Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Liverpool have certainly been faced with desperate times, needing an all-important winner against West Brom yesterday, to stay relevant for European top-flight football next season.
Salah, Firmino, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold and Thiago all tried, albeit as was the will of God, an unlikely hero surfaced to keep The Reds’ European dream alive. That’s right, the desperate measure was our Brazilian Dark Knight, Alisson Becker.
When the going got tough, Alisson got going and reached the opposition D to head in a historic winner seconds before the close. The first goal ever scored by a Liverpool keeper in the club’s 129-year history.
So momentous is this feat as the Brazilian joined a rare and rather esteemed club of only five keepers in the history of the Premier League who have inflicted a goal on their opposition.
Truly, awe-inspiring as The Reds in the most unique fashion scripted a much-needed win with the final score line – West Brom 1 – 2 Liverpool.
So, as my heart beats with excitement let’s dissect the game that had the most thrilling climax seen in the recent past:
Spoils shared in the first 45
Before this game began, The Baggies were already in the relegation zone, but the intensity they showed suggested otherwise.
Fifteen minutes in and Robson-Kanu put the home side in front. The Welshman burst down the right channel and reached Pereira’s pass to calmly slot the ball past Alisson in the far bottom corner.
Make no mistake, West Brom were more than up for this contest as Liverpool were rocked early.
Post the goal, Albion beefed up their defence to put more pressure on The Reds’ offensive play with six players guarding their territory. The challenge to break West Brom’s stringent defence was tough.
Well, when tough is the scenario, who other than Liverpool’s magician can make the play? Mohamed Salah slotted one in when Liverpool took a free-kick quickly, as Sadio Mane laid off a pass to the Egyptian just outside the D.
Salah’s curl in the top far left of the net was more than clinical as 33 minutes in, the score was level at one apiece.
The Egyptian stood level with Tottenham star, Harry Kane at 22 goals each in the race for the golden boot.
The spoils were shared as the curtains drew on the first 45.
Alisson Becker, Liverpool’s unlikely hero
The second 45 was about Liverpool’s offensive threats and West Brom’s counter set pieces. Practically every Reds player tried to get the all-important winner albeit as destiny would have it they were all kept at bay.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago came closest to putting The Reds in front with Albion’s keeper Johnstone more than being up to the task. As time moved on and the finish was fast approaching, my heart rate went up by leaps and bounds to not see the much-needed winner. Yet!
The situation was tense as Liverpool’s hope of the European dream were fast fading. The final 90 drew to a close and the referee signaled for five added minutes. The Reds still hadn’t found the answer.
As the clock struck the fifth minute of injury time, The Merseyside Club won their last corner of the match. A do or die situation as the Gods of Europe looked down on The Midlands. Such was the desperation that keeper Alisson Becker also came in the West Brom D to try his luck.
Trent Alexander-Arnold fired the cross and a person in a black shirt rose amid a sea of players to fire a header that went in the back of the Albion net.
For a moment, I was spell-bound and didn’t know what had happened till I realised, the players in red had gathered around this person in black and were celebrating in unison. Alisson Becker had scored to win it for Liverpool, momentous as it was, tears of joy poured down my eyes.
The feeling was simply wow!
The European dream gets ever closer
Thanks to the injury time win yesterday, our European dream is now just two games away.
It is important we keep our focus on winning against Burnley and Crystal Palace and hope one of Chelsea or Leicester will falter as they play each other next.
My Dear Reds, just keep the next wins more certain than dragging it to the last minute. Sensitive hearts can’t take too much pounding.
‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’