Liverpool 3-0 Nottingham Forest
Premier League (10), Anfield
October 26, 2023
Goals: Jota 31′, Nunez 35′, Salah 77′
Alisson (out of 10) – 7
When he was called into action, he was typically calm, but far bigger tests lie ahead for him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
On a day when so many Liverpool players were excellent, Alexander-Arnold was good.
He was booked for a late tackle in the first half, and was a little loose in possession by his high standards, but he defended solidly.
Ibrahima Konate – 7
Konate was another who came back into the starting lineup, as he looks to enjoy a sustained run after yet more injuries troubles.
The Frenchman strolled through proceedings against Forest, threading some nice passes into the midfield and using his pace well, when needed.
The high line feels so much secure with Ibou in the team.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
Van Dijk’s form this season has been fantastic – some would argue he is even back to his very best – and he was superb on Sunday.
He marshalled the troops expertly in the high line, and produced a few turns of pace that some lazily think he no longer possesses.
A colossal player.
Kostas Tsimikas – 7
Tsimikas has looked comfortably inferior to Andy Robertson since coming into the side, but he was largely good here.
Granted, he wasn’t exactly tested defensively, but he provided energy down the left flank and came through the contest without any scares.
Linked nicely with Gravenberch in his left-sided No. 8 berth.
Alexis Mac Allister – 8
A lot has been made of Mac Allister in the No. 6 role this season, but he was really impressive against Forest, biting into tackles all afternoon.
Not only that, but the 24-year-old was great on the ball, keeping things ticking over and using it with purpose, as he continues to grow in his new position.
A footballer brimming with intelligence – won the ball back before Darwin Nunez doubled Liverpool’s lead.
Dominik Szoboszlai – 9 (Man of the Match)
Honestly, it’s impossible to stop praising this man!
Szoboszlai was sensational on Sunday afternoon, completing bossing the midfield battle and looking like the complete footballer that he is.
The 23-year-old teed up Nunez and Mohamed Salah with assists, and was near-perfect in everything he did, combining technical quality, power and work-rate.
Liverpool’s best midfield signing since Xabi Alonso.
Ryan Gravenberch – 7
Starting a third match in succession, Gravenberch was again impressive, even if others caught the eye more.
He lost the ball a few times early on, but grew into the game impressively, always looking forward-thinking in possession and linking well with those around him.
He’s only going to get better the more he adjusts to Jurgen Klopp‘s style of play.
Mohamed Salah – 8
Salah has been purring this season, scoring and assisting at a typically relentless rate, and his creative side shone throughout at home to Forest.
The Egyptian King was heavily involved in the buildup play, looking to play team-mates in with his underrated passing, and he played a key role in Nunez’s strike.
Got his customary goal, making it eight in 10 Premier League outings in 2023/24 to date.
Diogo Jota – 7
With Luis Diaz unavailable, it was Jota who took up his left-sided role, and it was an industrious outing from the Portuguese.
After having an early header saved, the forward opened the scoring from close-range, taking his tally for the season to six.
Other than that, he was always a threat with his direct running, while his tribute to Diaz after his goal was a lovely gesture.
Darwin Nunez – 9
With each passing week, the more superb Nunez looks, and he was a standout figure this time out.
It felt like he was involved in everything good about the Reds’ attacking play, being denied before Jota tapped home, and then making it 2-0 with a good finish.
Tried an outrageous overhead kick for good measure, and looks like someone loving his football. Received a standing ovation.
Harvey Elliott (on for Gravenberch, ’59) – 7
Denied by a last-ditch block straight after coming on. Lively.
Cody Gakpo (on for Jota, ’59) – 6
Couldn’t really get into the game – short of his best at the moment. Saw a late goal ruled out for offside.
Wataru Endo (on for Nunez, ’80) – 6
Fairly quiet cameo from the Japanese.
Joe Gomez (on for Alexander-Arnold, ’89) – 6
No time to make an impact.
Subs not used: Adrian, Kelleher, Matip, Chambers, McConnell
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Klopp has cut such a happy figure of late, but he had to be focused after what he admitted was a tough night surrounding the events in Colombia involving Diaz’s parents.
The manager saw a dominant performance out of his Liverpool team, though, with 73 percent of possession and some lovely football on show.
Klopp got his starting lineup correct, with the late decision to use Jota on the left paying off, and it was hard to criticise anything he did on the day.
This is a Liverpool side with genuine Premier League title aspirations, and the boss knows it after looking subdued at times last season.