Liverpool beat Forest to remain in top-four fight, in-form Villa held
Liverpool kept their outside shot at Champions League football next season alive as Diogo Jota scored twice in a 3-2 win over Nottingham Forest, while Aston Villa’s European charge stalled in a 1-1 draw at Brentford on Saturday.
At the other end of the Premier League table, Leicester came from behind to secure a first win in 11 games by beating Wolves 2-1 to move out of the relegation zone.
Liverpool thrashed Leeds 6-1 on Monday to rekindle their hopes of a late challenge for a top-four finish but made heavy work of overcoming a Forest side that had scored just five away goals all season prior to their visit to Anfield.
“The most important thing in football is obviously our results and fighting through this situation today and getting three points,”
“You just have to look in the dressing room, the boys are not silly – they know that we were not perfect – but they are really happy about that. It’s three super-important points.”Said Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Jota had not scored for a year prior to netting twice at Elland Road earlier in the week, but now has four goals in a week.
All of Liverpool’s goals came from set-pieces as they exposed some shocking Forest defending.
Jota twice put the Reds in front early in the second half, but Forest hit back through deflected efforts from Neco Williams and Morgan Gibbs-White.
However, the visitors twice conceded within three minutes of getting level as Mohamed Salah swept home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick for the winner 20 minutes from time.
Liverpool move up to seventh and within six points of fourth-placed Newcastle, who host Tottenham on Sunday.
Forest slip to second bottom, one point adrift of safety.
Villa are now unbeaten in nine games after coming from behind to salvage a point at Brentford.
Ivan Toney got the better of Ollie Watkins in the battle to be Harry Kane’s deputy as England’s number nine.
Toney fired home his 20th goal of the season at the back post from Bryan Mbuemo’s cross.
But Douglas Luiz equalised three minutes from time to keep Villa in sixth.
Leicester turning point?
Leicester shrugged off the absence of James Maddison through injury to secure a much-needed win in Dean Smith’s first home game in charge.
The Foxes had got off to a bad start as Matheus Cunha blasted Wolves into the lead.
But the game and potentially Leicester’s season turned when Jamie Vardy was brought down by Jose Sa and Kelechi Iheanacho levelled from the penalty spot eight minutes before half-time.
Timothy Castagne then slotted home Victor Kristiansen’s cross on 75 minutes for a priceless three points.
“That will give everybody a big lift given the form we were on,”
“To come from behind, after conceding a goal to another mistake, it’s very easy as a player to think everything is against you. There has been a lot of questions about our spirit – but I thought that (spirit) showed.”Said Smith.
Leicester’s win pulled Everton into the relegation zone on goal difference despite the Toffees’ 10 men holding on for a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.
Mason Holgate was sent-off 10 minutes from the end, but Palace could not extend Roy Hodgson’s winning run since returning to the club to four games.
Leeds are now just one point outside the relegation zone after they were beaten 2-1 at Fulham.
Javi Gracia’s decision to keep faith with under fire goalkeeper Illan Meslier backfired as the Frenchman was at fault for both Fulham goals in the second half, scored by Harry Wilson and Andreas Pereira.