Anfield recently witnessed arguably it’s greatest ever night, as Barcelona were torn to shreds. Liverpool became only the third side to reach Europe’s premier club match having lost the first leg of the semi-final by three goals, and the first to do so without requiring away goals or penalties.
There were so many heroes. Divock Origi and Gini Wijnaldum both scored braces. Fabinho played superbly despite being on a yellow for all but 11 minutes of the match. Sadio Mané appeared to cover every blade of grass, while Trent Alexander-Arnold possessed the sharpest mind and coolest head to assist the fourth goal. Speed of thought, speed of life. Hell, even the bloody ball boy had an article written about him in a national newspaper.
But on a night when a clean sheet was of paramount importance, maybe one man deserved more praise than virtually anyone: Alisson Becker. The big Brazilian made five saves on the night, four of which were while the tie was in the balance as Liverpool held a one goal lead, and two of the stops were from clear-cut chances. And but for his last minute save against Napoli, the Reds wouldn’t have got anywhere near as close to Madrid.
The plan was to crown him as April’s player of the month – even though Salah garnered the most post-match poll votes, as he was covered in March – but after his strong performance against the Spanish champions, it made sense to get the league campaign out of the way so we could look at his debut domestic season in full.
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