Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest

Premier League • England

Steve Cooper takes swipe at Liverpool with ‘interesting’ comment about two moments

Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper appeared to take a swipe at Liverpool when suggesting the outcomes of two key decisions could’ve and perhaps should’ve been different.

Nottingham Forest took Liverpool to the limit in a pulsating FA Cup clash at the City Ground. Spurred on by a raucous home crowd, Forest went toe-to-toe with the Reds and created just as much in the clear-cut chances department.

Indeed, just moments before Diogo Jota snatched the winner, Forest themselves could’ve taken the lead. A breakaway down Liverpool’s left saw three Forest stars overload the far post.

Philip Zinckernagel latched on to a perfectly-placed cross, but his cushioned effort flew agonisingly wide of Alisson Becker’s post.

Instead, it was Liverpool who took the spoils through Jota after the Portuguese stayed onside before prodding home a Kostas Tsimikas cross.

MATCH REPORT: Critical two minutes keeps Liverpool quadruple hopes alive after scraping past Nott’m Forest

Speaking in the post-match fallout, Steve Cooper voiced his discontent at two critical incidents in the game – Jota’s goal and the non-awarding of a Forest penalty. Certain angles during the replay of Jota’s goal appeared to Show Jota in an offside position to the naked eye.

Key decisions both in Liverpool’s favour “interesting” – Steve Cooper

Cooper said: “I think the game was decided on a defining two minutes – we had a good chance that we didn’t take and they created one and did.

“It’s the first time we’ve experienced it (VAR) here and you have to trust the process of what it is.

“I haven’t seen them back, but I think they would have been interesting had they been at the other end.”

Forest were convinced they had cause for a late penalty when Alisson Becker appeared to foul Ryan Yates. As Yates took the ball around Alisson, the goalkeeper rooted his outstretched arm to the pitch to avoid clipping Yates as he ran through.


The Forest star appeared to drag his foot along the turf to initiate contact, leading referee Craig Pawson and VAR to both deem no penalty was necessary.

However, Cooper held a different view, adding: “Yatesy [Ryan Yates] is one of the most honest of players, too honest. So the feeling was there was no way he would go down – plus could he go on and score?

“I’m not going to talk about VAR, or what could have been in the game. On the whole I thought we handled them pretty well and couldn’t make the most of the moments we created.”

“You’ve got to take those chances” – Worrall

Nottingham Forest defender Joe Worrall also spoke to the press, telling ITV: “I think what we’ve done this season so far, we’ve created belief, optimism with the new manager and the players and performances.

“Never mind today, we have been fantastic over the last six months since the manager has come in. There’s a real buzz around the city – 28,500 came out to watch us tonight and we went toe to toe with one of the best teams in the world. Very proud.”

On Zinckernagel’s glorious chance, Worrall admitted: “You’ve got to take those chances.

“Nine times out of 10 in training Phil puts them away. We do that all the time, cross in from the right and it’s a goal. It’s a trademark of ours.

“We’ve got some good young players too – to come and play 90 minutes against players of that calibre is so impressive.

“We’re a humble side, we work hard for each other. We dig in, we’re not scared to play quick attacking football or be hones, we’ve got good honest players, we’re an honest bunch. And we’ve got the league as well to focus on, it’s not all doom and gloom.”