Alisson Becker and his defensive compatriots have gotten off to a nice start this season, conceding just once so far in the Premier League. On Saturday, Alisson played behind a completely changed defensive line, including debutante Ibrahima Konaté and emergency fill in James Milner. Despite some dangerous attacking players in the Crystal Palace side, Liverpool’s defense limited their opponents to just two shots on goal.
“[I]t was a really tough game, really good performance from us, consistency on the pitch, defending well,” said Alisson.
“The chances the opponent had in the game weren’t clear always – always we had a player there to go for the challenge and everything is easier for me and for the other players to defend. So, well done from the boys.”
Despite limiting Crystal Palace to a few paltry chances, Alisson still felt he could have done a better job on a shot that he somehow palmed out of the goal mouth just moments into the game.
“I think I could do better in coming out, maybe to catch it high but I miss a little bit the time and then Zaha did well, just touched the ball behind me and I was lucky that I could turn back and make the save,” said Alisson of the chance.
“It’s really important to start the game focused because if you concede, the history of the game can change completely. We know how hard it is to create space against Crystal Palace, they’re a team who works hard and they are doing well this season as well. That’s important for the team.”
It was an absurd save, and just one of many stellar stops from the Brazilian this season. According to fbref.com, Alisson has kept out over 2.5 expected goals based on the post shot analysis this season through 5 games. To highlight this fact, he has also shut down all 1v1 situations he has faced thus far, a stunning accomplishment.
#Alisson’s #PremierLeague form is an absolute joke!— John Harrison (@Jhdharrison1) September 19, 2021
He’s faced 7 1v1 situations so far & saved all 7!
My model predicts an average #PL GK would’ve conceded ~4 goals from those situations by now!
How long do we think he can keep the 100% record? #LFC #LiverpoolFC pic.twitter.com/xTMjXi2YbV
While of course Liverpool will concede the odd goal here and there, Alisson and his crew want to remain solid defensively and work towards clean sheets while rolling up goals on the other end. Against Crystal Palace, Liverpool very much succeeded in their mission.
“Sometimes you struggle a little bit more. Today everything happened in the right time because we worked for that. We searched to score, we searched to finish the game and we were working hard defensively to keep the clean sheet – it’s something that is our target, everybody knows that.”
Of course, it is only five games into the Premier League season, and there is the vast majority of the games left to play. Despite the great start for the Reds, sitting joint top of the table while unbeaten, Alisson cautions that he and the squad have to remain focused during the grind to come.
“I think we can’t stop now but we are doing a really good start to the season. This is really important. The most difficult moment in the season for us is the winter, so there is a long way until the end of the Premier League. We need to keep working hard and having the same mentality and just keep on going.”
Liverpool struggled massively last winter, though it was a very unusual situation. On top of the glut of injuries, especially with the central defenders, there were no fans to help lift the team up. Alisson knows just how special it is to have the full voice of the Kop behind him, and that support means a lot to him personally, especially when they belt out You’ll Never Walk Alone.
“It’s amazing. You never get tired of it. Everybody knows about my faith, I always talk about that and when I listen to the crowd singing You’ll Never Walk Alone, they really mean it. For me, this is a message from God saying that really you never walk alone. So, this is not only something of the club but is part of my life and I believe part of the life of my teammates.”