Liverpool have been rounding into form and grinding out tough, but important, results in critical matches despite a slew of injury concerns in recent weeks. There was quite a bit of justifiable anxiety over the lack of center-back options after Fabinho joined Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip on the injured list a few weeks ago.
However, a pair of young defenders and a scintillating new forward have helped overcome the injury concerns, and their contributions have been instrumental in seeing Liverpool at the top of both the Premier League and their Champion’s League group after a pair of recent victories.
Keeper Alisson Becker praised Diogo Jota, Rhys Williams, and Nat Phillips for their performances against Atalanta and West Ham in an interview with the club’s website, after the win over Atalanta last night.
Asked about Jota’s goal scoring and overall performances, Alisson was very complimentary of the young Portuguese forward.
“Really good. Jota is a great guy and a great player. He is here to contribute as everybody is, like Bobby, Mo and Sadio. We are a team and we are not a team of one player, but we have many players who come in and give the response that we need,” said Alisson.
The Brazilian keeper made a point to give credit to the entire squad for helping to create the opportunities that have allowed Jota to rack up the goals of late.
“I’m really happy for him - he got the hat-trick, and he deserved it because he worked hard on the pitch and we helped him a lot with movements,” continued Alisson. “Not only the guys who scored, but we made a good job with movements creating the spaces and the passing was good - and obviously his quality in front of goal, we can’t deny it.”
He also weighed in on the impressive performances at center-back by Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips against Atalanta and West Ham respectively.
“Rhys is a really good lad. He is always asking me to speak with him and talk with him on the pitch, so he is humble. He works hard and this helped him a lot.”
Phillips’ performance against West Ham seemed to especially impress Alisson, and he was thrilled to see Nat seize the opportunity.
“Nat, I’m really happy for the way he played on Saturday. It was more difficult for him because he has gone a long time without playing, coming back from an injury,” Alisson said.
“He was prepared in his mind but I think he wasn’t waiting for this opportunity. He grabbed it with both hands and did really well and I’m happy for him, happy for the team with what we have in front of us. We have a big challenge now, but I’m really happy with what we are doing on the pitch.”