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Diogo Jota (78)
The City Ground
Nottingham Forest v Liverpool Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
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That concludes our coverage of the FA Cup fixture between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool! We hope you’ve enjoyed it!
Nottingham Forest are back in action after the international break against Blackpool in the Championship on April 2, while Liverpool host Watford in the Premier League on the same day.
Liverpool were made to work extremely hard for the result but they ultimately found the breakthrough, narrowly getting by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup quarter-finals thanks to Jota’s toe-poked finish after 78 minutes. It seemed a matter of time until the visitors would find the opening goal such was their superiority, but Cooper’s side kept the opposition honest, occasionally hitting on a rapid counter-attack through Johnson or Davis. The best chance of the game for the hosts fell to Zinckernagel at 0-0 but he was unable to convert from close range, giving Jota a chance to seal the deal two minutes later. The win sees Liverpool go on to the semi-finals where they will play Manchester City, while the competition comes to an end for Forest.
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FULL-TIME: NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-1 LIVERPOOL.
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Jota looks to double the lead in the closing seconds with a shot across his body from inside the 18 yard box but he gets his angles wrong and misses the target by some distance.
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Liverpool have won just two of their last eight FA Cup matches away from home (D2 L4), with the Reds conceding at least twice in six of those games. Each of their three matches this season have come at Anfield.
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Silva comes in for Colback as we enter injury time.
The fourth official indicates five minutes will be added to the end of the 90 for stoppages.
Johnson gets away from Tsimikas and drives into the penalty area before putting a cross into a central position for Yates, who can only direct his header straight towards Alisson.
Alisson comes off his line and sticks an arm out to try and punch the ball away from the foot of Yates, who immediately goes over in hopes of a penalty decision. The referee and VAR are in lock-step with both feeling as though the midfielder left his leg dangling to initiate contact as Liverpool restart play with a goal-kick.
Liverpool have progressed from/won eight different ties across the League Cup (5) and FA Cup (3) this season. Not since 2011-12 have the Reds made it through more rounds across England’s domestic cup competitions (11), when they won the League Cup and finished as runners-up in the FA Cup under Kenny Dalglish.
Nottingham Forest are appealing for a free-kick after Cafu’s cross appeared to strike the arm of Henderson but neither the referee nor the linesman are convinced as they allow play to continue.
Liverpool punish their opposition, who only minutes before had an opportunity to take the lead for themselves. There was some question of offside in the build-up for Jota's goal, but the winger was deemed to have begun the move in an onside position thanks to the shoulder of Figueiredo.
Tsimikas finally finds the connection he's been looking for all match as he provides the assist for Jota.
LIVERPOOL TAKE THE LEAD! 1-0! Tsimikas wraps a right-footed cross to the far post looking for the run of Jota, who does just enough to remain onside before lunging at the delivery and steering it past Horvath with a toe!
Zinckernagel's missed opportunity is the last chance he'll get as Mighten is brought on in midfield.
Surridge replaces Davis in attack with 13 minutes left in regulation.
THE OPPORTUNITY GOES BEGGING! Johnson is released down the right ahead of Tsimikas, before playing a lovely ball around the corner in-behind the Liverpool defence six yards from goal. Zinckernagel is the man on the spot and he hits a bouncing volley that narrowly misses the target at the far corner!
Henderson continues Liverpool’s ball movement from right to left in the attacking-third prompted by Minamino, but Tsimikas can do little more than stick a boot out at the ball - allowing for an easy interception by Colback.
Tsimikas is dispossessed on the wing by Johnson, who has plenty of time and space to pick out a team-mate with a cross. It’s eventually hoisted into the danger area but it’s dealt with easily by Alisson.
Davis looks to take on Konate in a race for the loose ball but the centre-back does just enough to prod it to Van Dijk, who immediately launches it forward for the run of Minamino.
This is Nottingham Forest’s first FA Cup quarter-final match since the 1995-96 campaign, when they lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa. Forest last reached the semi-final of the competition in 1990-91, when they eventually lost in the final to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Nottingham Forest supporters will be pleased that they’ve managed to remain level with Liverpool for more than an hour, but it’s been a little while since the hosts have had a prolonged spell of possession resulting in any danger on Alisson’s goal. The changes will no doubt spur Klopp’s side on as they look to wrap up the result in 90 minutes.
Nottingham Forest reply with a change of their own, with Cooper sending Cafu on for Lolley.
Fabinho also makes way as the visitors make four alterations in one go. Thiago is sent on in his place.
Henderson is in for Keita as Liverpool continue to change things around in midfield.
Minamino's two goals won Liverpool their last FA Cup match against Norwich and he'll get a chance to settle the quarter-finals as well as he's brought on for Elliott.
Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn't look too pleased as he's brought off by Klopp, with Diaz his replacement.
A Nottingham Forest attack down the right comes to a disappointing end as a passing move following a throw-in puts Davis in an offside position - allowing Liverpool to make personnel changes.
The free-kick is taken short by Garner to Zinckernagel, whose tame eventual effort is nothing more than catching practise for Alisson.
Gomez receives the first yellow card of the match for pushing over Johnson on the left wing - giving Forest a free-kick in a dangerous location.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner is flicked to the far post for Van Dijk, who has the time to control it with his chest before putting it back into the centre of the penalty area with a volley. Jota looks to redirect the cross past Horvath put the goalkeeper risest highest to claim the ball.
Gomez drives forward and looks to put a cross in the area but Johnson follows him the whole way to the byline and does enough to turn the delivery behind for a corner.
Jota cuts inside from the left and curls a tame shot that’s smothered well by Horvath, who prevents a potentially dangerous rebound.
A poor corner from Garner sees it immediately repelled by Jota, who puts it out on the Nottingham Forest right for a throw in an attacking position.
Elliott is forced out by a covering Garner, who tracks out to the wing to curb the run of the Liverpool forward. Without any options, he’s forced to take the ball out of bounds in front of the technical area - giving the hosts a throw-in.
Davis looks to have a strike at goal from 18 yards out with his left foot but instead chooses to continue the attack by playing it out to the wing for Johnson. The wide player looks to play a low cross into the centre of the area looking for his striker but a good slide from Gomez disrupts the connection.
Nottingham Forest get the match restarted from the kick-off!
Klopp will be assured of his side’s eventual breakthrough, though he has more than enough quality on the bench to prompt a goal should the starting XI need a change. With the pace and skill of Diaz and in-form Minamino lying in wait - the Forest defence cannot get too complacent with proceedings. Cooper could look to switch the attack with Surridge a potential entrant from the bench while Zinckernagel’s inability to get involved in the play could see him withdrawn for Cafu.
A tight first-half at the City Ground comes to a close with Nottingham Forest and Liverpool locked in a 0-0 draw. Liverpool were no doubt in the ascendancy for most of the match, growing in confidence and danger as the half wore on but were unable to take advantage of their superiority in both shots and time on the ball. A number of well-timed Forest tackles thwarted Klopp’s attack, while Tsimikas’ inability to hit the target has stifled Liverpool’s otherwise unimpeded forrays down the left. Cooper’s side have held their shape well and gone forward once or twice looking to trouble Alisson, but Lolley and Johnson haven’t done enough to bring Zinckernagel and Davis into play.
HALF-TIME: NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-0 LIVERPOOL.
Lolley gives the ball away to Tsimikas just outside the penalty area and the left-back immediately switches play to the far post for Elliott. The winger can only lunge to keep the ball in play for Gomez - which he does but the right-back squanders the chance by hitting an effort over the crossbar.
This is the first FA Cup meeting between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool since the 1988-89 semi-final, when the Reds’ won 3-1 at Old Trafford en route to winning the trophy. Overall, Liverpool have progressed from six of their seven FA Cup ties against Nottingham Forest, failing only in the first such meeting in February 1895.
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner is hit into the feet of Konate, who can’t make it stick as it’s sent back out to the flag on the right-hand side. The midfielder gets a second chance at a delivery but it’s cleared by Davis, who again is there to do his defensive duties.
Cooper appears to have made a tactical change to his side, with Nottingham Forest switching from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-2-3-1. Colback and Spence drop to more orthodox full-back roles with Figueiredo and Worral the centre-back pairing. Garner and Yates still sit in midfield behind Zinckernagel with Johnson and Lolley either side of the attacking midfielder.
Horvath boots the ball extremely quickly after gathering a Liverpool cross, looking to free Davis while catching the visitors off-guard. It’s a great idea but the delivery is put slightly too far as Alisson is able to come out of his goal to collect it.
A promising Nottingham Forest attack comes to an end on the left after a fantastic Lolley switch, with Johnson unable to bring down the pass giving Liverpool a chance to relieve the pressure in their half.
A loose pass in midfield from Nottingham Forest allows Keita to steal possession back for his side in front of the opposition’s penalty area. He shifts the ball to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who executes a first-time chip into the penalty area for Jota but Colback does enough to hold off the forward to allow his goalkeeper to collect the inaccurate delivery.
Tsimikas has another go from range and again he fails to find the target as the left-back continues to struggle to find his aim.
Forest are enjoying a rare spell of extended possession, moving the ball about from right to left and back again before returning it to the defence. More than anything it looks as though they’re collectively looking to gather their breath after an uptempo first 30 minutes.
Van Dijk launches a ball long into the channel for Tsimikas, who keeps the ball rolling for Jota. The Portugal international looks to bring it down under his control and burst towards goal but Worrall wins possession back physically but fairly.
Tsimikas varies his corner-kick delivery by putting it on the edge of the six-yard box but Figueiredo uses his stature to beat Jota to the ball.
Oxlade-Chamberlain weaves his way into the penalty area with a good bit of close-control dribbling and squares it for Keita, who is put off by the presence of the covering Spence. The chance surely would’ve resulted in a shot on target from the midfielder if not for the awareness of the wing-back.
Liverpool are winless in their last 12 away games against Nottingham Forest in all competitions (D7 L5), since a 2-0 victory in October 1984. It’s the Reds’ longest current winless away run against an opponent, while they last had a longer run against a side vs Arsenal (14 between 2000 and 2011).
Elliott’s trickery leaves him on the ground as he’s on the end of a Garner sliding challenge after putting the ball through the midfielder’s legs. It’s a nifty bit of skill that earns the young Liverpool winger a free-kick.
The visitors again attack down the left through Tsimikas, who gets forward before firing a low cross that’s blocked well by Spence and put out for a throw.
GOOD HIT! Tsimikas gets on the end of Firmino’s backheel flick on the left wing and takes a touch to settle the bouncing ball somewhat before hammering a volley that dips too late as it flies narrowly over the crossbar.
Again Tsimikas takes a Liverpool corner from the left into the near post and again it’s cleared enthusiastically by an expectant Davis.
GREAT TACKLE! Jota breaks into the penalty area and looks to have time for a strike from point-blank range but Worrall comes sliding through from the side and gets just enough of the ball to deny the forward’s claims of a penalty!
Elliott gets onto the ball inside the penalty area and cuts inside before laying it off down the right for Gomez. The defender immediately whips a cross into the near post but Horvath makes a comfortable catch.
Gomez gets forward from his position at right-back and lays the ball off to Oxlade-Chamberlain 20 yards from goal. With only one thing in mind, the midfielder lines up and whacks a shot towards goal but it’s blocked comprehensively by Figueiredo.
Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Manchester City will all be eagerly awaiting the result of this match, with the three Premier League sides already qualified for the semi-finals at Wembley. It would be a first appearance at the ground should Nottingham Forest slip past Liverpool, while Jurgen Klopp’s side seem perennial visitors.
Tsimikas whips Liverpool’s first corner of the match to the near post looking for Jota’s flick-on but Davis wins his duel and gets to the ball first to clear the danger.
Liverpool get the match underway from the kick-off!
Liverpool make five alterations to the side that beat Norwich 2-1 in the last round of the cup on March 2. James Milner isn’t with the squad which provides a spot for Van Dijk in defence - pushing Gomez to right-back. Keita and Fabinho replace Jones and Henderson respectively in midfield while there’s no room for Origi and Minamino - with Firmino and Elliot getting the nod.
Nottingham Forest make four changes from the XI that beat Huddersfield in the fifth round of the cup on March 7. Steve Cook and Scott McKenna are unavailable, leaving spots in defence for Colback and Figueiredo, while Lolley gets a start on the left wing thanks to an injury to Max Lowe. The final switch is in attack where Davis, and not Surridge, partners Johnson.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: Thiago, Joel Matip, Adrian, Curtis Jones, Luis Diaz, Divock Origi, Jordan Henderson, Owen Beck, Takumi Minamino.
LIVERPOOL XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil Van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas; Naby Keita, Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Harvey Elliott, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST SUBS: Braian Ojeda, Sam Surridge, Alex Mighten, Brice Samba, Xande Silva, Richie Laryea, Gaetan Bong, Cafu, Loic Mbe Soh.
NOTTINGHAM FOREST XI (3-4-1-2): Ethan Horvath; Jack Colback, Tobias Figueiredo, Joe Worrall; Joe Lolley, James Garner, Ryan Yates, Djed Spence; Philip Zinckernagel; Keinan Davis, Brennan Johnson.
With 15 minutes to go before kick-off, let’s take a look at how the two sides will be lining up - starting with our hosts!
Liverpool can take one step closer to a much mythologised quadruple with a win against Nottingham Forest in their first meeting since a 2-2 draw in the Premier League in 1999. The Reds continue to put pressure on Manchester City at the top of the league while maintaining a cup run that has seen them beat Shrewsbury Town, Cardiff City and most recently Norwich.
Nottingham Forest are faced with a third Premier League side in their four rounds of the FA Cup, dispatching both Arsenal and Leicester City before a 2-1 win over Huddersfield punched their ticket to the quarter-finals. Undefeated in their last nine matches in all competitions with six wins in that time, Steve Cooper’s side haven’t let their deep cup run get in the way of a potential promotion push, sitting just three points outside the play-offs.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE commentary of the FA Cup quarter-final fixture between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool!