Football News

How Alisson bettered a Man Utd great with his Champions League clean sheet

By Harry Edwards

Published: 23:12, 1 June 2019

When Liverpool signed Alisson last summer, the Brazilian goalkeeper was brought in to change the club’s fortunes from the 2017/18 season.

Then, the Reds agonisingly lost in the Champions League final and were beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid with goalkeeper Loris Karius having a night to forget.

The German was at fault for two of Madrid’s three goals, throwing the ball directly to Karim Benzema, before allowing Gareth Bale’s shot to slip through his hands.

But there would be no such heartbreak a year on with Alisson keeping goal in the 2019 Champions League final.

Going up against Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a game which may be forgotten outside Liverpool, Alisson was crucial in securing a sixth European Cup for the Reds.

The Brazilian became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a Champions League final since compatriot Julio Cesar did so in Inter Milan’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich.

But not only that, Alisson also made eight saves at the Wanda Metropolitano – the joint-most of any goalkeeper in a Champions League final since 2003/04.

Edwin van der Sar sits level with Alisson for his efforts in the 2011 Champions League final, but the Dutchman also conceded three goals as Manchester United were beaten by Barcelona.

Interestingly, the former Roma goalkeeper was voted behind Van der Sar and Petr Cech in a poll of Squawka’s readers on the two all-English Champions League finals witnessed since the competition was rebranded in 1992.

Alisson’s efforts were not forgotten by an ecstatic Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who hailed the Brazilian for his performance after the final whistle.

“I’m so happy for the boys, I’m so happy for all of these people, I’m so happy for my family,” Klopp told reporters.

“Did you ever see a team like this? Fighting with no fuel in the tank any more.

“And we had a goalkeeper who makes difficult things look easy. Tonight this is going to be great.

“This may be the best night of my life, professional wise.”

The final was not the only time Alisson has played a big role in Liverpool’s Champions League campaign this season. Had the Brazilian not made a vital save, and kept a clean sheet, in the final group game against Napoli, the Reds would have been out of the competition before New Year.