Question remains, can they make it count?

Question remains, can they make it count?

Liverpool's last-minute win away at West Brom was a particular highlight for me, a win that kept the clubs hopes of top-four qualification alive. This season has been nothing short of a nightmare for Klopp's men. They came into the season rolling, winning the Champions League in 2019 and then claiming their first league title in 30 years in 2020. The coronavirus outbreak prohibited the club from really celebrating that maiden Premier League crown, but there was some hope the 2020/21 season could see a repeat. By that time, the crowds would gather all long Liverpool, as they did to celebrate the Champions League in June 2019.

This wasn't to be; Virgil; Virgil Van Dijk's season-ending injury after the derby in October was compounded by Gomez going down on international duty a few weeks later. More injuries to Matip, Jota, and Henderson helped to derail the campaign before any real momentum could build up. There was a period where it looked like it could still be a successful campaign. After thumping Palace 7-0 in December, they were sat in first place on Christmas day (something Liverpool have made an annoying habit of doing while not winning the league). Anyhow, the injuries, lack of crowds, fatigue etc. caught up with them, and sides like City and United were able to pull away.

For many reasons, this season has felt like a reset for Liverpool. They lost their Anfield invincibility and then could buy a win at home for weeks; some old fractures look to have opened as a side that has gotten so used to winning has struggled to put a run together for much of the year. This is why this weekend's win over West Brom was so crucial and elicited such a reaction, well that and the unlikely goal scorer.

Until the 94 minute, the game was Liverpool's season in microcosm. Decent in possession, failing to take a few good opportunities, sucker-punched with a goal from the opposition. VAR decision that could have gone their way on another day but...oh wait, that did go for them on Sunday and, in truth, helped them out. I'm sure fans of every club will point to several contentious VAR decisions that have cost their teams this season, and Liverpool are no different. When they've needed a break, they have not found VAR very forgiving; yesterday, they did. Kyle Bartley's disallowed goal set up the final 10 mins of sustained Liverpool pressure, more missed opportunities and one last throw of the dice.

Now anyone who's watched football for even a short period knows how excited we all get from corners. It's irrational, and it has been well documented now how inefficient they are. Corners result in goals about 4% of the time. But despite this, there's always hope. A corner kick in the dying seconds of a game, with the keeper making his way up to the opposition box, is peak, irrational football fan hope.

So let's talk about Alisson. It's been a tough season for the Brazilian. I think we all do a better job of understanding the human beings that don the colours of our favourite clubs, and although not widely documented, a fair bit was said and communicated to the fans when Alisson's father suddenly passed in February. His post-match interview with Sky was heartbreaking; his loss still so raw.

All things considered, Alisson has had a pretty standard season. There have been a few high profile mistakes - namely two against City in early February - but on the whole, he's been a solid performer. And let's be fair, he's got considerable credit in the bank and reaction from his teammates after the final whistle proved to all who didn't realise how beloved he is in the Liverpool team. He became only the 6th goalkeeper to score in Premier League with his incredible header, the first since 2013.

For a club that has experienced so many high stakes games in the past five years, this season threatened to fizzle without much notice, but the fixture computer and their uptick in form has given them a terrific opportunity to end this strange, disappointing campaign on a high. This season has produced only two last-minute winners for Klopp's men, so affectionately known as mentality monsters in previous seasons, for their ability to keep pushing until the last minute. Sunday's victory felt like they had remembered who they were again, a comeback win away from home at a Sam Allardyce team, perfect! The following two games will not be easy; Burnley ended Liverpool's extraordinary home run earlier in the season, and Palace always elicit some fear in the minds of Liverpool fans after Crystanbul in 2014.

The job now is to make it count, and if they do, Alisson's winner will go down as the greatest goal scored by a keeper in Premier League history.