Liverpool 3-2 Nottingham Forest: Player ratings as Mohamed Salah settles five-goal thriller at Anfield


Mohamed Salah scored the winner as Liverpool edged out Nottingham Forest 3-2 in a five-goal Premier League thriller at Anfield on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were twice tied as former Red Neco Williams and Morgan Gibbs-White canceled out goals from Diogo Jota.

But Salah’s 183rd Liverpool goal – moving him level with Robbie Fowler – sealed the points after 20 minutes.

The Reds are closing their gap on fourth-placed Newcastle United to six points having played a game more while ensuring their opponents stay inside the relegation zone.

Keylor Navas came to Forest’s rescue in the 26th minute with a superb reflex save to keep out Virgil van Dijk’s close-range header, while Williams thwarted Cody Gakpo on the line.

But the home team broke through within two minutes after the restart. Forest failed to clear the corner and Fabinho’s header was pushed back into the danger zone by home team Jota.

Forest responded well and equalized four minutes later after a flurry of moves saw Gibbs-White find Williams whose first-time shot was deflected past Andrew Robertson.

But Robertson turned provider as Liverpool regained the advantage inside four minutes, Jota taking advantage of sloppy defending to control his free-kick before firing a volley past Navas.

The former Real Madrid goalkeeper brilliantly denied Jota a hat-trick before Forest equalized again, Gibbs-White’s volley deflected into the bottom corner by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

However, Salah pushed the visitors back in front after 20 minutes as he reacted quickest to home Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick.

Substitute Brennan Johnson almost salvaged a point when he hit the crossbar as the Reds held on for victory.

What does it mean? Forest decline continues

Liverpool continued their dominance over Forest, against whom they are now unbeaten in 24 league games at Anfield.

Steve Cooper’s side are now 11 games without a win, their longest run in the Premier League since 19 without a win between September 1998 and January 1999.

Liverpool player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Alisson – 6/10 – Barely involved aside from picking the ball out the back of the net.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8/10 – A sensational threat with some unbelievable passing. Deserved plenty of assists but had to settle for one.

CB: Ibrahima Konate – 6/10 – Decent defensively but his reluctance to try things with the ball at his feet was a noticeable issue. Finally pulled that killer pass off in the second half and Jota nearly scored from it.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 6/10 – Had a sloppy start but slowly sorted himself out. A nice header to test Navas.

LB: Andy Robertson – 6/10 – Struggled up against the deep block. Wasn’t given the space to get in behind. Unlucky for the deflection but went straight down the other end and assisted Jota.

DM: Fabinho – 5/10 – Another whose attacking limitations were huge. Plenty of sideways passing without ever really trying to get anything going.

CM: Curtis Jones – 5/10 – Declined to make the cutting pass on a number of occasions.

CM: Jordan Henderson – 5/10 – The wrong skillset for this sort of game. Doesn’t have the passing range for a deep block.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 7/10 – Couldn’t get going in the first half but the open nature of the second half played into his hands.

ST: Cody Gakpo – 5/10 – Some nice runs to give Alexander-Arnold something to aim at, but couldn’t make the most of his opportunities.

LW: Diogo Jota – 7/10 – Looked isolated out wide and wasted a great chance to open the scoring late in the first half, but soon made up for it. Took his goals well.


Darwin Nunez (60′ for Gakpo) – 5/10

Thiago (60′ for Fabinho) – 5/10

Luis Diaz (81′ for Jota) – N/A

James Milner (81′ for Jones) – N/A


Jurgen Klopp – 5/10 – Got his starting lineup wrong and failed to calm the game down with his substitutions.

Nottingham Forest player ratings (3-4-2-1)

GK: Keylor Navas – 6/10 – Made some nice saves when Liverpool got through.

CB: Felipe – 6/10 – Enjoyed the battle that came from Alexander-Arnold’s crosses. Didn’t win every header but usually did enough to cause problems.

CB: Moussa Niakhate – 6/10 – Threw himself in front of everything to try and stop Liverpool from getting anything going.

CB: Scott McKenna – 6/10 – Put in a shift before being forced off early through injury.

RM: Neco Williams – 7/10 – Some excellent defensive work. Really looked up for the fight against his former club. A scrappy goal but absolutely deserved it.

CM: Orel Mangala – 7/10 – Did his defensive duties well to frustrate Liverpool.

CM: Remo Freuler – 6/10 – Glued himself to Fabinho and usually won the battle.

LM: Renan Lodi – 5/10 – Switched off the opening goal, undoing all his side’s hard work.

AM: Danilo – 4/10 – Had the job of man-marking Alexander-Arnold but couldn’t get anywhere near the right-back.

AM: Morgan Gibbs-White – 6/10 – Visibly low on confidence but his impressive volley might just fix that.

ST: Taiwo Awoniyi – 5/10 – Left on an island up front but nearly pulled off a gorgeous overhead kick.


Joe Worrall (30′ for McKenna) – 5/10

Brennan Johnson (76′ for Freuler) – 6/10

Emmanuel Dennis (87′ for Felipe) – N/A

Sam Surridge (87′ for Awoniyi) – N/A

Andre Ayew (87′ for Lodi) – N/A


Steve Cooper – 6/10 – Made the bold call to bench Johnson which looked like the right move in the first half. Will be questioned with hindsight but there’s no denying Forest put up a real fight here.

Player of the match – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *