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Reds Column V

Premier League 2020-21 Summary: West Bromwich Albion vs Liverpool

An incredible last-gasp winner from Goalkeeper Alisson Becker helped Liverpool Fc (The Reds) to beat the hosts West Bromwich Albion Fc 1-2 in the Premier League.

Sadio Mané and Curtis Jones were named for the Premier League away clash with West Bromwich Albion Fc.

The Duo replaced Georginio Wijnaldum and the injured Diogo Jota as the latter was ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to an unspecified foot injury.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also ruled out due to illness and Roberto Firmino took over the Captain’s armband.

Given that the Reds needed to win all their remaining games for their hopes to secure Champions League berth for the next Season; the decision to bring on Curtis Jones seemed baffling given the youngster’s inability to breakdown sides that looked to defend deep in numbers and shield an inexperienced defence when required. Xherdan Shaqiri would have been the ideal solution.

The Reds looked to assert themselves in the game but there were plenty warning signs for the Reds as the hosts threatened to score Goals on the counter.

Despite dominating the possession, the Reds conceded an early Goal as Hal Robson-Kanu struck his shot to the bottom left corner of the net following an assist by Matheus Pereira in the 15th minute.

Only Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago started this game brightly while the others looked jaded and off-pace during the First Half!

Like most of the games where the Reds played poorly in the First Half and conceded this Season; this game looked like Déjà vu for the Reds.

Conceding needless silly Free Kicks and early Goal played in the hands of the Baggies. The Reds needed a monumental effort to pull off a win over the hosts Baggies as the Reds performance where nowhere near like the Manchester United Fc away fixture.

Out of nowhere…the Reds levelled the scoreline through Salah after the Egyptian struck his effort from outside the box to the bottom left corner of the net following an assist from Mané in the 33rd minute.

The Baggies though would have felt aggrieved as replays showed that in the build-up to the equaliser; the Reds were wrongly awarded the Free Kick instead of being a Drop Ball for both sides.

Firmino later came close making it 1-2 for the Reds but his effort hit the post in the 35th minute.

The First Half ended with the scoreline at 1-1 and Jürgen Klopp had to consider bringing on Georginio Wijnaldum or Xherdan Shaqiri to bring more solidity and energy in the midfield.

After the Second Half began, both sides looked to take the lead.

In a bid to up the ante, Curtis Jones was taken off in place of Xheridan Shaqiri in the 59th minute. This meant that the Reds switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation with Mané and Shaqiri operating on the flanks. Salah led the attack and Firmino operated as a Number ‘10’.

The hosts looked threatening at every opportunity to score Goals.

The Reds had a massive reprieve after the Goal from Kyle Bartley scores was ruled as Offside. Matt Phillips was judged to interfere with Alisson’s line of sight.

Desperate for the second Goal, the Reds looked devoid of ideas and time was running out as Alisson Becker produced saves to keep the Reds in the hunt.

Thiago came close to making it 1-2 for the Reds but the effort from Spaniard was blocked by Sam Johnstone following an assist by Roberto Firmino in the 87th minute.

Finally; in an outrageous moment, Alisson scored the winner for the Reds as the Brazilian rose to glance his header to the top right corner of the net following an assist from Trent Alexander-Arnold with a cross following a corner.

The Reds sealed a memorable 1-2 win over the hosts Baggies and most astoundingly, Alisson became the first Goalkeeper to score a competitive Goal in the Club’s entire history.

More importantly, the Reds are firmly in control of securing their Champions League berth.

 

Reds Team Performance Ratings

Liverpool (4-3-3 Formation)

Defence:

Alisson Becker – 10: Scored the last-gasp winner. The Brazilian produced saves to keep the Reds in the hunt.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – 8: The Englishman made timely challenges and provided crosses especially the only resulted in the winning Goal.

Rhys Williams – 6: Despite the attack from the hosts, the youngster looked unperturbed.

Nathaniel Phillips – 6: Looked shaky unlike his performance in the Manchester United Fc away clash but the Englishman held his nerve.

Andrew Robertson – 6: Was caught out of position many times during the First Half but improved after the Second Half and looked preoccupied in the left flank.

Midfield:

Curtis Jones – 5: Struggled to make an impact and was unable to get the Reds on the front foot.

Fabinho – 7: The Brazilian was assertive in the midfield and was a protective shield for the defence.

Thiago Alcântara – 7: Always looked to get the Reds on the front foot. Had some shots saved and moved the ball around intelligently.

Forwards:

Sadio Mané – 6: Looked energetic after being recalled and provided the assist that led to the equaliser but his performance wilted in the Second Half as the Reds were in the hunt for the second Goal.

Roberto Firmino – 6: Skippered the side. Some of his shots missed the target and one hit the post. Linked up well with Mané and Salah.

Mohamed Salah – 7: The only Reds forward that looked like scoring and the Egyptian scored the Equaliser to bring the Reds back in the game.

Substitutes:

Xherdan Shaqiri – 6: His introduction brought some impetus to the side.

Georginio Wijnaldum – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact and missed the chance to make it 1-2 for the Reds but thankfully, Alisson scored the last-gasp winner moments later.

Coach:

Jürgen Klopp – 9: With the Reds desperate in the search of the second Goal, the Gaffer made the right call to take off Curtis Jones during the Second Half.

Klopp surely will be thanking Alisson not only the saves and the crucial winner but for many other saves that the Brazilian produced during the campaign to keep the Reds in the hunt.

The Reds will know clearly what is required after the upcoming Premier League Fixture between Chelsea Fc v Leicester City Fc but winning the remaining games by a bigger margin in all likelihood would guarantee the Reds Champions spot for the next Season.

 

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