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EPL: Keeper Alisson heads Liverpool to last-gasp victory

May 17, 2021 00:30 IST
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IMAGE: Liverpool's players celebrate after goalkeeper Alisson scored the winning goal against West Bromwich Albion during the English Premier League match at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, on Sunday. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Goalkeeper Alisson Becker scored a stunning header in the fifth minute of stoppage-time as Liverpool snatched a 2-1 victory at the death against relegated West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

 

Alisson headed home from a corner to secure what could be a precious three points for Liverpool in their bid to qualify for the Champions League next season.

They stay in fifth place on 63 points from 36 games, one behind Chelsea in the fourth and final qualification position. Leicester City are in third on 66 points with the latter two to meet on Tuesday.

Striker Hal Robson-Kanu had scored in his first Premier League start in three-and-a-half years to give West Brom the lead, but Mohamed Salah equalised for the visitors to move level with Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane on 22 Premier League goals for the season.

Both sides missed opportunities to add to their score, but it was Alisson's incredible late winner that clinched victory for the visitors.

Alisson, who lost his father in February, is the first Liverpool keeper to score in the club’s 129-year history as he rose highest to meet a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

"The game was our season in a nutshell," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told Sky Sports. "We do a lot of good stuff and then get hammered for a mistake. And then really have to work hard.

"We had the best chances in the last five or six minutes and we kept on playing football. In the end we needed Alisson to win it.

"It was an unbelievable header, I have never seen something like that. It was such good technique. I was in shock, 'I asked, 'is it right, did we actually score?'."

IMAGE: Goalkeeper Alisson scores the second goal for Liverpool against West Bromwich Albion. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool travel to Burnley on Wednesday and then host Crystal Palace in their final match of the season next Sunday.

"We are still in the (Champions League) race, that is all we can do. We must bring the same fight on Wednesday," Klopp said.

The result was tough on West Brom, who had given an excellent account of themselves, matching Liverpool for energy and intensity despite the fact their relegation had been sealed.

The home side hit the front on 15 minutes having made the brighter opening. Possession was cheaply given away in midfield and Matheus Pereira's ball behind the Liverpool defence was perfect for Robson-Kanu to race clear and easily beat Alisson.

Liverpool were level just past the half-hour mark as hesitant defending by West Brom allowed Salah to steer the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Roberto Firmino struck the post with just keeper Sam Johnstone to beat and the teams went into the break level.

West Brom felt aggrieved when Kyle Bartley scored from close-range following a corner, but while he was onside, Matt Phillips was standing in the eyeline of Alisson and the effort was ruled out.

The Liverpool keeper then denied Robson-Kanu in a one-on-one situation, before becoming the unlikely hero at the other end to snatch the points.

Kane helps tame Wolves to boost Spurs' European chances

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur players celebrate after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg scored the second goal against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur's England striker Harry Kane scored his 22nd Premier League goal of the season to help his side to a 2-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday which boosted their bid to secure European football for next season.

After Kane's late first-half strike, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg grabbed Spurs' second just past the hour to seal a victory which lifted Ryan Mason's team to sixth in the standings.

The performance was a vast improvement from Tottenham's defeat at Leeds United last week, including a promising afternoon from Dele Alli who showcased his attacking skills and tricks as well as getting stuck in with defensive duties.

"We are not happy with where we are, we should be higher and we only have ourselves to blame," Alli, who fell out of favour under previous manager Jose Mourinho, told Sky Sports.

"We are showing now what we can do but it is a bit too late. We just have to keep working hard and take it into the next season as well."

Spurs are in sixth place with 59 points, five adrift of London rivals Chelsea in fourth and four points behind fifth-placed Liverpool, who beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 away on Sunday, with two matches left. Wolves remain in 12th spot.

Kane, the league's leading scorer, struck on the stroke of halftime, shortly after seeing Conor Coady block his header on the goal-line with the England defender then also clearing a goalbound follow-up shot from Giovani Lo Celso.

IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane scores their first goal. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Reuters

Hojbjerg spotted Kane with space in behind and played in the England captain who took the ball into the area and showed composure to hold off Coady and deliver a cool finish past a diving Rui Patricio.

Spurs should have had a second shortly after the break when Alli fed the ball in to Kane but the striker's low shot was tipped on to the right hand post by Patricio. The ball came back out to Alli who tried to place it but hit the other post.

The hosts finally doubled their lead when a low drive from Gareth Bale was parried into the path of Denmark midfielder Hojbjerg who ran into the six-yard box to tap the ball home.

Tottenham managed 24 shots while Wolves rarely threatened as the pacey Adama Traore's crosses often found empty space, with the visitors clearly still missing the presence of injured striker Raul Jimenez.

"Large parts of the game we played well and were organised, good possession. Couple of mistakes. But a tough game. We have to analyse but I'm disappointed with the manner we conceded, too easy," Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said.

Although Spurs would need a sensational set of results to finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League, sixth place should be enough to make the Europa League next season following Leicester City's FA Cup win on Saturday.

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