A last-gasp winner from goalkeeper Alisson, the unlikeliest of goalscorers, helped Liverpool keep alive their hopes of finishing in the top four. A superb header from the Reds custodian deep into added time secured a thrilling 2-1 win for the deposed Premier League champions away at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Despite naming their youngest side of the Premier League season thus far, Liverpool started the game brightly and controlled possession in the middle of the pitch. However, the hosts not only managed to keep the Reds’ attack at bay, but they also took an early lead against the run of play through Hal Robson-Kanu.
Mohamed Salah restored parity for Liverpool just after the half-hour mark. The Reds were the superior team in the second half, but their profligate finishing almost cost them dearly. West Brom seemed to have done enough to warrant a share of the points, only for the unmarked Liverpool shot-stopper rise highest in the crowded Baggies box and power home a stunning winner.
Alisson’s goal sees fifth-placed Liverpool close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to just one point with two games left to play. The Reds will now fancy their chances of sneaking into the Champions League places, as Chelsea need to play third-placed Leicester City in their final two games.
On that note, let’s have a look at the Liverpool player ratings from a thrilling game at the Hawthorns.
While it was not his most eventful outing in goal, Alisson made his mark at the other end. He rose highest to head home an unlikely winner with virtually the last kick of the game to keep alive Liverpool’s late rally for a top-four finish. That marked the first-ever goal scored by a Reds goalkeeper in competitive games.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
The Liverpool right-back was a constant threat down the right flank. But he was guilty of passing up several presentable opportunities after finding himself in promising positions high up the field. Alexander-Arnold did set up Liverpool’s winner with a probing delivery from a corner, though.
Nathaniel Phillips: 4/10
After a difficult outing in his last outing at Old Trafford, Phillips did not have it much easier in this game. He was often guilty of being too far out of position and allowing the opposition players to overwhelm him.
Rhys Williams: 4/10
While the Liverpool defenders were not under constant pressure from the opposition attackers, both Williams and his partner Phillips were guilty of switching off and getting caught out by balls over the top on multiple occasions, including the Baggies’ opener.
Andrew Robertson: 5/10
While he was not as threatening going forward as his full-back partner on the other side, Robertson got forward regularly and with intent. He was unable to provide the killer pass for his attackers, though.
Thiago Alcantara: 6/10
It was a typically classy and elegant display in midfield from the Spaniard. Alcantara kept things effortlessly ticking over in the Liverpool midfield with a series of quick, clever and accurate passes.
The Brazilian formed a highly effective shield in front of his inexperienced central defenders, displaying impressive tenacity and physicality in a battling display.
Curtis Jones: 5/10
The young Englishman was rather ineffective on his return to the Liverpool starting lineup. He did not feature much in the Reds’ attacking or defensive play and was replaced by Xherdan Shaqiri just before the hour mark.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
As is often the case, the Egyptian was Liverpool’s most potent threat in attack. Mohamed Salah showed as much with his well-taken goal in the first half but was unable to make more of an impact.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
Captaining Liverpool for the first time, the Brazilian came close to scoring when he struck the post in the first half. But it was otherwise a largely ineffective display from Firmino in front of goal.
Sadio Mane: 4/10
It was a disappointing return to the starting lineup for the Senegalese international. Mane was well-marshalled by the West Brom defenders and struggled to get involved in his side’s attacking plays.
Ratings of Liverpool substitutes
Xherdan Shaqiri: 4/10
Shaqiri struggled to make a real impact on proceedings after replacing Jones in the second half.
Georginio Wijnaldum: NA
Georginio Wijnaldum came on for the final few minutes as Liverpool pushed for the win. But the outgoing midfielder only had time to take a few largely inconsequential touches of the ball.