Date: 25th February 2019 at 6:20am
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BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks has insisted Liverpool are top of the league only because of a “moment of sheer brilliance” from Alisson on Sunday.

The goalkeeper pulled off a magnificent save when confronted by Jesse Lingard one-on-one in the first half of Sunday’s goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Alisson’s 15th clean sheet of the Premier League campaign lifted Liverpool back on top of the league, where they sit one point ahead of Manchester City.

“The save by Alisson as Jesse Lingard tried to take the ball around the Brazil international was a game changer at Old Trafford,” Crooks said, as he named Alisson in his BBC Sport team of the week. “Quite apart from anything else, I thought it was a certain goal. Would I have done exactly as Lingard did? Absolutely.

“Alisson was so alert to what the forward was about do – and took the ball so cleanly – that there was no hint of a penalty appeal. Liverpool went top of the table on Sunday all because of Alisson’s moment of sheer brilliance.”

OPINION

Alisson does not have a huge amount to do for Liverpool – the defenders in front of him, led by the magnificent Virgil van Dijk, make sure of that – but what he does, he tends to do brilliantly. His calmness and composure on the ball is in stark contrast to jittery predecessors Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius, both of whom were patently unsuited to the possession game Jurgen Klopp has instilled. But it is his shot-stopping and decision-making that elevates Alisson above another brilliant Brazilian keeper, Ederson. While David de Gea has been the number one Premier League number one for the last half decade, Alisson has been even better this season, and his save from Lingard showed why he is likely to make the division’s team of the season ahead of the Manchester City and Manchester United keepers. On a day when Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa gave keepers a bad name, Alisson showed why he is the best of the best.