Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has paid tribute to his goalkeeper Alisson Becker after the Brazilian delivered a match-winning display against Monterrey on Wednesday.
The Reds had to rely upon their goalkeeper in the Club World Cup semi-final, as Alisson came up with several big stops against the Mexican side in Qatar.
Naby Keita gave Liverpool the lead in the 11th minute after a tremendous pass from Mohamed Salah, but Monterrey struck back just three minutes later through Rogelio Funes Mori.
From there the CONCACAF champions gave Liverpool all they could handle, forcing several key saves from Alisson as Klopp’s side barely managed to stay level.
But, in a game in which the Reds weren’t at their best, a pair of substitutes combined for a dramatic winner in the 91st minute.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Roberto Firmino teamed up for the late goal, with the former finding the latter to sweep home a cross to make it 2-1 and deliver a gut punch to the Liga MX side.
After the game, Klopp was full of praise for his goalkeeper, who earlier this month was awarded the Yachine Trophy as the best men’s goalkeeper in world football.
“All you need is Alisson Becker, Alisson Becker. He was there in the decisive moments,” Klopp enthused to BBC Sport . “Really hard game and then you can bring on the boys.”
Liverpool will now face Brazilian side Flamengo in the final on Saturday, but they may have to do so without key defender Virgil van Dijk, who missed out on Wednesday’s game with an illness.
Jordan Henderson, normally a midfielder, stepped into the back line in Van Dijk’s place, partnering Joe Gomez in the centre of Liverpool’s defence.
Henderson may be forced to deputise again on Saturday, as Klopp admitted that he was unsure if Van Dijk would be fit in time for the final.
“Wonderful goal, great game, super atmosphere,” Klopp said. “We have no clue about Virgil, we thought he would be fine. We will see.
“We have brought in a few kids and see what we can do line-up wise. We want to play the final and see what we can do.”