The good, the bad and Liverpool’s moment of the season

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Three Liverpool supporters have nearly regained their composure to be able to talk about Liverpool’s unforgettable 2-1 win over West Brom.

Alisson Becker, what a person.

The Reds secured their greatest victory of the season to date on Sunday afternoon, as soon as once more not doing it the simple approach.

For therefore lengthy, it appeared as if Jurgen Klopp‘s males had been going to drop two treasured factors within the top-four battle, however Alisson had different concepts.

The Brazilian’s last-gasp headed earned Liverpool a 2-1 victory away to the Baggies, placing them in pole place to finish up within the Champions League subsequent season.

Right here, This Is Anfield’s Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) is joined by Owen Collins (@OGBCollins) and John O’Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) to debate a loopy day on the Hawthorns.

 

The nice…

OWEN: Let’s begin with Thiago, who put in a superb efficiency and was certainly solely denied Man of the Match by a once-in-a-lifetime second that we’ll come to shortly.

I felt he carried the staff for a lot of the recreation, with some visionary passing and unguessable creativity. For a very long time, it appeared like something we received out of the sport could be by way of some intricate Thiago magic (till stoppage time, at any charge.)

Plaudits for Trent, too, whose pursuit of each final ball – in defence or assault – was essential.

Chasing it as much as the touchline didn’t yield an excessive amount of in assault, admittedly, however he put in some all-important tackles and blocks on the different finish to maintain a lid on West Brom’s sporadic sniffs at aim.

Additionally, Mo Salah. I discover it astonishing that any Purple needs to money in on him this summer time when he continues to drag world-class objectives out of the hat exactly once we want them.

Not his greatest efficiency, however one other gorgeous strike – we’re watching an all-time Liverpool legend at work and I don’t suppose he may keep at Anfield a day too lengthy.

JOHN: I’m with Owen in relation to Thiago. Bloody hell, he was chic. On the ball, he was progressive and impressive and saved Liverpool on the entrance foot.

Off it, he was tenacious and positionally savvy. He was like a hybrid of Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso.

It will have been sickening if the Reds didn’t declare a win to go together with among the best performances any of their midfielders has put in in latest occasions, so fortunately Alisson got here up with the products.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's match-winning goal-scorer goalkeeper Alisson Becker walks off the pitch after his injury time headed goal sealed a 2-1 victory during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson, what are you able to say. He’s had highlight-reel moments in crimson, particularly the save versus Napoli in 2018/19, however he won’t ever, ever prime that. Nor will we ever see a second like that.

It was an unimaginable header and second. He has been glorious recently, bar some furry moments with the ball at his ft, no extra so than within the Leeds recreation.

And when you think about the non-public trauma he’s gone by this yr, you possibly can solely be ecstatically blissful for him.

Trent produced one other good efficiency – he’s been glorious since Gareth Southgate dropped him from the England squad.

He offered a game-winning help, however he was strong defensively and helped out two greenhorn centre-backs.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker (R) celebrates with team-mates Thiago Alcantara (L) and Roberto Firmino (C) after he scored the winning second goal with a head in injury time during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

HENRY: I couldn’t agree extra with the lads – they’ve nailed it.

Thiago was a pleasure to look at all through and people individuals who have doubted him are beginning to look extra silly by the sport.

Simply wait till he has an incredible defence behind him and all of the attackers are again in type.

Trent and Salah had been the opposite two clear standouts, barring a stunning Brazilian man I’ll discuss shortly, and the win was completely big.

 

The dangerous…

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold looks dejected after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

OWEN: Contemplating he had some extent to show after Thursday night time, I believed Sadio Mane was a little bit too hesitant in entrance of aim – he had two probabilities to offer us the lead not lengthy after the equaliser, however spurned each by lingering a couple of seconds too lengthy earlier than taking pictures.

I’m unsure if it was Thiago’s passing brilliance that made everybody else look a bit sub-par by comparability, however Fabinho particularly had an uncharacteristically sloppy recreation in the midst of the pitch, and for as soon as was extra light-headed than lighthouse.

Neither Rhys Williams nor Nat Phillips may ever have anticipated to develop into key males in our cost in the direction of Europe, so I’ll minimize them some slack, however Rhys appeared extremely flimsy for West Brom’s opener and a lapse from Nat practically allow them to have a second, too.

Between that and Mike Dean blowing for a free-kick with each different exhalation, this had all of the potential to be a type of video games, with what few clear-cut probabilities we carved out being infuriatingly squandered.

JOHN: Once more I agree with Owen about Mane. His type has been poor for six months and this recreation was a continuation of that.

His contact was heavy, he snatched at probabilities and his decision-making left so much to be desired. To his credit score, he’ll all the time run and work laborious for the staff, however he’s a pale shadow of his former self.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) challenges for a header with West Bromwich Albion's Darnell Furlong during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Phillips additionally struggled. Given he’d by no means performed top-flight soccer previous to this season and has clear limitations, he has largely executed nicely for Liverpool.

However he was uncovered time and time once more together with his poor positioning.

It’s not as if the Baggies have tonnes of tempo, so speculative lengthy balls into the corners must be one thing a towering defender offers simply with it. He didn’t, although, and he was culpable for the hosts opener.

If he can information Liverpool to a top-four place he may be extraordinarily happy with his efforts, however he’s far under the usual required.

HENRY: As John says, you possibly can’t fault his effort ranges, however my god Mane is troublesome to look at in the meanwhile.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's Sadio Mané during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

You simply don’t really feel something will occur when he will get the ball, which is the exact opposite to final season.

Among the ending was additionally poor once more, too, whereas that bit when Shaqiri handed the ball out of play led to the distant management being hurled!

Phillips and Williams each appeared horribly prone to the lengthy ball as nicely, displaying why they aren’t adequate transferring ahead.

 

And second of the season…

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 16, 2021: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker scores the winning second goal with a head in injury time during the FA Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion FC and Liverpool FC at The Hawthorns. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

OWEN: Wow. As I write this, I’m nonetheless shaking.

There are such a lot of statistical, numerical, historic explanation why Alisson’s Ninety fifth-minute winner is outstanding, however on a purely emotional degree, this certainly can’t be overwhelmed.

Not solely second of the season however – and I say this with confidence, regardless of the following 9 years to return – most likely the second of the last decade as nicely.

All that was lacking was Jurgen Klopp racing throughout the pitch to hug Divock Origi in celebration.

The primary-ever goalkeeper to attain for Liverpool, the lowest-numbered participant to ever rating for us – sorry, Glen Johnson – the aim that retains us in competition to win the Champions League subsequent season, and to prime all of it, one of the vital emotional post-match interviews you’ll ever see.

It’s a aim that may echo all through the historical past of our membership and it actually couldn’t occur to a nicer bloke.

Lastly, shoutout to Matt McQueen, who performed a couple of video games in aim for us within the Eighteen Nineties and in addition scored a few objectives as an outfielder, whose considerably torturous declare to fame has been expunged from the report books eventually.

I’m certain he’s elevating a glass with Jose Becker up there tonight and each Purple must be doing the identical.

2FND1NB Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Picture date: Sunday May 16, 2021.

JOHN: You’d suppose such a situation was farfetched in case you noticed it in a movie, nevertheless it was actual and it might be an enormous second for Liverpool, not solely this season however into the longer term.

Owen put it in addition to anybody can actually!

HENRY: I’m not going to trump Owen, let’s face it. Superbly put.

That was undoubtedly the second of the season, by way of drama and emotion, and it felt like actual soccer once more, which frequently hasn’t been the case in 2020/21.

Frankly, it’s so unimaginable and surreal that it nonetheless hasn’t correctly sunk in.

A world-class goalkeeper, however extra importantly, he is a superb particular person. Thanks for saving our season, Ali!



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