Liverpool will play Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley after edging past Nottingham Forest in a pulsating encounter at the City Ground.
Diogo Jota scored the only goal of the game for the visitors, prodding in Konstantinos Tsimikas’ cross from the left with 12 minutes remaining.
Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple-chasing side dominated possession but were made to work for their victory by their relentless Championship opponents.
Steve Cooper’s side saw a late penalty appeal turned down by VAR when midfielder Ryan Yates fell after a challenge with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.
The hosts will also surely regard Philip Zinckernagel’s miss as decisive to the outcome, the Danish winger side-footing wide from six yards from Brennan Johnson’s inviting cross just a couple of minutes before Jota’s goal.
While Forest had already beaten both Arsenal and Leicester in this season’s competition, they found themselves taking a significant step up in class against Liverpool despite Klopp making seven changes to his starting XI.
And while they were galvanised by the electric atmosphere in what was the first meeting between the clubs in the FA Cup since the rescheduled 1989 semi-final that followed the Hillsborough disaster, they spent long periods of the game under severe pressure.
Yates also had a chance to head a late equaliser, but Liverpool, who also carved open several excellent opportunities of their own, deservedly advanced to the last four.
While Forest made an encouraging start despite the absence of three first-choice defenders, Liverpool’s Premier League pedigree quickly became evident.
The visitors’ slick movement repeatedly caused problems as did the hosts’ own attempts to play out from the back.
And had Roberto Firmino not fluffed a golden chance to open the scoring, Klopp’s side would have headed into the interval with a deserved advantage and possibly having laid the platform for a more convincing performance.
Instead the Brazilian’s attempted dink was well saved by Forest goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, who bailed out his team after Jack Colback’s glaring mistake.
Reinforcements were summoned just after the hour mark with Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Takumi Minamino and Luis Diaz all introduced to try and turn the contest in Liverpool’s favour.
But having survived a scare at one end of the pitch it was Jota who made the difference with his 19th goal of the campaign – his best ever return in front of goal in a single season.
And it ensured that Liverpool reached the semi-final of the competition for the first time under Klopp and maintained their superb domestic form which has seen them win 13 consecutive games plus the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea after a penalty shootout.