1709422590 Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 1 Was this the kind of

Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 1: Was this the kind of win the champions got? – The briefing

Somehow Liverpool always finds a way.

An afternoon that was sure to end in frustration ended in frantic, joyous celebrations as Darwin Nunez secured a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest in the final minute of stoppage time.

This means Liverpool extends its lead at the top of the table to four points ahead of Manchester City's game against Manchester United tomorrow and Arsenal at Sheffield United on Monday.

We analyze the key talking points of another remarkable day.

Leggy Liverpool does it again (somehow)

On an afternoon where there was very little going on for Liverpool in the final third, Nunez came to the rescue.

So often late goals define the title race and if ever there was a moment that suggested Liverpool would clinch the Premier League title in May, it would be this one.

The celebration in the away game when Nunez nodded to Alexis Mac Allister's cross in the final eight minutes of added time told its own story: flares were shot into the air and fans rushed onto the pitch.

Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 1 Was this the kind of

Darwin Nunez heads in (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

It really felt like a milestone – especially given that it looked like Liverpool's injuries were finally catching up with them.

Given their performances over the last six days in cup competitions and the many key players missing, their performance seemed a bit tired. They dominated possession and mostly only created half chances.

Luis Diaz was Liverpool's most threatening attacker in the first half, while Cody Gakpo struggled to influence the game and both Mac Allister and Harvey Elliott were neat and tidy but lacked real creativity.

However, for the first time in a long time, Jürgen Klopp had top attacking options from the bench and one of them – Nunez – made the difference.

When standards are so high at the top of the table, a draw would have been a blow to Liverpool's title hopes. That just underlines the impression that this season could be something very special.

Liverpool were expected to win this game. They have a chance to regain control of their destiny next weekend against City at Anfield, but they need more players back and a much improved performance.

Nottingham Forest 0 Liverpool 1 Was this the kind of

The Nottingham Forest vs Liverpool match dashboard shows the threat timeline, territory, match stats, shot maps and passing networks.

Klopp needs fit midfielders to start

Joe Gomez's introduction to the No.6 role went well against Southampton midweek, but playing in the same role against Nottingham Forest proved a much tougher test.

Liverpool's role as No.6 requires them to set the pace when in possession. Although Gomez wasn't afraid to try, he's understandably not the most gifted footballer compared to Mac Allister in that role. The passing and movement wasn't as sharp as it could have been at times – particularly in the first half. Mac Allister also repeatedly dropped deeper to advance the ball, but this left Liverpool with only one attacker left.

It was also more of a challenge defensively, with Morgan Gibbs-White a menacing presence throughout and Gomez getting caught a few times picking up fouls in bad areas.

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Joe Gomez stepped in as number 6 for Liverpool (Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

To his credit, Gomez has once again grown into the game and the role. From his position he controlled the game much better in the second half as Liverpool increased the pressure and cornered Nottingham Forest.

This is a difficult role – a point made clear when Forest still had threatening moments on the counterattack after the substitution of Wataru Endo, which allowed Gomez to move to the left-back position.

Ultimately, it became clear how much Endo, Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai will be missed when no one is available to start. Klopp will be hoping it's an issue he won't have to deal with for much longer.

Clark shines again

Since the start of 2024, Bobby Clark has overcome every challenge put before him.

First it was a substitute appearance at Arsenal in the FA Cup in January, then another in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea and then a full 90 minutes in the FA Cup against Southampton on Wednesday.

His final challenge was Klopp handing him his first Premier League start and, as has been the case throughout, he didn't look out of place.

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Bobby Clark impressed again (Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

That was evident early on when he cornered Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates, a moment of outrageous skill that laid the foundation for a confident and composed performance.

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He was always part of the game and showed possession of the ball in all areas. He dropped deep and drove forward, and he was a presence around the penalty area.

The only minor point of criticism was his lack of conviction when he had the ball in the penalty area in promising situations. Overall, it was another big step in Clark's development. Obviously Klopp trusts him enough to start a Premier League game, but that trust will only have increased after today's performance.

What's next for Liverpool?

Thursday March 7th: Sparta Prague (A), Europa League Round of 16 first leg, 5:45pm UK, 12:45pm ET

Liverpool restart their European campaign with a trip to the Czech league leaders. The teams have only met once in their history – another Europa League draw, this time in 2011, when Liverpool won 1-0 on aggregate.

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(Top photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)