Liverpool’s Premier League title challenge suffered another massive blow in a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest as Erling Haaland returned Manchester City to winning ways in a 3-1 victory over Brighton.
City’s first defeat of the season to Liverpool last weekend looked to have kick-started the Reds’ season, but Jurgen Klopp’s depleted side slumped to a shock defeat at the City Ground.
Forest began the day bottom of the table, but their first win since August lifted Steve Cooper’s men to within one point of safety.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who spent six years at Liverpool without making an appearance, scored the only goal 10 minutes into the second half.
“To score against Liverpool is a day I will never forget,” said Awoniyi.
Without the injured Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz and with Thiago Alcantara missing due to illness, Liverpool lacked the guile to break Forest down from open play.
But they did have plenty of opportunities from set-pieces as Virgil van Dijk was denied by a stunning save from Dean Henderson deep into stoppage time.
“How we cannot score from the set-pieces, I have no idea,” said Klopp. “That’s it pretty much. So the performance I can explain, the result not really.”
Defeat leaves Liverpool still down in seventh, 11 points adrift of leaders Arsenal having played a game more.
Haaland back in business
Normal service was resumed at the Etihad as City moved to within a point of the top with Haaland taking his tally for the season to 22.
The Norwegian failed to score for the first time in 10 games at club level at Anfield last weekend, but quickly made amends by showing his immense pace and power to latch onto Ederson’s long ball, round Robert Sanchez and barrel Adam Webster off the ball to tap into an empty net.
Haaland then smashed home his 17th Premier League goal of the campaign from the penalty spot.
Brighton are still to win under new boss Roberto De Zerbi but did push the champions back after the break when Leandro Trossard fired in at the near post.
But another piece of City brilliance, this time from Kevin De Bruyne, killed the game off as the Belgian curled in from outside the box.
Everton ended a run of three straight defeats by beating Crystal Palace 3-0 at Goodison Park.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s return from injury is a huge boost for Frank Lampard’s men and the England international showed quick feet to fire home his first goal of the season early on.
Anthony Gordon then tapped in the second just after the hour mark before Dwight McNeil rounded off the scoring six minutes from time.
Victory lifts the Toffees above Palace on goal difference into 11th.
Manchester United have the chance to leapfrog Chelsea into the top four when the sides face off later in Saturday’s marquee game.
Syrian Kurds stop joint operations with US against IS group due to Turkish attacks
Inspirational Adams: USA’s leader on & off pitch
‘He will cry’: Ghana fans relish World Cup revenge against Suarez