It was almost done and dusted. After a resolute and determined display, a draw seemed to be the ideal result for West Brom. Four minutes into the added time of the second half, and Sadio Mane again forces his way down the left and his low cross was blocked behind – a corner for Liverpool, a lifeline in a must-win game. The ball flew from the corner spot into the center of the West Brom penalty area and the rest was history.
90+5' CAN YOU BELIEVE IT 😮😮😮😮😮
ALISSON IS THE HERO AS HE NETS A SUBLIME HEADER FROM ROBBO'S CORNER.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 16, 2021
The shot-stopper of the Reds, Alisson, ran down to join his teammates for the corner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold flung over yet another corner; Alisson rose at the near post to glance on a powerful header into the far top corner.
The goal arrived from an unlikely source and it was neither Mane nor Roberto Firmino nor Mohamed Salah, but Alisson headed the ball into the net – Liverpool escaped the West Brom scare.
The Liverpool bench celebrated wildly as the final whistle blew within a minute. So Jürgen Klopp’s side live to fight another day as, with Burnley and Crystal Palace still to play, they moved within a point of fourth-placed Chelsea.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 16, 2021
The match started slowly and when Hal Robson Kanu gave West Brom the lead, Liverpool did not slow down their tempo. They had better control over the ball, but the ultimate penetration was missing.
Mane, starting instead of the injured Diogo Jota, should have equalized when shooting wide of the near post after Fabinho played in Thiago Alcantara down the right of the penalty area.
Then Salah pulled Alexander-Arnold’s lovely cross-field pass, left to right, out of the sky with a sumptuous first touch but could only plop the second into Sam Johnstone’s arms.
If you're looking for the 𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒇𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒉𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒆𝒓 photo, you can stop looking. pic.twitter.com/wf38rrcSNn
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 16, 2021
Grady Diangana played a pass back towards a teammate but Mané intercepted to square the ball to Salah who struck his 22nd league goal of the season with a first-time left-footed shot from the edge of the area.
No waste of the opportunity this time though!
This put the Egyptian equal with Harry Kane, in the race for the Premier League’s golden-boot and Liverpool level.
Immediately, Liverpool got another opportunity: Mané’s back-heel rebounded off Yokuslu into Firmino’s path but his shot struck the post.
The first ever goalkeeper to score for Liverpool FC in 127 years of club history.
The first ever goalkeeper to score the winner in a Premier League fixture in 29 years of history.
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) May 16, 2021
The game moved on with the visitors dominating, but West Brom tried to disturb the rhythm of the Reds and they had been decent enough to keep Liverpool occupied.
In the second half, Pereira found himself on a one-on-one race with Phillips from the halfway line but could only get a weak shot away, easily saved.
From the corner, Conor Townsend was left waving his hands in the air as he saw Salah and Alexander-Arnold coming at him, two on one, but Johnstone controlled the threat.
A Manestrike was disallowed by VAR and when Kyle Bartley headed home Diangana’s corner, they were overjoyed, but again, VAR ruled the goal out for an offside.
“I played [football] since I remember…with my father. I hope he was here to see it, but I am sure…he is celebrating.”
Alisson’s father died suddenly in Brazil in February. He was full of emotion after scoring a last-minute winner for Liverpool. 🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/lsgBQrh9T1
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 16, 2021
There was still time for Alexander-Arnold to cut easily inside only to shoot over from eight yards out.
In the dying moments, Alisson created history.
“Wow, is a pretty good word. It was spectacular and a good game,” Jurgen Klopp told BBC Sport.
“What a moment! That is so far the highlight. I hope we have time for another highlight [this season]. It was a tricky game. Winning that way is really special. I couldn’t be happier at the moment.”
“It’s the best goal I’ve ever seen scored by a goalkeeper! Striker’s score like that. If Olivier Giroud scores like that you say it’s a worldie. It’s a worldie! Wow!”
"I hope he was there to see it with God on his side celebrating" 👏
"I don't know how to celebrate!" 😂
A fantastic interview with Alisson, who dedicates his sensational last-minute goal to his father who passed away earlier this year 🙌 pic.twitter.com/4w2HsbaO16
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 16, 2021
“[Alisson’s] our player, our boy, and our brother. When he is suffering we are all suffering. It’s hard in these moments. There are more important things than football but when football can deliver moments like this for him, and all the boys, and our fans, then football is the best thing for a few seconds than anything else out there.”
He added to Sky Sports, “It’s an unbelievable header, I’ve never seen anything like that, good technique. I wasn’t sure what I was seeing.”
“We are not even halfway through. We have to win going to Turf Moor. We have to win. There will be a proper atmosphere and will not be a friendly game,” Klopp said as his side look to maintain their fight for a spot in the group stage of next season’s Champions League.