Soccer-Keeper Alisson heads Liverpool to last-gasp victory

Soccer Football - Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool - The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - May 16, 2021 General view as Liverpool's Alisson scores their second goal Pool via REUTERS/Laurence Griffiths

(Reuters) -Goalkeeper Alisson Becker scored a stunning header in the fifth minute of stoppage-time as Liverpool snatched a 2-1 victory at the death against relegated West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday.

Alisson headed home from a corner to secure what could be a precious three points for Liverpool in their bid to qualify for the Champions League next season.

They stay in fifth place on 63 points from 36 games, one behind Chelsea in the fourth and final qualification position. Leicester City are in third on 66 points with the latter two to meet on Tuesday.

Striker Hal Robson-Kanu had scored in his first Premier League start in three-and-a-half years to give West Brom the lead, but Mohamed Salah equalised for the visitors to move level with Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane on 22 Premier League goals for the season.

Both sides missed opportunities to add to their score, but it was Alisson's incredible late winner that clinched victory for the visitors.

Alisson, who lost his father in February, is the first Liverpool keeper to score in the club’s 129-year history as he rose highest to meet a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

"The game was our season in a nutshell," Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp told Sky Sports. "We do a lot of good stuff and then get hammered for a mistake. And then really have to work hard.

"We had the best chances in the last five or six minutes and we kept on playing football. In the end we needed Alisson to win it.

"It was an unbelievable header, I have never seen something like that. It was such good technique. I was in shock, 'I asked, 'is it right, did we actually score?'."

Liverpool travel to Burnley on Wednesday and then host Crystal Palace in their final match of the season next Sunday.

"We are still in the (Champions League) race, that is all we can do. We must bring the same fight on Wednesday," Klopp said.

The result was tough on West Brom, who had given an excellent account of themselves, matching Liverpool for energy and intensity despite the fact their relegation had been sealed.

The home side hit the front on 15 minutes having made the brighter opening. Possession was cheaply given away in midfield and Matheus Pereira's ball behind the Liverpool defence was perfect for Robson-Kanu to race clear and easily beat Alisson.

Liverpool were level just past the half-hour mark as hesitant defending by West Brom allowed Salah to steer the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Roberto Firmino struck the post with just keeper Sam Johnstone to beat and the teams went into the break level.

West Brom felt aggrieved when Kyle Bartley scored from close-range following a corner, but while he was onside, Matt Phillips was standing in the eyeline of Alisson and the effort was ruled out.

The Liverpool keeper then denied Robson-Kanu in a one-on-one situation, before becoming the unlikely hero at the other end to snatch the points.

(Reporting by Nick SaidEditing by Toby Davis)

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