Sunday 23 June 2024
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FA Cup: Nottingham Forest 0 – 1 Liverpool

A heroic effort by the Reds at the City Ground not enough to take them forward to the semi-finals.

Reds suffer narrow defeat to Liverpool in Emirates FA Cup quarter final

Diogo Jota goal the difference in tight encounter at The City Ground

Head Coach Steve Cooper named one change to the side which beat QPR 3-1 in midweek with Scott McKenna missing out through injury.

Joe Lolley replaced the defender to make his first start since November, as The Reds switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Joe Worrall partnering Tobias Figueiredo at the back.

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Inside the first two minutes, Liverpool forced the game’s first corner which was headed well away by Keinan Davis. Shortly after, the forward released Johnson down the left and the forward saw a low cross deflect into Alisson’s gloves.

On seven minutes, a neat exchange in midfield allowed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to pull off a shot which was well blocked by Tobias Figueiredo.

Down the other end, good work by Zinckernagel resulted in a cross in from the byline which found its way to Joe Lolley at the far post, but the winger’s pull back was inches away from finding Davis in the centre.

Diogo Jota was slipped through one-on-one in the tenth minute but Joe Worrall prevented the Portuguese forward from getting a shot away with an excellently-timed challenge.

Joe Gomez broke into the box a minute later and fizzed in a low cross, but the delivery was behind Jota as the attack died down.

In the 14th minute, Kostas Tsimikas latched onto Roberto Firmino’s flick and sent a dangerous half-volley just over the crossbar.

In what was a lively opening 15 minutes on Trentside, a quick break released Zinckernagel down the left who squared for Yates and the midfielder’s shot deflected wide for a corner. Liverpool headed away the resulting delivery only as far as James Garner who fired over from the edge of the box.

Horvath was then called into action when he comfortably held Oxlade-Chamberlain’s effort from distance.

On 20 minutes, Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled in a low cross from a corner and Fabinho skewed an effort wide of the goal.

Spence then cut out Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low cross which then began a counter attack. Zinckernagel turned away on halfway and picked out Lolley to his right, with the winger cutting onto his left foot and driving an effort just wide.

In the 27th minute, Liverpool were presented with their best chance of the half when Firmino was sent through one-on-one with only Horvath to beat, but the American stood firm to deny the Brazilian’s dinked effort.

On the half hour, Oxlade-Chamberlain drove from midfield into the area and teed a cross up to the far post which was too high for Jota.

Tsimikas intercepted a pass out the back from Lolley and delivered a cross towards the far post where Harvey Elliott acrobatically flicked the ball back for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the midfielder blazed a volley over the bar.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening 45 minutes but were unable to break down a resolute Forest defence as the teams remained goalless at the interval.

HALF-TIME: Forest 0-0 Liverpool

The second half began with no changes made for either side at the interval.

Five minutes into the second half, a poor clearance by Alisson ricocheted back off Garner into Davis, but the striker couldn’t get the ball off his feet to get a shot away.

Spence showed excellent pace to latch onto Garner’s through ball before seeing a corss deflect for a corner which was cleared by Liverpool.

The visitors’ first chance of the half fell the way of Jota who was played in inside the area, but his tame curling effort was held easily by Horvath.

Shortly before the hour mark, Elliott’s cross was deflected into the path of Gomez whose volley was kept out at Horvath’s near post. Gomez was then the first player booked for hacking down Johnson on the left channel.

Jürgen Klopp then made four changes in the 63rd minute as Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Luiz Diaz and Takumi Minamino replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ellliott, Fabinho and Keita.

Steve Cooper also made his first change as Cafu replaced Lolley, with Johnson moving out wide onto the right and Zinckernagel moving across to the left flank.

The two teams were nicely poised as the game headed towards the 75-minute mark, as Johnson received the ball on the right and tried to pick out Davis with a cross, only for Alisson to claim.

The Reds then created their best opportunity of the match in the 76th minute. Johnson was sent away down the right and his cross picked out Zinckernagel who fired a yard wide of the post with a first-time effort.

Cooper made two more changes straight after, with Davis being replaced by Sam Surridge and Alex Mighten replacing Zinckernagel.

In the 78th minute, it was Liverpool who broke the deadlock. Tsimikas checked inside Spence and his delivery from the left picked out Jota who converted at the far post. VAR checked for a possible offside, but the goal was given.

With five minutes remaining, The Reds had major appeals for a penalty waved away. Garner played Yates with an excellent reverse pass and the midfielder looked to round Alisson before going down under the challenge of the Brazilian goalkeeper.

Referee Pawson waved away The Reds’ appeals though, awarding a goalkick as VAR chose not to intervene.

The Reds continued to push for an equaliser and came close in the 88th minute when Johnson checked inside and dinked a cross into Yates who headed straight at Alisson.

Five minutes were added on at the end of the second half as Steve Cooper made his fourth change of the night when Xande Silva replaced Jack Colback.

In the third minute of second half added time, Figueiredo lofted the ball into the area for Cafu who blazed a shot just over from a tight angle.

Liverpool looked to hit The Reds on the counter but Jota sent his effort way over the crossbar from inside the area.

Despuite waves of Forest pressure in the second half, the visitors held on as The Reds bowed out of the competition at the quarter final stage.

The City Ground crowd gave the Forest players a standing ovation as an excellent Emirates FA Cup campaign came to an end for Steve Cooper’s side.

FULL-TIME: Forest 0-1 Liverpool


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