‘The goal was special but the clean sheets are better’: Alisson Becker laughs off the prospect of repeating his incredible top-four sealing goal of two years ago, as Liverpool prepare to face Leicester
- Liverpool sit fifth after winning each of their last six Premier League games
- They will travel to relegation-threatened Leicester on Monday night
- Alisson Becker insisted ‘clean sheets are better than goals’ before the game
Alisson Becker’s social media timeline in recent days has provided a constant reminder to the moment he became Liverpool’s saviour.
It is two years since he strolled into West Brom’s penalty in injury time and rose to score a perfect header, clinching a win that ultimately provided a gateway for Champions League qualification – a situation that, at one stage, had seemed unlikely.
So might history be about to repeat itself? Alisson smiles at the idea but his focus ahead of Monday’s trip to Leicester is taking his tally of clean sheets up to 101 – he was presented with a special shirt last week by Jurgen Klopp after reaching his century – and that would make him just as happy.
A goal from a goalkeeper is always remarkable but, really, what Alisson has done this season has been worth far more: saves against Everton, West Ham and Fulham, for instance, have been worth five points alone and mean Liverpool have a glimmer of finishing in the top four.
‘The goal was special but the clean sheets are better,’ says Alisson. ‘A lot of times when I look on Twitter for news, all the time it appears in my timeline that goal. It’s good, it made me feel good. It makes me think how crazy it is that I scored.
Alisson Becker has insisted ‘clean sheets are better than goals’ ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Leicester on Monday night
It comes two years after the keeper’s famous late winner against West Brom after coming up for a corner
The Brazilian’s corner confirmed Liverpool’s qualification for the Champions League
‘It was kind of a sign for us that something special was coming. I can be 100 times in the box but I don’t know if I will score again. I know now I can head a ball in a good way but hopefully we are not going to need it again! I think this season we are having special moments.
‘Diogo Jota’s goal is a really special one against Tottenham – that was last minute as well. Every goal we are scoring now is leading us to win games, so it would be special (if we can reach the top four). It depends on what we do the next season. That’s what made my goal even more special.’
Alisson has been Liverpool’s Player of the Year and his performances have been so consistent since he arrived at the club five years ago that it can be said without fear of contradiction that he is the best goalkeeper at the club since the late Ray Clemence, who remains a figure of inspiration for him.
To think, after his first trip to Leicester in September 2018 when he made a mistake that ended up in a goal for the home team, there were questions over whether the £64.6million investment had been excessive.
Though Alisson is likely to have to give way to David De Gea in the race to win the Premier League’s Golden Glove – Manchester United’s keeper holds sway 16 to 13 – Brazil’s number one is focused on an end to the campaign that can set the tone for his team going forward.
In an up-and-down season for the Reds, Alisson has been a standout player
Jurgen Klopp’s men have one their last six games, and a win at Leicester would move them within a point of fourth-place Liverpool
‘Ray had over 600 matches for Liverpool (665),’ said Alisson. ‘I don’t know if I can play that amount here, but I’m already looking forward to the next 50 or 100 clean sheets, and for the next one in the next match we have.
‘It would be special to be alongside them or to beat them, I admire a lot what the great goalies did, but I’m writing my own story here at Liverpool and I’m focused on that. It means a lot, even if I don’t realise how big 100 clean sheets is now. Maybe in the future I will.
‘I’m not the kind of guy who is really obsessed with numbers, of course numbers give you a bit of basis if you’re doing well or not. In football you have to deal with that with stats and everything. I’m really happy to achieve this mark, 100 clean sheets for the club.
‘When I saw on the internet a few names that reached this number, I’m really happy to be among them and reaching 100 clean sheets for the team. This is not a job exclusive of myself, it’s a teamwork clean sheet. My face is there but it’s the team work.’