Alisson to miss Liverpool’s Atlético clash over hip injury
Goalkeeper picked up injury in training before FA Cup defeat at Chelsea
Jurgen Klopp shakes hands with Alisson Becker following their defeat to Watford FC at Vicarage Road. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Alisson will miss Liverpool’s crucial Champions League second leg against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday and could be sidelined by a hip injury until after the international break, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.
Liverpool’s commanding goalkeeper suffered the injury in training before the FA Cup defeat at Chelsea. The Brazil international was due to be on the bench at Stamford Bridge where his replacement, Adrián, made a costly mistake for Willian’s opening goal.
Klopp said Alisson would not be available for Saturday’s Premier League game at home to Bournemouth or the last-16 return against Atlético, who hold a 1-0 lead over the European champions. The 27-year-old is also doubtful for the derby at Everton on March 16th.
“Unfortunately Ali is out,” Klopp said. “He had a little incident in training before the Chelsea game. We all thought it was nothing and it was clear he would not play anyway; the plan was he was on the bench.
“There, we thought: ‘Come on, we don’t have to take any risks’ so left him out of the squad. [There was a] scan the next day and they found something so now he is out. It is a muscle, slight, in the hip region. A small muscle.”
Asked to confirm the length of the goalkeeper’s absence, the Liverpool manager said: “Next week no, that means Atlético. I don’t want to say no [to the Everton game] but I don’t know if he will be available. He is not available for tomorrow and then the next week. We have to judge the situation anew. I would say after the international break 100 per cent. Whatever we can get before that we will see.”
With the Republic of Ireland Under-21 goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher also injured, the 36-year-old Andy Lonergan will deputise for Adrián against Bournemouth and Atletico. Jordan Henderson, whose influence was sorely missed in defeats by Watford and Chelsea, is expected to return against the Spanish side, having missed three games with a hamstring problem.
Liverpool can set an English top-flight record of 22 consecutive home wins with victory over Eddie Howe’s struggling side. But after three defeats in four games, and the manner of the first league loss of the season at Watford in particular, Klopp admits the priority is to rediscover the resilience that has underpinned his team’s title pursuit.
“Fabulous football is built on resilience, stability, defensive readiness,” he said. “It is always like this. That is how we have to do it. I did not see the game versus Chelsea as a reaction [to Watford] because we made seven changes but I liked a lot of things. Our buildup was good against a high-pressing team – apart from one situation. The midfield play was good. It is all there and we have to use it. In the last moment offensively or defensively we have to force it – shoot or block at the right moment. That is what makes all the difference in football.
“We lost three in three different competitions and we feel that. I cannot ignore or deny we do not feel it. The reaction is always possible and that is what we have always showed and we should show this time as well. With all respect to Bournemouth – real respect – this is our game. We have to show that.”