The watching media were left stunned by Alisson‘s winning goal against West Brom, on a day that felt huge in Liverpool’s quest for a top-four finish.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side were looking to kick on from Thursday’s triumph at Man United, but were strangely sluggish early on at the Hawthorns.
Hal Robson-Kanu gave the Baggies the lead, but Mohamed Salah‘s 31st goal in a brilliant individual season made it 1-1 before the interval.
In the 95th minute, Alisson rose highest to steer a header past Sam Johnstone, leading to memorable celebrations on the pitch and off it.
Here’s how the media assessed the victory.
Alisson’s goal was the only place to start…
Goal‘s Neil Jones revelled in a truly iconic moment:
“Football eh? Bloody hell!
“Even after all these years, this sport still finds a way to surprise you, to thrill you, to take the breath away.
“Step forward, Alisson Becker.
“What is it about this club? How can they just keep conjuring up these moments, these feelings, these rollercoaster rides.”
Dominic King of the Daily Mail likened Alisson to a Reds legend and dreamed about fans being in the stadium to witness the moment:
“As Alexander-Arnold positioned the ball and raised his hand, the towering figure of Alisson Becker loomed into view. What followed next was scarcely believable. In came the set piece, up went the Man in Black and, suddenly, there was pandemonium.
“Alisson rose like a modern day John Toshack, timing his leap to perfection and making the sweetest possible contact with Alexander-Arnold’s delivery to send it inexorably into the top corner of West Bromwich Albion’s net. It was the first time in Liverpool’s 129-year history a goalkeeper had scored.
“Quite what the stadium would have been like with fans inside can only be imagined but Liverpool’s bench did their best to create the atmosphere, the noise and the frenzy of their celebrations explaining exactly what had been on the line.”
The Times‘ Paul Joyce was touched by the emotional story behind the goal:
“When the gleeful, disbelieving huddle had dispersed, Liverpool’s players peeling away and still pinching themselves at the improbability of it all, Alisson was left kneeling on the turf giving thanks to the heavens.
“His dramatic intervention was all for his father, who he had lost in February. Certainly, the tears that accompanied him from the field at the final whistle seconds later exposed a player emotionally spent.
“But, thanks to the staggering late contribution of their goalkeeper in the opposition’s penalty box, Liverpool’s faith has been strengthened to such a degree that it feels that fate is with them now.”
The magnitude of the victory was touched upon…
Jones urged Liverpool to make sure they now seal a top-four finish:
“It cannot be for nothing, can it? You can’t let a moment like this go to waste.
“Liverpool need two more wins and they should be in the Champions League. Burnley on Wednesday, Crystal Palace next Sunday. There will be fans present at those games. The noise will be there, the atmosphere, the tension, the release.
“One doubts whether it will be anything like it was at around 6.25pm here, mind!
“Football, eh? How could we ever doubt you?”
This Is Anfield believe it’s now a case of getting over the finish line, by any means necessary:
“The mission was pretty simple heading into the final weeks: win them all.
“A victory at Old Trafford was both great and overdue, but it’s against the bottom clubs Liverpool have really struggled this season, as noted above.
“No wins against Fulham, Burnley, Newcastle, Brighton, West Brom? A strange, and dreadful, season.
“That nonsense simply head to be ended here at the Hawthorns, for European hopes, for optimism for next season and for our own states of mind heading into games against Burnley and Palace.
“Thankfully, one way or another, it’s over – and the top four remains in our hands. We just have to finish the job in these last two games, whatever it takes and however it needs doing.”
BBC Sport‘s Phil Dawkes outlined the current situation, highlighting the mouthwatering clash between Chelsea and Leicester:
“The stunning moment takes the Reds just a point and a place behind Chelsea in fourth and three points worse off than third-placed Leicester with two games to go.
“That the Blues and Foxes face each other in their next league game gives Jurgen Klopp‘s side a huge opportunity to take control of their own destiny in the race for Champions League qualification when they travel to Burnley on Wednesday.
“With Roberto Firmino firing against the woodwork, Sadio Mane seeing a finish ruled out for offside and others profligate in front of goal, it looked as though the Reds had blown their chance.
“But Alisson‘s big moment keeps them firmly in the hunt.”
Thiago was superb for Liverpool, with a number of journalists giving him special praise…
TIA hailed a virtuoso showing from the Spaniard:
“Between the Baggies’ opener and the latter stages of the first half they ran the show entirely, thanks largely to the efforts of Thiago Alcantara.
“The Spanish midfielder was exceptional, finding spaces in midfield despite Sam Allardyce seemingly playing a 7-8-1 formation at times, fizzing passes into his team-mates to take on the turn and surging forward into the final third himself in a way that hasn’t always been on display in his debut season.
“He was constantly on the ball, constantly available to take possession, constantly able to turn away from those closing him down – a masterful all-round showing, without lacking any defensive work which was required.
“He forced the issue, but sensibly and at the right times.”
ESPN‘s Tom Fenton was another who was hugely impressed by what he saw:
“It took the Spain international a little while to get settled, but once he did so Liverpool started to control proceedings.
“His passing and sharp link-up play with the three forwards caused plenty of issues for the Albion defenders, helping to turn the tide in the guests’ favour.”
Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, ex-Reds midfielder Jamie Redknapp waxed lyrical over Thiago:
“In Thiago, I saw a masterclass in midfield. He was amazing today.
“As a midfield player, we were watching him at times, the way he was manipulating the ball, passing it, keeping it, he kept them ticking.
“I know they’re playing against a team that’s got relegated, but you can still see his qualities when it’s a tight defence and the way he was passing the ball. Brilliant today.”