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In Focus: Outstanding Alisson is keeping Reds in Quadruple hunt
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Sean Wilson
LiveScore
Alisson has enjoyed a sensational season for Quadruple-chasing Liverpool
Alisson has enjoyed a sensational season for Quadruple-chasing Liverpool

Free-scoring Liverpool's forwards often steal the limelight — but Alisson could actually be the Reds' Player of the Season.

The Brazilian sweeper-keeper has been a crucial member of Jurgen Klopp's team as they chase an unprecedented Quadruple. 

However, he can often creep under the radar despite his many superb showings. 

Ahead of Liverpool's Premier League clash at Southampton tonight, we take a look at what makes the 29-year-old star so important to the Merseysiders.

Safe hands

One of Alisson's many talents is his sensational shot-stopping ability, which has helped him keep 20 Premier League clean sheets this season. 

The Liverpool No1 has faced 92 shots, making 71 saves and slightly overperforming his expected goals on target conceded tally of 23 — shipping just 22 to date. 

He has enjoyed a number of memorable moments across the campaign, including a triple save at Norwich and dazzling stops from Harry Kane, Martin Odegaard and Michael Olise.

Alisson has conceded just 22 goals in the Premier League this season
Alisson has conceded just 22 goals in the Premier League this season

In command

Alisson is far more than just a pure shot-stopper, however. An underrated aspect of the 6ft 3in custodian's game is his commanding presence in the area.

He brings a reassuring calmness to the Reds rearguard and dominates his box — in the air and also on the ground. 

The Porto Alegre native ranks third in the Premier League for both punched clearances (19) and smothers (six).

A world-class performer

Liverpool's Alisson is excellent at a wide variety of goalkeeping skills
Liverpool's Alisson is excellent at a wide variety of goalkeeping skills

Klopp has often been quick to praise Alisson, labelling him "world-class" after a first-rate display in the 3-1 win at Crystal Palace earlier this season. 

The German pointed out that his side's backline was poor on the day — but credited his goalkeeper with bailing them out at Selhurst Park. 

He said: "I said to him, 'thank you for saving our backside again'.

"He said 'that's my job'. Of course it is very helpful to have a world-class goalkeeper at the back! 

"We became sloppy in the last line. In the second half, we were not compact, the first line pressed too high and the distance was not right. 

"We played a high line and did not catch them offside which was our fault, of course."

Sweeping

As Klopp alluded to, Liverpool's extremely high line requires precision to pull off effectively — and when it goes wrong, Alisson is needed to bail them out. 

The stopper is often required to rush off his line and deal with any long balls into the space that the Reds leave behind their back four. 

Alisson is third in the Premier League for keeper sweeper regain attempts (25) and regains (24), while he ranks fifth for ball recoveries (302).

Distribution

Alisson plays a high volume of passes out from the back and has even registered an assist
Alisson plays a high volume of passes out from the back and has even registered an assist

Alisson is also crucial to Liverpool's build-up play from deep and is supremely comfortable with the ball at his feet — as all elite modern goalkeepers are asked to be. 

The 54-cap international ranks fourth among all Premier League players — not just goalkeepers — for passes attempted to the defensive third (741), behind centre-backs Virgil van Dijk, Joachim Andersen and Marc Guehi. 

He is also third for throws attempted (198) and completed (196), demonstrating his importance when starting attacks for the Reds. 

Despite the demands on the former Roma man with the ball, he has made just one error leading to a goal — and no other errors leading to shots all season.

The Liverpool faithful will be praying Alisson holds the Saints at bay this evening and keeps the Quadruple dream alive.

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