I hate watching penalties. For Liverpool or against them, the anticipation makes me so nervous that I usually end up covering my eyes and peeking out at the game through my fingers. I can only imagine what its like for the goalkeeper, staring down a player and knowing how much the odds are stacked against him.
On the other hand, there’s probably no greater adrenaline rush than the one a keeper gets when they defy those odds and make a big save.
Alisson Becker got his first penalty save for Liverpool on Sunday against Chelsea. At the time, Liverpool lead 2-0, but their margin would have become a lot less comfortable at 2-1. But when Jorginho stepped up to take the penalty that marred Thiago Alcantara’s otherwise perfect debut, Alisson guessed right and dove down to push it away and deny the home team a chance to work their way back into the game.
After the match, Alisson was asked about his big moment and credited the diligent goalkeeping staff for their preparation.
“I’m really happy because in the Community Shield we lost on penalties. When the goalie doesn’t save any penalties you stay a little bit down and then you think, ‘I could do more, I could do it differently,’” he admitted.
“But the secret is to keep on going, to know that you are in a good direction, in the right direction, working hard and we did it together – me, John [Achterberg], Jack [Robinson], and all the video team who help us a lot.
“Also with the rebound, Millie and Virg did really well and I think they showed confidence in me that I would save the penalty.”
Hopefully this save was a good portent for things to come. The season has only just begun, but so far, Liverpool have resumed their winning ways right where they left off last season.