After a lot of problems and troubles, Liverpool finally reached the knockout stage of this season’s edition of the Champions League. The Reds defeated Napoli last night with 1-0, and the sole scorer in that match was Mohamed Salah.
But despite Egyptian’s only goal in this event, the real hero of the Kop was Alisson Becker, Liverpool’s goalkeeper.
The Brazilian was in the absolute center of attention as he saved numerous shots of the visitors, among them one, which was supposed to be Napoli’s dagger in the injury time.
“The goalie made the save of the season,” Liverpool’s coach Klopp told. “I have no clue how he made that save. Thank God we have him.”
WHAT. A. SAVE. !! Heroic keeping by Alisson to save Liverpool’s champions league dreams. pic.twitter.com/WxvETerQmJ
— Kian Lennon (@lennonkian_) December 11, 2018
It was the second minute of the injury time, when a high cross ball reached Arkadiusz Milik, who was at the six-yard line in the box. The Polish international had a fine first touch and was left alone one-on-one with the Brazilian goalie. When everybody thought that it would be a certain goal for the Italian team, Alisson made the save of the season, rescuing his team from elimination.
After many remarks about his price, and the fact that he was the highest paid goalkeeper in the history, Jurgen Klopp stated that he would have paid him twice as much for this save.
“If I’d known how good he was, I’d have paid double … I think nobody expected a save in that situation. It’s a goal, no?”
At that particular moment, both sides were leveled in the standings of Group C with 9 points, but Liverpool had the edge because of a better goal difference. If Milik scored, Napoli would have more points than the Reds.
The German coach also spoke about the fact that his players gave everything they had in this game, and that the whole atmosphere surrounding the contest was unbelievable.
His team had a lot of missed opportunities, and if some of them were converted into goals, there wouldn’t be such a thrilling ending of this event. Klopp was aware of that, but despite everything, he was very proud of his players, who survived one very tricky and messy clash.
“Yes we could have scored more,” he added. “The most difficult period was just after the 1-0. That made the game intense.
“We knew we could not change the tactics. After 65 minutes, it was really wild, counter and counter without finishing. I am really proud of what the boys did.” the German concluded.
SALAH WITH A BIG GOAL! 👑 pic.twitter.com/pYUQvrKUZ3
— Liverpool FC Vines (@LFC_Vines) December 11, 2018
Many people are drawing parallels between his save and Steven Gerrard’s goal against Olympiacos 14 years ago in which Liverpool defeated Greeks at Anfield with 3-1. Both situations were game-defining, and both helped L’pool to progress into the round of 16 because of a goal difference.
Some of them are reviving memories from five months after that night, when Gerrard and his teammates won the Champions League. It would be a perfect scenario for this generation also.
With Alisson in front of the net, anything is possible. Liverpool’s trophy dreams crumbled last year in the finals precisely because of bad goalkeeping reactions. It is why Klopp told the reporters that Alisson’s good saves worth more than his fee paid to Roma.
Liverpool continues their domestic campaign this weekend with the biggest game in English football. The Reds are facing Manchester United in the ultimate derby of the Premier League, which will be played at Anfield also.
Currently, the Reds are sitting at the top of the league with 42 points, one more than Manchester City who is right behind them.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.