Taiwo Awoniyi: Nottingham Forest’s Cooper explains why history-making forward played against Liverpool

Taiwo Awoniyi Nottingham Forest 2022/23.Getty Images.
  • Elated Cooper reveals why he gave Awoniyi a start
  • The former 25-year-old scored the only goal of the match
  • Nigeria international's work rate lauded

WHAT HAPPENED? The former Union Berlin star had not started in the last three games for Forest before the clash against the Reds.

The Nigerian’s second-half goal proved the difference between them and the Merseyside club, and Cooper has now revealed why he handed the forward a start in their home game.

Throughout the match at the City Ground, centre-back Joe Gomez struggled to deal with the Super Eagle, who ended up scoring to add more pressure on Liverpool.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "He works so hard. We played him today because we thought that he could be a handful for whoever played centre-back," Cooper said in his post-match reaction.

"He really proved to be that and he deserved his goal. I am pleased for him. It puts him on three goals now.

"To win a game against Liverpool, you have to play well and have big moments, particularly in both boxes. It is a positive result that we needed because of the run that we have been on, but it is also a positive result in terms of the history and nostalgia around the game.

"I know that Forest supporters when the fixtures came out after getting promoted, would have looked at when today's game was going to be. I am pleased that we have pleased many generations of supporters today. So that was good as well.

"We are nowhere near where we want to be in the league table or on the points tally that we would have wanted by now. But this has given us a good reference point to build on. That is what we have to do. We don't just want that to be words."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Awoniyi made Forest history by becoming their first player to score in three Premier League starts at the City Ground. As Awoniyi celebrated his history-making goal, his former side reached an unwanted mark as they have lost three of their 11 Premier League games in 2022-23, one more than they’d lost in the whole of the 2021-22 campaign (2 of 38).

WHAT NEXT FOR AWONIYI? The Nigerian – given the goal that helped Forest move off the bottom of the Premier League table – is probably going to start when they visit the Emirates for their game against Arsenal on October 30.

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Will Taiwo Awoniyi's Nottingham Forest avoid relegation this season?

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