Football News

How Man Utd benefitted when Trent Alexander-Arnold “underestimated” his toughest ever opponent

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 8:21, 2 November 2019 | Updated: 11:23, 5 November 2019

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold has described underestimating Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford as a massive learning curve for him.

The 21-year-old right-back was commenting on the Reds’ 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford back in March 2018 when Rashford grabbed a brace.

A century awaits: Five key things to know…

  • Alexander-Arnold made his Liverpool debut under Jurgen Klopp in October 2016.
  • He’s gone on to make 99 appearances in all competitions, registering five goals and 23 assists.
  • Alexander-Arnold is now widely considered as the Premier League’s best right-back.
  • He’s since named Man Utd forward Marcus Rashford as his toughest direct opponent.
  • Alexander-Arnold says underestimating him as Man Utd ran out 2-1 winners in March 2018 was a massive learning curve.

He would subsequently sit out Liverpool’s following visit a year later, which ended in a goalless draw, before lining up in last month’s game as the eternal rivals played out a 1-1 stalemate.

His second league visit to Man Utd, the first being a 1-1 draw in January 2017, was noteworthy for Rashford’s man-of-the-match performance.

The Wythenshawe-born forward, deployed on the left by Jose Mourinho, continually got the better of Alexander-Arnold, who is now widely considered as the Premier League’s number one right-back.

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Looking back on that experience, Alexander-Arnold feels it was a turning point for him and of the 99 games he’s played for his boyhood club, this was the most humbling.

“[That match against United was] the toughest in terms of a direct opponent and someone getting on top of me in professional football,’ he told the Athletic.

“I’d say I underestimated him. It was a massive learning curve for me. It was something that I hated happening.

“As a Liverpool player, it’s probably the worst game of the season to perform like that. But when things like that happen you have to learn from them.

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“It was a wake-up call. You hate days like that. You don’t want to experience that. You remember how it felt and that makes you try everything
you possibly can to ensure you don’t have another one like it.”

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