Coming out of Liverpool’s 1-0 victory over West Ham on Wednesday evening, there was a talking point at either end of the pitch for Jürgen Klopp’s Reds, with striker Darwin Nuñez sowing chaos at one end of it and goalkeeper Alisson engaging in heroics at the other.
While the highlight reels may focus on Nuñez, with opponents West Ham creating nearly two and a half goals worth of chances by xG—including a penalty worth the better part of one of those—the work Alisson did to earn the shutout is arguably the more important.
“I’m really happy about because we work so hard every day to come here and perform,” Alisson said when asked about his role in securing three points for the Reds. “Sometimes things don’t happen just as we want but I think in the last few games it’s working out.
“Since the beginning of the season we have big goals to fight for every competition that we are in. We started well with the Community Shield against Man City. It gave us a little bit of confidence but we didn’t use that for the Premier League and then we lost confidence.
“We lost players from injuries, and this is something that affected the team, the rhythm, players coming back from a long time not playing. All the circumstances around affected us a little bit. On the pitch as well, performances weren’t so bad but they weren’t enough.”
There’s a case to be made that the performance wasn’t quite enough against West Ham, at least compared to their last two games and when looking at the underlying metrics that had the two teams mostly level and taking into account the Hammers’ deserved penalty.
Still, while West Ham played well enough to likely feel they deserved better than nothing, Liverpool also played well and created more than the final scoreline suggests—and with Alisson stopping their penalty, Liverpool from open play can say they were the better side.
“We just stick together,” the goalkeeper added, reflecting on the generally improved performances and results of late for the Reds and the need now to keep it going. “It was something that we were speaking about a lot, to stick together at this difficult time.
“Working hard, working every day, not only on matchdays. Now things are coming out, the results are coming, but we don’t have to be too excited about that. We have to keep our feet on the ground and just stick together, keep on working. It’s a long season for everybody.”