The Nigeria international was decisive for the Reds as they produced a stunning performance to shoot down Jurgen Klopp’s army
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper has hailed Taiwo Awoniyi for his winning strike against Liverpool at the City Ground on Saturday.
Despite arriving in Nottingham as the club’s record signing in the summer from Union Berlin, Awoniyi has struggled for playing time.
Ahead of the game against Liverpool, Awoniyi had made ten league appearances for the Reds, but only four were starts.
The NFFC number nine only averaged five minutes over Forest’s last two games against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton & Hove Albion.
But head coach Steve Cooper decided to start Awoniyi against his former employers.
And the Nigeria international repaid that trust with the winning goal, which ensured Forest’s second victory in the EPL campaign.
Having been on the payroll of Liverpool for six years without making a single first-team appearance, Awoniyi chose not to celebrate the most important goal of his career.
But Cooper backed his striker all the way.
“Taiwo worked so hard. We played him today as we thought he could be a handful for Virgil van Dijk,” Cooper revealed.
“He really proved to be that and deserved his goal.
“If he didn’t celebrate, I’ll support whatever a player decides to do.”
Awoniyi’s goal was his third of the season, and it slots him into Nottingham Forest’s record books as the first NFFC player to score in three consecutive home games in the Premier League.