World-class consistency as Alisson remains as vital as ever for Liverpool

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After overcoming injury, Alisson produced a second consecutive year of world-class brilliance in the Liverpool goal.

The impact that Alisson made in his first season at Anfield could not be over-hyped.

Arriving from Roma, the Brazilian was colossal, finally filling the void missing between the sticks for so many years.

His influence was summed up by his performance in the Champions League final win over Tottenham, with several saves getting the Reds over the finish line.

If Jurgen Klopp‘s side were to win the Premier League title in 2019/20, Alisson would need to replicate such world-class consistency, once again staking a claim for being the world’s best goalkeeper.

Alisson, 2019/20

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, June 21, 2019: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 236th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Started: 37 (All competitions)
On as a substitute: 0
Unused sub: 0
Clean Sheets: 15

Overall Season Rating: 8.5

 

Eventful First Half of the Season

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, August 9, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker goes off injured during the opening FA Premier League match of the season between Liverpool FC and Norwich City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool may have strolled to a 5-1 win at home to newly-promoted Norwich on the opening night, but the evening was tarnished because of what happened to Alisson.

He limped from the field in the first half and it was hard not to immediately be concerned about the impact it could have on the Reds’ title hopes.

Alisson‘s effect had been so great in 2018/19 that it arguably rivalled Virgil van Dijk‘s – all of a sudden, new signing Adrian had to come in for a two-month stint.

In truth, Liverpool handled Alisson‘s absence admirably, winning every league game without him, but the defence still felt more susceptible without him around.

Adrian was a hit-and-miss performer, gifting Danny Ings a goal at Southampton and conceding three times against Salzburg, but he deserves praise for filling in well.

Ironically, Liverpool’s first dropped points of the season came in Alisson‘s return outing away to Man United, but it was still an almighty boost to have him back.

The 27-year-old’s displays were strong upon his return, until the visit of Brighton, when his daft sending off threatened to cost the Reds.

Racing from his goal, he handled the ball outside the area and was swiftly sent to the dressing room – fortunately, Liverpool won 2-1 and his blushes were spared.

It actually took until December for Alisson to register his first clean sheet of the campaign, away to Bournemouth, and it only truly felt that his season hit top gear at that point.

 

Goalkeeping Colossus Returns to Top Form

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 15, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With his injury problems, suspension and lack of clean sheets overcome, Alisson soared during the Christmas fixtures onwards.

Incredibly, he conceded just one goal in 11 matches between the Bournemouth win and the trip to Wolves on January 23, reproducing his previous year’s form.

It is actually difficult to pinpoint specific standout moments in that period, which is essentially what makes Alisson a special ‘keeper.

His positional sense, reaction times and speed of feet mean that he is rarely forced into making saves for the camera – he is simply in the right place at the right time.

He brilliantly prevented what looked like a certain goal for Norwich in February, clawing the ball away from Teemu Pukki, but in general, saves don’t stick in the memory because they are done in metronomic, unruffled fashion.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 15, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker makes a save during the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson‘s imperious form largely continued after lockdown, providing the most solid of bases as Liverpool eventually got over the finish line.

We will forgive him for his casual error in the defeat at Arsenal, considering the Reds were already champions and he was probably thinking about playing his guitar on a beach somewhere.

It was more of a stop-start season than some of his teammates, but Alisson was again superb overall, even if a second Golden Glove award in a row evaded him.

Then again, he nearly won it, despite missing roughly a quarter of the season through injury!

 

The Future Role

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 1, 2020: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It could be argued that Alisson is the second name on Liverpool’s team sheet after Van Dijk, such is his importance to the cause.

He is already staking a claim for the being the best ‘keeper in Reds history – he probably needs to do it for longer before usurping Ray Clemence – and the difference he has made has been vast.

There is not even an ounce of doubt surrounding whether or not he is the right man moving forward, and at 27, the hope is that he could remain at Anfield for somewhere close to a decade.

In a squad littered with great characters, Alisson is one of the biggest, and his consistency, match-winning ability and mentality can continue to help Klopp build a dynasty.

Yes, Liverpool got by without him during those injury-hit few months, but the thought of losing him again sends a shiver down the spine of any sane Reds supporter.

He is an elite footballer.


Best moment: The assist for Salah and subsequent knee-slide against United. What a moment that was.

Worst moment: The sending off against Brighton, which was reckless and put Liverpool in danger of dropping points.

Role next season: One of the undisputed key men.

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