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Klopp dismisses Forest complaints over Nunez winner

NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp claimed Darwin Nunez’s controversial late winner against Nottingham Forest was legitimate as Liverpool moved four points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.

Nunez marked his return from injury by heading home nine minutes into stoppage-time at the City Ground.

But the Uruguay forward’s decisive contribution left Forest furious after referee Paul Tierney had stopped play before the build-up to the goal for an apparent head injury to Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate.

Tierney blew with Forest in possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area and after Konate had quickly recovered, the official dropped the ball to Reds goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who then started the move that led to Nunez’s goal.

Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during the English Premier League match against Nottingham Forest at City ground in Nottingham, England. PHOTO: AP

“It happened exactly the same in the first half didn’t it? Exactly the same, just the other way round,” Klopp said.

“I accepted it would happen like that because it happened in the first half. If it didn’t happen in the first half, I would have asked the question as well.

“I would assume that’s the rule, I don’t know. But because it happened twice and got handled exactly the same, I don’t really see their reasons for a discussion.”

Earlier in the game, Tierney halted a Liverpool attack after Forest captain Ryan Yates was felled by Harvey Elliott’s shot and play resumed with goalkeeper Matz Sels taking possession.

“I understand 100 per cent the excitement and the anger of Nottingham, of course, they fought for everything. But it happened twice the same and was consistent,” Klopp said.

Nunez’s winner secured Liverpool their first league victory at the City Ground in almost 40 years.

The priceless success by the banks of the River Trent piled pressure on second-placed Manchester City and third-placed Arsenal, who play on Sunday and Monday against Manchester United and Sheffield United respectively.

Klopp admitted it had been a huge effort from his injury-hit squad, who have registered six straight wins in all competitions, including last Sunday’s League Cup final win over Chelsea.

“Four games in 11 days, come on. Five in 15,” Klopp said. “It’s really tough. With our squad situation it’s super-tough and how the boys fought through that is really special.

“The fourth game was the toughest. It was an unbelievable effort the boys put in. A proper, proper shift.

“If you had asked me 12 days ago if it was possible to win all four games, I’d have said no.”

 

 

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