Liverpool lost 1-0 to Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday, October 22.
The Reds arrived in Nottingham on the back of four wins and a defeat against Arsenal in their last five games across competitions. However, Jurgen Klopp's side was riddled with injuries as Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota, and Luis Diaz all remained sidelined.
Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were handed opportunities to start as strikers, while James Milner slotted in as the right-back.
Liverpool were by far the strongest of the two teams in the first half, showing why they have been a consistent top side over the last few years. They played a superior brand of football and created more chances than Nottingham Forest, who kept a narrow shape in defense. The hosts showed great determination as they thwarted the visitors.
Despite five attempts at goal, Liverpool only managed two on target. In contrast, Forest had three attempts which were all on target, forcing Alisson into action with three important saves. Salah and Virgil van Dijk had decent opportunities to put the Reds ahead but failed to capitalize.
The teams went into half-time deadlocked at 0-0.
Nottingham Forest looked the better of the two sides after the restart as they showed greater intent and hunger to score. They were rewarded after 55 minutes as Joe Gomez committed a silly foul and was booked. Taiwo Awoniyi made the most of the resulting move and scored with a second attempt to make it 1-0.
Managers in either dugout made alterations to their teams as they looked to change the dynamic of the game. Liverpool put together several passing moves and created chances to score from as van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold had opportunities in the second half.
Dean Henderson made a stunning save late in the game to deny van Dijk, sealing Liverpool's fate as the hosts secured a 1-0 win. That said, let's take a look at the five hits and flops from the game.
#5. Hit - James Milner
Milner was preferred over Trent Alexander-Arnold as Liverpool's starter for the game. He put in a courageous performance, rolling back the years considering the distance he covered and the intensity he played with.
He won all seven of his duels, making four tackles and one interception. He also played three key passes, four accurate crosses and three long balls. Despite his creative output, the Reds failed to convert their chances.
#4. Flop - Fabio Carvalho
Carvalho was handed a starting spot as Jurgen Klopp's side continue to struggle with injuries. However, he was unable to cope with the pace of the game and looked lackluster in the middle of the park.
He played for just over an hour but only had 28 touches of the ball and did not take up positions that were good enough. He also attempted four shots, with just one of them on target. He also won just three of his 12 duels.
#3. Hit - Taiwo Awoniyi
The former Liverpool academy player returned to haunt the Reds as he scored what turned out to be the winner for his side.
Awoniyi proved to be a menacing presence throughout the game as he kept the visitors' defense occupied. He attempted three shots, with two on target and the other one wide of the mark. He also won three of his seven duels.
#2. Flop - Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah was handed the opportunity to start the game from an advanced central position, forming a strike-pair with Roberto Firmino. However, they were both very ineffective as the Reds failed to convert any of the chances they created.
Salah attempted four shots, with two on target, one off target and one blocked. He had only 22 touches of the ball despite playing the entire game, showing how isolated he was during key moments in the game. Salah also failed to win a single duel.
#1. Hit - Dean Henderson
Henderson was the hero for Nottingham Forest, putting in another masterclass between the sticks. He made seven stunning saves to deny Liverpool any sight of goal.
His best and arguably most important save came in second-half stoppage-time as he denied Virgil van Dijk with an outstretched left hand to stop his header from crossing the line.
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