Liverpool claimed an incredible three points in the race for the Champions League qualifying places after a last second 2-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.
Poor defending from the visitors let Hal Robson-Kanu sneak in behind their defence to put West Brom ahead on 15 minutes, before Mohamed Salah fired an equaliser into the bottom corner 18 minutes later.
West Brom thought they’d scored again when Kyle Bartley scrambled a ball in from a corner, but it was ruled out for offside. Liverpool created chances of their own through Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago and Georginio Wijnaldum, but couldn’t find the net. Incredibly, in the last seconds of extra-time, their goalkeeper Alisson came up for a corner and glanced a header into the net to steal it.
Liverpool are now just one point behind Chelsea and three behind Leicester City, both of whom play each other on Wednesday night. All three sides have two matches remaining.
Has Alisson saved Liverpool’s season? We all know that a season is a 38-game slog, with points won, lost and dropped at so many junctures and with several sliding doors moments identifiable throughout.
That said, when Liverpool’s campaign is done next weekend, they may look back at the final seconds at The Hawthorns today with some fondness. Alisson’s astonishing header has retained their recent momentum just when it looked to have juddered to a miserable halt. A campaign where hope of retaining their title collapsed completely might yet end on an upward curve with Champions League qualification, something that looked beyond them a few weeks ago.
For Alisson himself, visibly emotional at the end after a month of personal heartache, it was an incredible moment of release. For his team it equals three vital points and sets up a tense final week in the battle for third and fourth in the Premier League.
Alisson Becker of Liverpool celebrates after scoring the second goal to win the game during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns on May 16, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH – Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
He was omitted from the last England squad, but he looks nailed on to be in the next one for the European Championship; another high-octane performance from Alexander-Arnold was crucial in dragging Liverpool through a match in which they looked to be sliding listlessly to a draw. Alisson’s header will get the headlines, but 95% of that goal was due to a perfect delivery at the most crucial moment.
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson 7; Alexander-Arnold 8, Phillips 5, Williams 6, Robertson 6; Thiago 7, Fabinho 6, Jones 6; Salah 7, Firmino 7, Mane 6
SUBS: Shaqiri 6, Wijnaldum 6
15’ GOAL! West Brom 1 (Robson-Kanu 15) Liverpool 0 West Brom have been coming into this in the last few minutes, and now they're ahead! Pereira picks the ball up from a flick in around 30 yards out and hooks a ball in behind the Liverpool defence. Robson-Kanu is clean through and opens his body out to slot a left-footed finish into the bottom corner!
33’ GOAL! West Brom 1 Liverpool 1 (Salah 33) Liverpool are level! Mane nicks the ball away from Bartley on the edge of the area. It drops perfectly into the stride of Salah, who places a left-footed shot in off the far post.
35’ OFF THE POST! The ball ricochets in Liverpool's favour from a blind back heel by Mane. It lands at the feet of Firmino, who smacks a shot off the angle of post and bar!
71’ DISALLOWED GOAL! This could be controversial. The corner comes in, is glanced on by Ajayi and it hits Bartley and goes in. It's pulled after a VAR review though, because a West Brom player was stood in from of Alisson even though it didn't seem to affect the line of vision on the final touch of the ball.
90+5’ GOAL! West Brom 1 Liverpool 2 (Alisson 90+5) Oh my word, can you believe it! Alexander-Arnold whips the corner in from the left, and who else but their goalkeeper Alisson glances the ball into the corner of the net! Unbelievable!
Alisson is the sixth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League, and the first to score a winning goal in a match.