Nunez scores 99th-minute winner as Liverpool beat Forest

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Darwin Nunez’s header was the 22nd Premier League goal contribution from a Liverpool substitute this season

Darwin Nunez came off the bench to score a dramatic 99th-minute winner and send Liverpool four points clear at the top of the Premier League with victory at struggling Nottingham Forest.

As the game drifted past the eight added minutes announced by the fourth official, Nunez, playing his first game since suffering a muscle injury at Brentford on 17 February, found the bottom corner with a glancing header from Alexis Mac Allister’s cross, sparking bedlam on the Liverpool bench and in the stands.

While flares were lit in the away end and Jurgen Klopp celebrated wildly with his team, Forest players surrounded referee Paul Tierney at the final whistle.

Coach Steven Reid was shown a red card as they fumed at the decision to give Liverpool the ball after Ibrahima Konate went down with a head injury shortly before the goal.

Forest had possession when the game was stopped but the game restarted with the ball at the feet of Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher and the away side kept the ball, went down the other end and eventually found the winner.

It was Liverpool’s first league win at the City Ground since 1984 and ensures that they will be top of the table heading into next Sunday’s crucial match against champions Manchester City.

With the game goalless heading into the final seconds, and title rivals City and Arsenal still to play this weekend, Klopp’s side faced the prospect of falling to third by Monday night before Nunez’s last-gasp intervention.

Defeat for Forest leaves them just four points above Luton Town in the final relegation place having played two games more and with the outcome of their financial breach case still to be decided.

Forest had the best chance of a forgettable first half when former Liverpool forward Divock Origi’s through ball sent Anthony Elanga clean through but the attacker was denied by the outstretched left leg of Kelleher.

Luis Diaz and Andy Robertson came close for Liverpool either side of half-time before Elanga’s first-time shot fizzed wide at the end of a flowing Forest move.

As the away side continued pushed for a winner at the other end, clear chances were not forthcoming, but Liverpool kept going and were rewarded deep into stoppage time as Nunez expertly found the net.

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