Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says he felt like he had scored the winning goal when he made a game-changing late save against Napoli in the Champions League.
With the Reds needing to win 1-0 to progress from the group stages and leading through Mo Salah’s goal, Alisson blocked Arkadiusz Milik’s last-minute effort to seal the victory and become an instant hero with the fans after his £65 million move from Roma last summer.
“A save at the end of the game is always great and you feel you have contributed to the game,” he told The Times. “Of course, an important save in the first minute is as important as a save in the last minute but for the fans it’s the closest thing to scoring a goal in the last minute, like we did in the derby against Everton.
“But I only managed to make that save with the help of my teammates’ contribution and thank God we got the victory.”
Alisson’s form has been key to Liverpool’s ascent to the top of the table — a position sealed last weekend after the 1-0 win over Everton, with Divock Origi scoring the winner in the sixth minute of added time.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was criticised for his celebrations after that goal, when he ran onto the pitch to embrace his Brazilian goalkeeper, but Alisson insists he no idea what was coming.
“It’s hard to explain what was happening,” he said. “It was at the end of the game, I was celebrating. Generally, I prefer not to celebrate too much so I can concentrate on the game and stay level-headed but the goal came at the end of the game so I could let it all out.
“I ran to the middle of the field and did my usual celebrations, pointing to the heavens, thanking God, and then I looked to one side and I saw Jurgen and I thought, ‘What is he doing?’ It was a great moment and I gave him a big hug.
“I appreciate it wasn’t the correct thing to do and he has been punished for that — but it was worth it.”