Alisson is a life-saver: Klopp
Liverpool boss says he would have paid twice as much for the Brazilian had he known how good he is
Goalkeeper Alisson was labelled a "life-saver" by Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp for a last-gasp save that secured a 1-0 win over Napoli at Anfield and progress to the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Mohamed Salah's stunning solo effort put the hosts in front 11 minutes before half-time, but Liverpool were nearly made to pay for their profligacy in missing a series of second-half chances.
Alisson had barely been tested until the Brazil No. 1 spread himself brilliantly to deny Arkadiusz Milik a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser and go a long way to justifying the then-world record £67-million (S$115.6million) fee for a goalkeeper Liverpool paid AS Roma in July.
"If I knew Alisson was this good - I would have paid double," Reuters quoted Klopp as saying.
"It was not only one save. He had a lot of things to do tonight.
"How cool and calm he was with the ball helps us a lot in our build-up situations. When he comes out for crosses, he is outstanding. And, yes, that save was just incredible.
"But if we don't defend the whole pitch like we defended, Ali cannot make 20 saves like the last one. He did it - incredible, unbelievable. I never saw something similar... It was of course a life-saver tonight."
Alisson's teammates Andy Robertson and James Milner, too, called the custodian's save "unbelievable" while Virgil van Dijk highlighted that the presence of the Brazilian between the sticks "gives confidence to everyone".
Said the Dutch centre-back: "He's been fantastic for Liverpool and for us.
"[HE'S A]He's a great character, a great guy and he helps us all.
"He gives confidence to everyone. That's how it is and how it should be as well, for the whole team."[/HE'S A]
That confidence, as compared to his predecessor Loris Karius, is clear, according to statistics.
Alisson's save percentage of 80.6 per cent is significantly higher than the German's ratio of 65.2 per cent last season, according to The Daily Mail.
This season, the Brazilian has kept just four fewer clean sheets and made four fewer saves than Karius did in the last campaign, despite playing 11 games less.
After his excellent stop from Milik, former Holland international Ruud Gullit said of Alisson on BT Sport: "This is why you buy a good goalkeeper.
"He only needs to save you four games in a year, four or five games in a year, you're happy with that."
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand agreed, saying on BT Sport: "You buy a player like that. He's done nothing really the whole game.
"He wasn't really called upon. Distribution was fine, but in terms of making saves, he wasn't.
"Then, all of a sudden, that one save, when that moment in the game comes, great goalkeepers step up, and he's proven to be a fantastic addition."