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Jürgen Klopp reaction says it all amid Liverpool boost as Paul Tierney controversy truth clear

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Liverpool won late on vs Nottingham Forest with Darwin Núñez scoring a stoppage-time winner. Jürgen Klopp’s reaction told you how big a moment it was for the Reds.

CITY GROUND, NOTTINGHAM // Liverpool could not have picked a more incredible way to win than this. And it was all very Darwin Núñez. The Uruguayan is all or nothing in front of goal, and on this occasion he managed to flip from one to another.

He wasn’t the only one, but Núñez had missed a couple of chances after coming on. But he, like Liverpool, simply did not give up. Even in the ninth minute of added time, the Reds kept going — and eventually found a way.

In some ways, you could argue that this was a more beneficial way to win even than a routine 2-0. The fact that Núñez produced the goods so late in the day must have left his teammates with some buzz.

In title races, you need big moments like that. Liverpool would hope to do things slightly earlier in the future, perhaps, but the three points were the only thing that mattered here. Up next: the visit to Anfield of Manchester City. Here are the three moments Liverpool.com picked out from the Reds’ late victory at the City Ground.

The Good

You can hardly look any further than Núñez’s goal, can you? That was, in truth, pretty much the only good thing that Liverpool did all afternoon in the final third, with chances missed by the likes of Cody Gakpo and Luis Díaz.

That goal, coming in the ninth minute of added time, could hardly have come at a bigger moment for Liverpool. Ahead of facing Manchester City next weekend, the Reds have ensured that they will go into that clash with a lead points-wise. Jürgen Klopp, his coaching team and the substitutes on the Reds’ bench leapt up into the air with joy (and most likely relief) when the goal went into the back of the net. As they sprinted down the touchline in celebration, the enormity of the moment became clear.

Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta must have been watching on and wondering whether this was the game that was one too far for Liverpool after a series of injuries and a grueling schedule. It looked that way for a long time, but in the end, the Reds somehow found a way. Núñez, it turned out, came back right at the perfect time.

The Bad

Liverpool looked jaded and tired for much of the game and didn’t create too many chances. Nottingham Forest had an equal part of the contest across the course of the 90 minutes but the Reds just about managed to tip the balance in their favor.

The Europa League game midweek might see one or two welcomed back from injury and Klopp’s side really could do with that. But the energy that this can provide should be massive. If anything can give you a boost in a title race, it is a late winner in those circumstances.

Liverpool has been here before, of course, and has gone on to win silverware in a similarly big way. Nothing is guaranteed, but there is no doubt that this was a huge moment for the Reds — and maybe Manchester City and Arsenal.

What else was bad? Well, Núñez getting a telling-off for not running back hard enough wasn’t great. But Klopp will no doubt have forgiven him now.

The Ugly

The scenes at the final whistle were not pleasant for referee Paul Tierney. Nottingham Forest — fans, players, owner, coaching staff and pretty much everyone else — felt that they should have got the ball back a minute or so before Núñez scored.

Tierney had stopped the play because Ibrahima Konaté was down injured inside the penalty area when Forest had the ball. But rather than drop it for Forest to play on when play restarted, he gave it to Caoimhín Kelleher.

The same thing had happened in the first half, with Liverpool conceding possession because of the referee. Those involved with Nottingham Forest, however, let their feelings be known regardless, and seemingly forgot the exact same scenario had played out half an hour or so earlier.

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