The early iterations of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side were fun to watch from an attacking perspective, but were often undone due to defensive and goalkeeper miscues. Virgil van Dijk was identified as a player who could help sort out Liverpool’s defensive woes, and when he stepped into the center of defense, the team immediately became better. The next step in the evolution of the squad was to add Alisson Becker for a then world record fee.
Both players have helped turn Liverpool into one of the best defensive units on the planet, and have earned individual honors for their efforts. While van Dijk gets the lions share of the recognition in the press, Jamie Carragher believes that Alisson is just as important.
”Listen, we speak about Van Dijk and he’s amazing, a massive influence, I think equally as much is the goalkeeper”, the ex-Red told Sky Sports.
“His performance today, you’d look at and think ‘he didn’t make a great save’, he never makes a great save! That’s the sign of a great ‘keeper, everything looks easy.”
Alisson indeed made things look easy against Tottenham. His positioning and footwork allow him to get into position to make an easier catch rather than a diving parry. Alisson’s ability to hold a shot and not allow a follow up on a rebound limited Spurs to mostly half chances from the edge of the box.
“Against Spurs in the Champions League final, it was very similar to some of the efforts they had today”, said Carragher.
“They were in semi-chances or half-chances and he dealt with it so easily. He catches everything and he makes it all look so easy.”
While van Dijk and his defensive cohorts have done a great job of limiting the chances on net, it’s really nice to know that Alisson is there to deal with whatever shots do make it through.