ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Liverpool braces for a major shift as Alisson admits to a “serious injury.”

Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, is set to leave Anfield soon, but not without leaving a Premier League record that he’d rather forget. This record sheds light on why Liverpool couldn’t keep up with Manchester City and Arsenal in the final stages of the title race.This is due to absence of Alisson under the goalpost due to injury issues.

The Saga of Alisson’s Injury and Cleansheets for Liverpool

Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Tottenham extended their nine-game clean sheet drought, equaling Klopp’s past records.

Liverpool has only managed nine clean sheets this season, compared to City’s 11 and Arsenal’s impressive 17. In the past month,the significance of cleansheets were highlighted. Liverpool would have been four points richer if they kept cleansheets against United and Hammers.

Despite losing only four league games all season – less than table-toppers Arsenal – these drawn matches have been their downfall. With two matches left, Liverpool will record their lowest number of clean sheets in a league season under Klopp. The previous low was 12 in the 2016/17 and 2020/21 seasons, while the high was 21 in the 2021/22 season.

Alisson’s Absence and Kelleher’s Performance

While substitute goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher performed admirably in his 26 appearances this season, Alisson’s absence was keenly felt. Despite playing the same number of games as Kelleher, Alisson kept twice as many clean sheets for Liverpool .Alisson reflects on his season before the injury, “The first six months were really good for me. I was really happy with my performance. But the last three months were tough, apart from the last three weeks when I returned to play. It was a serious injury. Being out for two months with a muscle injury is a long time. But I set new targets and aimed to recover well and get back to full fitness as soon as possible. I think I achieved that. Physically, I came back maybe better than before the injury. So that’s really good for me, and now I’m doing what I love most, playing games.”

Klopp’s Departure and His Legacy

On Klopp’s departure, Alisson says, “Everyone would have liked to give him another trophy in his last year at Liverpool, but everything he did here was already amazing. Winning or losing wouldn’t have made a difference because his legacy here is bigger than results. It’s about the legacy he leaves for the people, the supporters, the players, and everyone involved.

Klopp will be hoping that his legacy doesn’t include Liverpool’s recent defensive frailties. The Reds have shown in the past that they can keep clean sheets – they’ll need to rediscover that ability as they look to move forward.

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