top.
Player ratings from the 3-2 win on April 22:
Alisson – 7
Hardly troubled in the first half, the Brazilian punched out one ball near the break to maintain a scoreless half. He made the save when needed and couldn’t be at much fault for either goal as both were slightly deflected on the way in.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 9
Midfield Trent! What a sight to behold as he again dazzled in his new role, making plays and passes with the creativity we all love from the scouser in the team. Each free kick seemed better than the last, which finally paid off with a brilliant ball to Salah who made it 3-2 half way through the second half. It should have been Trent’s second assist of day after his delivery to Jota earlier in the game was headed agonisingly wide. Can’t wait for more.
Konate – 6
The right-center back had to settle into new space with the tactical TAA change but he did a solid job after being given the tall task of sticking with Taiwo Awoniyi. However, allowing Brenden Williams to ghost by and nearly equalize the game for the third time was a significant mistake and showed that this wasn’t Konate’s best game.
Virgil van Dijk – 6
Also not at his best, the defensive stalwart had a few headed chances to score, including two in the first half that encouraged his side. While the Reds needed his presence out there, his overall output suggested it was a good day to be going against the 19th-place team.
Andy Robertson – 7
Before he delivered the assist on Jota’s second goal, Robertson lost Neco Williams on a throw in which led to Forest’s first equalizer. His slight deflection on the shot made things more difficult for Alisson, perhaps even caused the goal. His spot-kick pass into an open Jota in the box gave Liverpool the 2-1 lead and brought him back into the good graces of the Kop.
Fabinho – 7 (60′)
A calming, controlled presence in the middle, Fabinho didn’t play with his normal gusto but he was also trying to avoid a booking, which may have led to a two-game ban. His headed assist back across the box for Jota’s first was a thing of beauty.
Jordan Henderson – 5
The captain helped stabilize things in the midfield with Trent moving forward and testing his new place and role. Very little else from Hendo despite the call to play all 90 minutes. A small pushing incident on the touchline late in the game was the only extra-curricular activity from the fiery leader.
Curtis Jones – 6 (81′)
Jones showed some fancy footwork with the ball as he roamed the left side in his fourth-consecutive start. An even-keeled performance as he finds his footing among the regulars for Klopp. More production and decisiveness with the ball will be needed out of him as playing time builds.
Mohammed Salah – 8
Largely inconsequential in the first half, the “Egyptian King” of Anfield showed great determination to put Liverpool in front after a great ball in from Trent while he was held and pulled back by a Forest defender. Another game winner for Mo!
Cody Gakpo – 6 (60′)
A potential goal got cleared off the line by Neco Williams in the first half that would have put Liverpool on the board. Creative passes in the attack were present but didn’t lead to goals.
Diogo Jota – 9 (81′)
Man of the Match
Two goals, his second consecutive Premier League brace, and two more that could’ve (should’ve?) found their way in. Jota missed a golden opportunity in the first half off a free kick from Trent with a header that missed the entire goal. He made up for it with a nice header that pin-balled around in the air just after halftime and again with a rocket off his left foot across the face of the hapless Navas.
Jurgen Klopp – 7
Job done, points secured. He left the lineup the same as Leeds and while the back end was exposed at times, the offense and use of Trent were enough to leave the Anfield crowd happy with a win.
Darwin Nunez (on for Gakpo, 60′) – 6
Not much of note other than drawing a foul near the box to set up a free kick. He also missed a headed chance and shot wide with his only other attempt.
Thiago (on for Fabinho, 60′) – 5
Controlled the play when on ball. Didn’t factor in much with limited touches.
Luis Diaz (on for Jota (81′) – 7
Great to see Lucho back on the pitch at Anfield. Seeing him fly around was a welcome sight for the home fans.
James Milner (on for Jones, 81′) – 7
The ageless James Milner made his 850th career club appearance and made sure things ended with a 3-2 win with tough play to finish the match.