Danny Ings had scored a stunner inside 2 minutes to help Southampton beat The Reds 1-0 back in January of 2021 at St. Mary’s stadium and ended the visitor’s 12-game unbeaten run.
It is a tale of strikers coming back to haunt their former clubs.
While Ings had made a handful of appearances for the Merseyside club during his unsuccessful tenure, Awoniyi was rather unlucky to be on their books for 6 years, without getting any first-team action.
The 25-year-old Nigerian international didn’t celebrate his match-winning goal at the City Ground and fans have been left baffled by it.
What followed were more & more loans which included NEC of Eredivisie, and Belgian club Gent before finally joining Bundesliga side Union Berlin in 2021 on a permanent deal.
Newly promoted side Nottingham Forest snapped up the striker from the German team for a club-record fee of reportedly £17 million during their busy summer transfer window.
Steve Cooper was under a lot of pressure before the game as the Midlands team were rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table with just a solitary win ahead of the weekend.
Liverpool, on the other hand, had seemed to turn around their season following consecutive 1-0 wins against Manchester City and West Ham United.
The narrative couldn’t have been clearer heading into Saturday’s early kick-off.
But football had other plans for both of them. Cooper decided to go with the former Liverpool man as he believed that the striker would cause problems for the opponent’s backline.
He was right. And his decision paid off big time against a lackluster Jurgen Klopp’s playing 11.
‘T worked so hard. We played him today we thought he could be a handful for Virgil van Dijk. He really proved to be that and deserved his goal,’ said Cooper in the post-match interview.
Fans though had contrasting opinions regarding his lack of celebration for such a huge moment.
Some say that “there is not strong connection in there” with Liverpool being unfair to the striker during his time on their books and hence should have gone berserk after scoring against them.
Another segment of supporters found him to be “quite gentlemanly” for his show of respect and restraint after converting his own rebounded effort for the goal.
Taiwo Awoniyi had also scored the first goal for Nottingham Forest in the Premier League since their 1998-1999 season. Steve Cooper would hope that his striker keeps providing his side with momentous goals to avoid relegation and compete with the big boys.