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Nunez header sinks Forest

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LIVERPOOL 1 – 0 NOTTM FOREST

London, March 3: Exhausted, injury-hit and relying on a bunch of academy prospects, Liverpool continues to pull off victories in the business end of Jurgen Klopp’s final season in charge.
No English Premier League win by the Reds has been sealed as late as the one at Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Uruguay striker Darwin Nunez came off the bench and glanced home a header in the ninth minute of stoppage time to sink Forest 1-0 and move Liverpool four points clear.
It was a sixth straight win in all competitions for Liverpool – and a fourth in an 11-day span that included an extra-time victory over Chelsea in the English League Cup final.
Even though Liverpool’s injuries are relenting somewhat, the likes of Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones are still missing. Klopp started 19-year-old Bobby Clark in midfield alongside redeployed defender Joe Gomez. Jayden Danns, an 18-year-old forward, came on as a second-half substitute for his league debut.
There were angry scenes among Forest players and coaching staff after the final whistle, with even club owner Evangelos Marinakis coming down to the touchline to express his unhappiness and later approach referee Paul Tierney.Eight minutes of time added on was officially awarded by the referee, which was perhaps the cause of Forest’s complaints along with unhappiness that the hosts did not get the ball back when play was stopped after Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate sustained a knock to the head at a Forest corner just before the goal.
Tierney blew with Forest in possession on the edge of Liverpool’s area. After Konate quickly recovered, Tierney dropped the ball to Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who then started the attack that eventually led to the goal.
“The law states that, if the referee is going to stop the game – which he is entitled to for a head injury – the ball has to go back to the team that has possession,” said Mark Clattenburg, a former Premier League referee who has become a referee analyst at Forest.
Arsenal, a point behind City in third, visits last-placed Sheffield United on Monday.
Chelsea couldn’t give Mauricio Pochettino a victory on his 52nd birthday. Instead, the Argentine manager found himself at the receiving end of the ire of the fans in a 2-2 draw at Brentford.
When Yoane Wissa put Brentford 2-1 ahead with a spectacular overhead kick in the 69th, Chelsea’s away contingent began singing the name of former manager Jose Mourinho as well as calling for Pochettino to go.
“I was asked before if I feel the love from the fans – no,” Pochettino said after the game. The Blues rescued a point through Axel Disasi’s header from Cole Palmer’s cross in the 83rd but there was little for them to celebrate, with the team languishing in 11th place.
Aston Villa responded to Tottenham’s come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace by scoring an 89th-minute winner at Luton to stay in charge of the race for fourth place.
Lucas Digne headed in the clinching goal for Villa in a 3-2 win at Kenilworth Road after the visitors squandered a 2-0 lead.
Villa is in fourth place, five points above Tottenham but having played one game more.Fifth spot could yet earn a Champions League qualification berth for next season, depending on English clubs’ record in European competitions in the upcoming months. Spurs are six points ahead of Man United in sixth.
Tottenham produced a dazzling spell of three goals in 11 second-half minutes against Palace after falling behind to Eberechi Eze’s curling free kick in the 59th.
Timo Werner – with his first goal for Tottenham – Cristian Romero and Son Heung-min netted for the hosts.Ollie Watkins scored in the 24th and 38th minutes for Villa to move onto 16 goals in the league, behind only Man City’s Erling Haaland on 17.
Third-from-last Luton replied with goals by Tahith Chong and Carlton Morris.There were 3-0 home wins for Newcastle and Fulham against Wolverhampton and Brighton, respectively, while West Ham won at Everton 3-1 thanks to two stoppage-time goals. (AP)

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