Curtis Jones dedicated his goal at Sheffield United to Liverpool team-mate Alisson, whose father died in tragic circumstances in Brazil.
Alisson was not included in Liverpool’s squad as the reigning Premier League champions stopped their slide with a 2-0 win over the struggling Blades on Sunday.
It was reported that Jose Agostinho Becker drowned on Wednesday while swimming close to his holiday home. The 57-year-old was declared missing and, following a search, his body was found.
Jones scored the opener at Bramall Lane, with Kean Bryan’s own goal then securing a much-needed victory for the Reds.
“It’s been a difficult time for myself and the rest of the team, but I’m happy that I got on the scoresheet and I’d like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali’s dad, actually,” Jones told Sky Sports.
“So, may he rest in peace and if Ali sees this, this is for you bro.”
Asked how difficult the news had been for Liverpool’s squad, Jones replied: “He’s a strong lad, a big part of the team of course.
“He’s not here today, we miss him for sure. I’d like to give the goal to him, his dad and the rest of his family.”
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 28, 2021
Jones’ goal was his second in the Premier League, and his first away from Anfield, while the 20-year-old midfielder also became the youngest Liverpool player to score a top-flight goal on the road since Raheem Sterling against Burnley in 2014.
“I’m a player that likes to assist and score goals – I think the right time is now,” Jones added. “We’ve had good games but not scored as many goals as we’d like.
“Today was a good example of it all coming together. It was a good performance.”
Jones finished with a game-high four goal attempts, with three of them on target, while his passing accuracy of 96.3 per cent was better than that of any other player who started the game.
It was a display which came as no surprise to Jurgen Klopp, who said it is vital that Jones – who was involved in both goals – starts to produce at the top end of the pitch on a consistent basis.
“A top player, no doubt about that. That’s why he was playing. He was very important,” Klopp said.
“We have talked about him being involved in more goalscoring situations as well, that’s clear. Everyone has space for improvement. Tonight he was involved [in the goals] – that’s good.”