Jurgen Klopp picked out Alisson Becker for praise after another commanding performance against Atalanta.
The Brazilian was an imperious figure between the sticks in helping Liverpool register their thrid successive clean sheet in Europe to put the Reds just one victory shy of securing qualification into the last-16.
Klopp said he was pleased with the quality of his team’s performances but admitted the team were indebted to the quality of their ‘world-class’ goalkeeper to maintain the Reds’ 100 per cent start in Europe.
Speaking with BT Sport, he said: “Mood outstanding. A really good game. We scored five goals and could have had more – Alisson [still had to make] made three world-class saves.”
Crucial to Liverpool’s win
Alisson has become such an integral figure for Liverpool since he joined the Reds from AS Roma back in 2018.
He has become even more important following the long-term absence of Virgil van Dijk as such a commanding presence has left a huge void in terms of leadership at the back, and given Alisson is the defence’s most senior member, he has to step up now more than ever.
There have been worries in terms of the goalkeeper’s fitness over the previous two seasons.
He missed 10 of Liverpool’s Premier League and European matches last season due to a calf problem while he has also been absent from three fixtures this season following a shoulder problem.
The biggest compliment you can give to Alisson regarding his quality and what he brings to the squad is that his influence on the team is more amplified when he isn’t available as opposed to when he is.
The 28-year-old’s presence immediately injects a sense of reassurance amongst both players and supporters alike – a quality that has proven impossible to match for Alisson’s understudy Adrian.
Adrian has undoubtedly stepped up in his absence, yet the void left vacated from Alisson’s unavailability is just too significant to fill as was showcased in the 7-2 capitulation against Aston Villa.
Against Atalanta, he pulled off a number incredible saves to preserve the clean sheet for his team and was a calming influence behind the backline that are still looking to settle amid a number of defensive casualties that include Van Dijk as well as Fabinho.
He was deserving of Klopp’s praise and continues to showcase how other than Van Dijk, Alisson has become Liverpool’s most indispensable member of their Premier League-winning squad.
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