Alisson Becker scored the most dramatic of headers in injury-time to keep Liverpool’s Champions League dream alive with a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion. The Reds appeared destined to drop two vital points in the race for the top four before their goalkeeper provided a stunning finish.
The Brazilian goalkeeper was the most unlikely goalscorer on the pitch, but came forward for Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner in the 95th minute at the Hawthorns.
He got across the front post and powered a bullet header into the far corner before bursting into tears on Jurgen Klopp’s shoulder when the final whistle blew in the West Midlands.
Alisson has endured a difficult season personally following the death of his father in a swimming accident in February.
The 28-year-old took time out but could not fly back to Brazil to attend the funeral of 57-year-old Jose Becker and he appeared overcome with emotion on Sunday.
It capped a huge result for Liverpool, who still have their destiny in their own hands, with two Premier League games remaining.
West Brom had threatened to upset the party when they took the lead after just 15 minutes. Hal Robson-Kanu got in behind the Liverpool defence and finished expertly from Matheus Pereira’s through ball to open the scoring.
Liverpool equalised in controversial fashion when Mohamed Salah curled in a snapshot from the edge of the penalty area.
The goal came after referee Mike Dean had awarded the away side a free-kick, not a drop ball, after he got in the way of their build-up involving Fabinho.
Liverpool had further chances through Sadio Mane, Salah, Alexander-Arnold and Gini Wijnaldum but could not break down the Baggies’ defence.
They had an opportunity to win it, too, with Robson-Kanu forcing a decent stop from Alisson in the second half after ghosting in once more.
Then with time running out, Alisson came forward to provide the coup de grace on a brilliant day for Klopp’s side.
After the final whistle had blown, Alisson gave an emotional interview to Sky Sports.
“I’m too emotional, this last month for everything that has happened with me and my family, but football is my life, I played since I can remember with my father,” he said.
“I hope he was here to see it, I’m sure he is celebrating with God at his side.
“Sometimes you are fighting and things aren’t happening. I’m really happy to help them because we fight together and have a strong goal to achieve the Champions League, because we have won it once and everything starts with qualification.
“So I can’t be more happy than I am now.”