MANCHESTER – Liverpool’s mini-revival came to a halt with a shock 1-0 loss at relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday.
But Chelsea and Manchester United continued to progress under respective managers Graham Potter and Erik ten Hag after a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, Erling Haaland put last week’s blank against Liverpool behind him to fire Manchester City within a point of league leader Arsenal with a 3-1 win over Brighton.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp might have thought his team's confidence-boosting victory over City last weekend would prove a turning point after such an unconvincing start to the season — especially after following it up with another three points against West Ham in midweek.
But the loss at Forest raises fresh doubts over Liverpool’s ability to mount a credible title challenge.
Taiwo Awoniyi, who spent six years at Anfield without ever playing for the first team, struck the second-half winner to relieve the pressure on Forest manager Steve Cooper, who was formerly part of Liverpool's coaching staff.
The win moved Forest off the bottom of the table and left Klopp bemoaning the latest setback.
"(It feels) as low as possible,” the Liverpool manager said. “Massive, massive blow because I have no idea how we can lose this game to be honest. Not that we played exceptionally well, not that I expect that, but it would have been nice.”
Liverpool was without the injured Darwin Nunez and Thiago Alcantara, who was unwell.
Chelsea and United failed to fully capitalize on Liverpool's latest stumble after sharing the points in the late kick off.
Casemiro headed an injury-time equalizer after Jorginho had scored an 87th-minute penalty.
While the draw was not ideal for either team, it suggests Potter and Ten Hag are continuing to stamp their authority on their respective teams.
Potter is undefeated in eight games since succeeding Thomas Tuchel last month, while Ten Hag has picked up 10 points from clashes with top four rivals Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea.
“I have to make a big compliment to my team,” Ten Hag told BBC Sport. “To fight back with a fourth game in 10 days, you see the spirit and how they deal with setbacks. Really good.”
Defending champion City brushed off the loss at Anfield with Haaland back on the score sheet.
The Norway striker’s failure to find the back of the net against Liverpool was the first time he had gone without a goal since the second game of the season.
Haaland made up for that against Brighton, scoring twice to take his overall total since joining City to 22 goals in 15 appearances in all competitions. He has scored 17 goals in the Premier League so far this season.
He looked set to register his fourth hat trick this season, but couldn’t add a third goal, with Kevin De Bruyne sealing the victory with an impressive strike after Leandro Trossard pulled one back.
Despite his goal, City manager Pep Guardiola was critical of De Bruyne's form.
“He is not playing at his top level, not yet,” Guardiola said. “He made a fantastic goal, but he is not playing at his best. He knows, I don’t have to tell him. His dynamic is still not perfect, I spoke with him."
Not that Guardiola wasn't pleased with the goal.
“The goal is outstanding," he said. "Thanks to him we didn’t suffer in the last 15-20 minutes.”
VARANE WORLD CUP FEAR
Raphael Varane left the field in tears after an injury that could put his World Cup hopes in jeopardy.
The France defender was in visible discomfort as he left the field after 60 minutes of United's draw at Chelsea.
Ten Hag was not able to offer any clarity over the extent of the injury.
“It is difficult to say how it is now because it is so soon after the game,” he told BBC Sport after the final whistle. "We have to wait 24 hours and then we will know what it is.”
CALVERT-LEWIN HURTS PALACE AGAIN
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored for the fifth time against Crystal Palace in a 3-0 win for Everton.
Victory ended a three-game losing streak for the team managed by Frank Lampard and moves it four points clear of the relegation zone.
Anthony Gordon and Dwight McNeil also scored.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson