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“I’m happy”- Alisson gives verdict on Zack Steffen’s costly FA Cup error vs Liverpool

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Alisson Becker gives his verdict on Zack Steffen’s error in the FA Cup semi-final vs Liverpool

Speaking in an interview with Liverpoolfc.com after the FA Cup semi-final win against Manchester City, Alisson Becker credited Sadio Mane for causing Zack Steffen’s crucial error in the first half of the game.

Pep Guardiola opted to rest some of his senior stars for the game, with Ruben Dias, Kevin de Bruyne, and Ederson Moraes three of the biggest names left out. Ibrahima Konate leapt highest in the 9th minute to head home a corner, giving Liverpool a priceless lead.

But it was 27-year-old USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen and his error in the 17th minute that really tilted the tie in Jurgen Klopp’s favour. The ex-Columbus Crew ‘keeper took too long to pass the ball inside his own box- and Sadio Mane was alert to the situation.

Liverpool beat Manchester City in the 2022 FA Cup semi-final. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Liverpool beat Manchester City in the 2022 FA Cup semi-final. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Senegalese international charged at Steffen, and a clean tackle resulted in him putting the ball into the back of the net. The frustration on the City players was visible and their fans only had one question on their minds- would Ederson have made the same error?

The Brazilian superstar, who competes with Alisson for a spot in Brazil’s starting XI, had a similar instance in our 2-2 Premier League draw earlier this month. The ex-SL Benfica man kept his composure and cleared the ball off the line, preventing Diogo Jota from capitalizing on the situation.

Alisson surprised by Ederson’s exclusion

But according to Alisson, it wasn’t only Steffen’s fault. The pressing from Mane made the goal possible. Klopp’s Reds are known for putting in the long yards on the field and our attacking line leads by example when it comes to pressing.

“Their goalie waited until the last moment to make a touch, maybe waiting for an option, but I’m happy that Sadio could score that goal. It’s not only the fault of the goalkeeper, I think it’s something that we did so well all match, pressing them and closing the gaps and I’m really happy for that.”

Speaking to beIN Sports after the game, Alisson also admitted that he was expecting Ederson to start the game. Most Liverpool fans would say the same considering goalkeepers generally don’t have to do as much running as outfield players- and naturally, don’t tire as much physically as a result of that.

The ex-AS Roma international made a massive save from Gabriel Jesus late in the second half when the score was 3-1; one which perhaps saved the tie for us. He has been solid for us ever since he joined us from the Serie A side, but he is also susceptible to taking too long to release the ball at times.

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Fans would recall Alisson making a similar error vs Leicester City when he lost the ball to gift Leicester City a goal in our 2-1 win against the Foxes in the 2018/19 season. Such an error has rarely, if ever, been repeated by the Brazilian ever since and hopefully Steffen’s mistake reminds Alisson of what can happen if a goalkeeper takes too long on the ball.