English Roundup: Liverpool score deep in stoppage time, extend EPL lead

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at City ground in Nottingham, England, Saturday, March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

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 last weekend.

“If you’d told me 12 days ago we would win all four games, I would have said no chance — it was impossible,” said Klopp, who will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season after nearly nine years. “In the circumstances, winning the games is ridiculous.”

Second-placed Manchester City will look to restore the gap to Liverpool to one point by beating Manchester United at home in the derby on Sunday. Then, next for Liverpool and City in the league: A seismic meeting at Anfield.

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.

“What the boys have squeezed out was special,” Klopp said.

“This game didn’t go easy for us. We didn’t have a great rhythm and the boys felt the intensity for the first time.”

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. Eight minutes of time was officially added on by the referee, which was perhaps the cause of Forest’s complaints along with a potential infringement in Liverpool’s area in stoppage time.

Arsenal, which was a point behind City in third, visits last-placed Sheffield United on Monday.

SPURS RECOVER

In the race for Champions League qualification, fifth-placed Tottenham came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-1 and trim the gap to Aston Villa to two points. Villa visited Luton later on Saturday.

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 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.

FANS TURN ON POCHETTINO

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.

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.

OTHER RESULTS

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.

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