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Sunday, July 12, 2020

‘We should not take him for granted’ – Klopp hails ‘world-class’ Alisson

The Liverpool boss praised his No. 1 for his role in Sunday’s Merseyside derby
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Jurgen Klopp hailed “world-class” Alisson Becker after Liverpool returned to Premier League action with a 0-0 draw at Everton.

In a low-key affair at Goodison Park, it was the Brazilian who produced the standout moment, his superb second-half save denying Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with Reds substitute Joe Gomez deflecting the rebound from Tom Davies onto the post.

It denied the Toffees a first Merseyside derby win since 2010, but the draw means Liverpool must hope Manchester City fail to beat Burnley on Monday if they are to clinch the league title themselves by beating Crystal Palace at Anfield on Wednesday. 

Klopp had no complaints about the draw – the third stalemate here between the side in the last three seasons – and was gushing in his praise of Alisson, who underlined his status as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

“It says a lot about him,” he told his post-match press conference. “We should not take him for granted. Absolutely outstanding. 

“That’s what a world-class goalie is, nothing to do for 90 mins pretty much, then he’s there.”

Liverpool had chances of their own, with Fabinho denied late on by Jordan Pickford and both Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino wasting decent openings in the first half.

They did, however, lose both Matip and James Milner to injury, with Milner now almost certain to miss the Palace game.

“He felt his hamstring,” Klopp confirmed. “We have seen before with Milly, he is smart enough to show up when he first feels it, so hopefully it is not too serious.

“Joel felt a stretch on his big toe, which was very painful. Hopefully, the pain settles and then we can see.”

On the game itself, Klopp added: “All the derbies here at Goodison looked pretty similar, I think!

“Each time is fighting like crazy but in the end not a lot of football.

“Today, the point is the one we deserve, even though I admit Everton had the biggest chance to win the game. I liked the intensity of the game from my boys. What I didn’t like too much was the rhythm.

“The defensive stuff was there. Offensively, we need moments. I know we can play better football. The performance level was OK. We have to respect the opponent, and Everton were here to make our life difficult. They have quality and they could have won the game.”

“But the draw was fair. I saw Carlo Ancelotti outside and he said the same.”

Klopp also praised the performance of midfielder Naby Keita, who was one of Liverpool’s brighter players in his 65 minutes on the field.

“Naby was good,” he said. “Taki [Minamino] was good as well, by the way. The change at half-time had nothing to do with his performance. Ox was lively, Naby looked absolutely good. He played because he looked so good in training.” 

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