Goalkeeper Alisson heads his way into Premier League history books

AP , Sunday 16 May 2021

Liverpool's Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his teammates during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool at The Hawthorns stadium in West Bromwich, central England, on May 16, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson made the 80-meter journey into West Bromwich Albion's penalty area more in hope than any expectation of scoring the goal that would keep alive his team's chances of reaching the Champions League.

After all, he'd never scored a goal in his career. No Liverpool 'keeper had in a competitive game.

One textbook header from a corner changed all that in one of the most sensational moments of this or any Premier League season. Alisson _ with his gloves on and unmissable in his black shirt and shorts _ found space in the middle of the area to glance a header into the bottom corner from a perfect delivery by Trent Alexander-Arnold and secure Liverpool a dramatic 2-1 win on Sunday.

Alisson got up off the ground and was immediately mobbed by his teammates. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was speechless in his technical area.

A goalkeeper had scored for just the sixth time in Premier League history _ none of the previous five had been a winner.

And Liverpool, against all the odds, could dream once again of the Champions League with one week left of the season.

``You can't explain a lot of things in life,`` the Brazil international said. ``For me, the only reason for those types of things is God _ he put his hand on my head today and I'm feeling really blessed.''

Alisson dedicated the goal to his father, Jose Agostinho Becker, who drowned in February after going for a swim on his property in the southern city of Lavras do Sul in Brazil.

``I (wish) he was here to see it, I'm sure he is with God at his side, celebrating,`` he said.

Without that goal, Liverpool was set to miss out on finishing in the top four, its destiny no longer in its players' hands.

Now, wins over Burnley and Crystal Palace will likely seal Liverpool a place in the top four and a return to the Champions League for one of European soccer's grandest clubs.

Liverpool has 63 points, one behind fourth-place Chelsea and three behind third-place Leicester with two rounds remaining. Chelsea hosts Leicester on Tuesday in the next-to-last round.

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