Football News

“It’s quite annoying actually” – Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on Alisson after penalty save seals win vs West Ham

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:57, 19 October 2022

Alisson was once again the hero for Liverpool as they beat West Ham United 1-0 at Anfield on Wednesday night to move up to seventh in the Premier League table.

Liverpool went into the game off the back of a massive 1-0 win over Manchester City at the weekend, bringing the defending champions’ unbeaten start to an end while also potentially kick-starting what had been a poor campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Mohamed Salah was the scorer of the only goal, turning Joao Cancelo with ease just inside the Man City half before bearing down on the area and calmly finishing past Ederson.

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Although Salah rightly received plaudits for his composure in such a big moment, it wouldn’t have come if it wasn’t for Alisson. The move actually started with a Man City free-kick which Alisson dealt with easily, but rather than look to calm things down, the Brazilian had something else in mind.

Releasing the ball quickly, Alisson’s long kick went straight up the pitch to Salah who — as we all know — turned Cancelo and won the game for Liverpool. Another assist for Alisson (three in total, all for Salah goals), the Brazilian has now been directly involved in four Premier League goals with only Paul Robinson (six) managing more among goalkeepers.

Fast forward to Wednesday, Darwin Nunez will have been hoping for the headlines after he scored the winning goal against West Ham with a first-half header, a welcome relief having come under criticism for his start to life in the Premier League. But again it was Alisson stealing the show.

In the closing stages of the first half, Joe Gomez gave West Ham the perfect opportunity to draw level after a clumsy challenge on Jarrod Bowen which was initially missed by the referee but later given after a VAR review. Bowen stepped up to take the penalty, having already scored twice from the spot this season, but his effort to the bottom left was well met by Alisson. Although Bowen had scored his last penalty in that corner of the net, his previous four had all gone to the right of the goal, with three of those scored.

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Nonetheless it was a good stop by Alisson and it continued an impressive penalty record for the Brazilian. Alisson has conceded just seven of the 13 penalties he has faced in the Premier League (two saved, four off target), with 54% the lowest percentage of any goalkeeper to face at least 10 spot-kicks in the competition. What makes Alisson so good at saving penalties?

“I’m not going to give away my secrets,” he told Amazon Prime.

“It was a really tough game, a tough match, the opponent gave us hard work but we did a good job to create more chances than them, especially in the first half.

“When a goalkeeper saves a penalty it is always a massive thing. I believe the responsibility is on the penalty taker, the biggest advantage is in their hands but we work hard every to be fit, strong and have a good reaction.

“I’m pleased to make the save and help the team get the win. To save a penalty I need to be fast, agile, everything. It is also a mental moment and be clear to make the right decision.”

Klopp was also high in praise of Alisson, in more ways than one, saying: “What a guy eh? Extremely good looking and smart – it’s quite annoying actually!”

Naturally, Alisson’s performance caught the eyes of fans too, with some not shy in calling the Brazilian the best goalkeeper in the world.