As Manchester United's legendary former manager Alex Ferguson might say on the subject: "Goalkeepers. Bloody hell."
Just one of the six allotted minutes of injury time remained yesterday in Liverpool’s Premier League match against West Bromwich Albion when their Brazilian keeper, Alisson Becker, loped into the opposing penalty area for a corner and rose to score a textbook header that won his side the match and maintained their chance of a UEFA Champions League place next season.
As his team mates jumped over him in surprise and delight, Alisson could have reflected upon the fact that he had just joined a select group of goalkeepers who have scored.
Except for the fact that he was probably more intent on making sure none of his cavorting buddies caused him a mischief. And the other fact that the select group is in fact surprisingly large…
I think it was a cereal advert back in the day where some schoolboy goalkeeper, fortified by the bowl of breakfast goodness on offer, chirped up to his Mum: "I’m centre forward next week!"
I stand to be corrected on the fine detail, but the old adage about all goalkeepers being frustrated centre forwards - almost as popular as "you don’t have to be mad to be a goalkeeper but it helps" - has much truth in it.
It is not enough for goalies to get their own glory - diving at the feet of oncoming marauders, tipping thunderbolts over the bar. They always want a bit of the action at the other end.
When you hear about goalkeepers moving out of their comfort zone in matches, it is invariably accompanied by tales of dramatic interventions at the other end, often in the final throes of a match.
That makes sense, of course, as the majority of these heroic tales are last-minute efforts with custodians throwing caution to the wind and leaving their goal untenanted in a desperate effort to change a result.
Fair enough. But then when you read stories of keepers who play outfield for their teams on occasions, you never hear, for instance, that they slot into left midfield or move into the right back position.
No. They are always up-front, glory hunting.
I was listening the other day to the My Hammers XI podcast - as you do - in which former players and in some cases current fans are invited to reminisce and then choose a team from those they have either played with or watched in person.
Among those recollecting was Bobby Ferguson, for whom West Ham paid a then world record fee for a keeper of £65,000 when they signed him from the Scottish side Kilmarnock in 1967.
Ferguson dipped in and out of favour at West Ham, and when not in the first team he would often play in the reserves - as a winger. He was a startlingly fast runner, once winning a pre-season sprint challenge involving several other top London sides.
During his podcast interview he recalled being on the bench during the final in a pre-season tour and begging the West Ham manager Ron Greenwood to put him on up front in the final minutes. He had his wish and scored the winner.
Back in the 20th century when I played for Bishop’s Stortford Swifts, we had an odd reverse of this phenomenon when an accomplished semi-professional forward used to turn out for us on Sundays between the sticks.
I digress, but the polarised nature of goalkeeper/goalscorer glory-seekers is further established by this key piece of evidence, I feel.
Alisson’s effort was the more startling for its technical proficiency. He rose like Tommy Lawton. He hung in the air like Denis Law. He flicked the ball on from near post to far like Geoff Hurst. (Please feel free to compose your own version of this description using modern footballers).
But this was not the first time a goalkeeper had scored in the Premier League since its inception in 1992, albeit that none of the other five instances had involved a winning goal.
The first time I was aware of goalkeepers scoring was when Pat Jennings, then playing for Spurs, scored direct from a punt downfield in the 1967 FA Charity Shield match when the ball bounced over the head of Manchester United’s goalkeeper Alex Stepney.
That is a classic goalkeeper scoring mode. On November 2, 2013, the last keeper to score in the Premier League before Alisson, Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic, put his side ahead against Southampton after just 13 seconds with a punt downfield that caught the wind and eluded his opposite number Artur Boruc.
The third of those five Premier League goalscoring goalkeepers was Paul Robinson, playing for Tottenham Hotspur in 2007, whose free-kick from 87 metres out bounced once before sailing over the head of Watford's Ben Foster.
During the 2003-2004 season, while playing for Leeds United, Robinson had sent a League Cup tie against Swindon Town into extra-time with a headed goal.
Alisson’s final flourish was the second high-profile goalkeeping performance of the weekend after the heroics of Kasper Schmeichel had played a key part in Leicester City’s first FA Cup win after four successive final defeats.
Schmeichel’s father Peter, who was in between the sticks when Ferguson’s Manchester United side won their Premier League/FA Cup/UEFA Champions League treble in 1999, was the first goalkeeper to score in the Premier League, hitting home a volley for Aston Villa against Everton in 2001 following a corner.
He had scored in similar circumstances for United in 1995 during the last minutes of a UEFA Cup match. And four years later his charge into the opposing area for a last-minute corner in the UEFA Champions League final caused a major distraction in the Bayern Munich defence before Teddy Sheringham made the score 1-1, shortly to be followed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winner.
Schmeichel finished his career with 13 goals, the majority of which - including one for Denmark - had come from the penalties.
Goalkeepers scoring from the spot is quirky, to be sure. But nothing beats the drama of the late charge upfield before a corner or free-kick is taken.
Alisson’s effort was the more remarkable for the fact that it could turn out to be deeply and financially important for his team.
Such was also the case with one of the most fondly-remembered instances of outfield goalkeeper goals, involving Jimmy Glass of Carlisle United.
Glass had joined the little north-west England club on loan from Swindon Town late in the 1998-99 season, when Carlisle were struggling to remain in the Football League.
They entered their final game of the season bottom of the Third Division, needing a win to retain the League status they had held since 1928.
With 90 minutes on the clock in their home game against Plymouth Argyle they were drawing 1-1. The referee allowed four minutes of stoppage time, and with seconds remaining Carlisle earned a corner.
Glass jogged up, and after the ball had rebounded to him he returned it to the Argyle net to ensure victory.
Carlisle were unable to sign Glass on a personal basis, and he spent some time with Oxford United and Brentford before moving on to non-League clubs and retiring at the age of 27 before writing an autobiography entitled One Hit Wonder.
He returned eventually to Sunday league football in Bournemouth - reportedly scoring six goals two weeks' running while playing as a striker. You can take the goalkeeper out of the goals, but you can’t take the goals out of the goalkeeper…