Revealed: What Paul Tierney said before Liverpool's controversial winner at Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates has revealed what referee Paul Tierney said to him prior to Liverpool's controversial winning goal on Saturday afternoon. 

Darwin Nunez's 99th-minute header secured a nervy 1-0 win for Liverpool against Nottingham Forest, a result which maintained the Reds' place atop the Premier League table.

However, there was plenty of controversy and fury surrounding the Uruguayan's effort, with Forest feeling aggrieved about a decision that went against them two minutes prior to the goal.

Ibrahima Konate went down with a head injury inside the Liverpool penalty area following a Forest corner, with Paul Tierney halting play as expected.

But the referee then gave the ball to Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher when play resumed, instead of giving it to Forest as he should have considering Callum Hudson-Odoi was in possession of the ball outside the box at the time the whistle was blown.

Despite the fact that almost two minutes passed between the incident and Liverpool's goal, with the ball going out for a throw-in and corner in between, Forest were left fuming by the decision, while opposition supporters also poured fuel on the fire with cries of conspiracy.

Tierney, who has a controversial history with Liverpool, ultimately made the wrong call, but Forest's Yates has revealed that the official claimed to have made the correct decision when quizzed about why he returned the ball to Liverpool.

"The referee told me: ‘That’s the rule, they get the ball.’ I honestly don’t know how that is possible," said Yates after the game.

"We were in the ascendancy. We had a corner. There was just a coming together and we were going to put another ball into the box.

"Then, suddenly, while we’re switched off, they’re allowed to get the ball to the other end of the pitch and put us under pressure.‌ It’s strange, very strange."

Yates does opt against mentioning that his high boot arguably should have resulted in a Liverpool free kick in the corner that led to the controversy, or the fact that Forest had multiple opportunities to clear the ball prior to Nunez's winner.

Former Premier League referees were split on the decision, with Mike Dean labelling it a "monumental error" and Mark Clattenburg, who is bizarrely a referee analyst for Nottingham Forest, suggesting that the "injustice" of the decision could have contributed to the home side losing concentration in the build-up to Liverpool's late strike.

However, ex-referee Dermot Gallagher thought that Forest's anger was misplaced, stating: "All it is an incorrect restart in law. The fact that Liverpool scored is a bit of a red herring myself because it was 1 minute 50 seconds [afterwards], which is an entirety on the pitch.

"The ball comes forward, it goes back, goes forward, and even goes out for a throw-in. It’s just an incorrect restart in law, for me, it doesn’t directly attribute to a goal."

Liverpool have also been on the wrong end of plenty of decisions this season, most notably the legitimate Luis Diaz goal that was chalked off during the Reds' 2-1 defeat at Tottenham early in the season.

But the Reds won't lose too much sleep over Saturday's controversy, with all eyes now focused on crucial clashes with Sparta Prague and Manchester City this week.

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