A Steve McMahon goal on what was probably his final appearance for Liverpool set them on the road to victory against Nottingham Forest at Anfield.
McMahon, who is expected to move to Manchester City this week with his Liverpool replacement Michael Thomas, who signed from Arsenal for 1.5 million pounds, watching from the stands.
McMahon's goal came after 16 minutes, when Jan Molby lobbed a hopeful central high ball forward and Steve Chettle failed to cut it out. The England midfielder ran in unmarked to drive the ball low past the advancing Mark Crossley.
Molby scored the second himself 10 minutes from time, curling in a low free kick from just outside the area after Chettle had fouled Steve McManaman. Crossley got down to block the shot, but it somehow squirmed out of his grasp and rolled over the line.
Dean Saunders had missed a fine chance to put Liverpool ahead inside the first two minutes, lobbing over Crossley but just clearing the bar.
After the break Saunders turned and fired in a rising shot which Crossley finger-tipped brilliantly over his bar and Steve Nicol saw an angled effort fly across the face of goal and wide.
Forest's Roy Keane could have equalised moments after McMahon's opener, Bruce Grobbelaar denying him with a fine save.
The Liverpool keeper had earlier almost gifted Forest a goal, letting Nigel Clough's shot bounce off his palms and over his head. The keeper recovered to turn and catch the ball just before it crossed the line.
Grobbelaar had little to do after the interval, his most difficult moment coming as he got down sharply to save an ill-judged Nicol back-pass late in the game.
Liverpool manager Graeme Souness hailed his side's win as their best performance since he returned to Anfield. Hard-to-please Souness said: "I enjoyed the game and even neutrals must have done because it was a good game overall. Forest came here to play football but our balance was better than it has been for a long, long time. It's the best performance since I came to the club."
Jan Molby, creator of one goal and scorer of the second, added: "It was a very good game between two good footballing teams. We seem to be playing better every week."
Molby had a special word of praise for central midfield colleague Steve McMahon, who scored from his 16th minute pass on what could be his final Liverpool appearance before his transfer to Manchester City. "If that was to be his last game for us, it was nice for him to score a goal," said Molby. McMahon himself refused to comment.
Thomas described the performance as "very impressive".
Souness said Thomas would play against Tottenham on Wednesday, but after this performance Thomas was taking nothing for granted. "I'm looking forward to playing in the side if selected," he said.
The entire Forest side had left the stadium within half an hour of the final whistle, without commenting on the performance.
Ian Woan said as he hurried away: "I'm not allowed to say anything. We've been read the riot act."
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