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WBA 1-2 Liverpool: Alisson keeps Reds Champions League hope alive

Alisson became the first Liverpool goalkeeper to score for the club in a competitive match when he struck in the 95th minute of the club’s 2-1 Premier League win over West Brom.

The Reds’ Champions League aspirations were on the line as they were being held by relegated Albion, when Alisson advanced for a corner deep in stoppage time.

A wicked delivery found him left unmarked 10 yards from goal. The Brazil international obliged with a header that anyone on the club’s forwards would have been proud of as he bulleted the ball home.

It was never going to be anything other than a difficult afternoon and it got off to the worst possible start as far as Klopp was concerned. Liverpool were caught napping when they drew this corresponding fixture on December 27 and, in the 16th minute, it was the case again.

Liverpool were too slow to get out of their area after Matheus Pereira seized on a loose ball to prod a pass into the path of Hal Robson-Kanu, the Welshman had plenty of time to pick his spot and confidently swept his shot beyond Alisson Becker.

Salah secured parity before the interval with a wonderful strike, an instinctive left foot drive that fizzed beyond Johnstone but that, for long periods, appeared it was all Liverpool were going to be able to show for their efforts.

In Liverpool’s long history – the club was founded in 1892 – never before that moment had a goalkeeper found the net for the club.

Furthermore, Alisson has become the first Premier League goalkeeper to score with a headed effort.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he dedicated the goal to his late father, who died in tragic circumstances earlier this year.

Alisson said: “I’m too emotional, this last month for everything that has happened with me and my family, but football is my life, I played since I can remember with my father. I hope he was here to see it, I’m sure he is celebrating with God at his side.

“Sometimes you are fighting and things aren’t happening. I’m really happy to help them because we fight together and have a strong goal to achieve the Champions League, because we have won it once and everything starts with qualification. So I can’t be more happy than I am now.

“I just tried to run into a good place and be in a good place to try and help my players, to bring a defender, but no one followed me and I am lucky and blessed, sometimes things you can’t explain.

“You can’t explain a lot of things in my life, the only reason is God and he put his hand on my head today and I’m feeling very blessed.

“I have been away from interviews for a long time because I always get emotional on that subject but I want to thank all of the media, all the players and teams, I’ve had letters from Everton, Man City, Chelsea and more. If it wasn’t for you all I wouldn’t have got through it.”

Alisson is the sixth goalkeeper to score in the English top-flight since 1992.

Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel was the first goalkeeper to score with a headed effort in the Premier League, doing so against Everton for Aston Villa in 2001 – nearly a decade after the league’s formation. He volleyed home a corner.

Brad Friedel, Paul Robinson, Tim Howard and Asmir Begovic have also done so, with Begovic the most recent when he netted in 2013 for Stoke against Southampton – until Alisson’s dramatic strike.

And what an important goal it could be. Liverpool’s victory lifts them to fifth in the Premier League table, just a point behind Chelsea and three behind Leicester City with two games left to play.

Chelsea host Leicester in two days’ time. West Brom stay 19th.

Liverpool go into the final week of the season knowing they need just two more wins to likely make it back into the Champions League.

After winning this game in such extraordinary circumstances, the luck and momentum seems to be with them.

John NM
John is a web developer, Internet marketer and Editorial staff at NOUN Portal and Sportstribunal .

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