Trent Alexander-Arnold’s piece of genius and quick-thinking put the seal on what may well go down as the most remarkable comeback in Champions League history.
With Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both sidelined with injury, Liverpool’s task in overturning a 3-0 deficit from their semi-final first leg against Barcelona seemed nigh on impossible.
But this is Liverpool, a club built on famous comebacks and an almost witchcraft-like hold over the improbable. Sandwiched between two Divock Origi goals, Georginio Wijnaldum scored in the 54th and 56th minutes – which just so happen to be the same minutes in which Steven Gerrard and Vladimir Smicer scored to kick-start their famous Istanbul final comeback against AC Milan in 2005 – to put Anfield on the verge of a complete meltdown.
Most. Most. Most. Most. Most. Most.
At 20 years old, Trent Alexander-Arnold is already bossing it on the biggest stage of them all. pic.twitter.com/TQnXa2YJ11
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 7, 2019
Origi’s second goal did just that and as much as the Belgian deserves immense plaudits for being Liverpool’s unyielding, unassuming and somewhat unfashionable hero, it is Alexander-Arnold’s speed of mind in feigning to walk away from the corner before rushing back to fire it into the feet of the match-winner.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 7, 2019
But it isn’t just the media fawning over the Liverpool starlet. Stars of the game past and present have taken to social media to sound out their appreciation after a 20-year-old became responsible for one of the most intelligent and decisive pieces of football in recent memory.
For Peter Crouch, it seemed Alexander-Arnold’s genius made it impossible to for the ex-Liverpool striker to figure out his age…
How old is @trentaa98 ? That was a joke.
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) May 7, 2019
While former Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas dismissed any suggestion of bad defending from Barcelona, insisting it was ‘pure intelligence and vision’ from Alexander-Arnold. And he’d know a thing or two about that, wouldn’t he…?
Alexander-Arnold, 20 years old. People will tell me it’s bad defending, I’m telling you it’s pure intelligence and vision.
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) May 7, 2019
Alexander-Arnold’s former England U21 teammate, Nathanial Chalobah, simply took a moment to applaud the right-back…
Trent Alexander Arnold Appreciation Tweet 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— Nathaniel Chalobah (@chalobah) May 7, 2019
Jermaine Jenas found new levels of appreciation for Alexander-Arnold which he didn’t know were possible…
Didn’t think I could be anymore impressed by Trent Alexander Arnold such a brilliant young intelligent footballer!
— Jermaine Jenas (@jjenas8) May 7, 2019
While former Red Ryan Babel struggled to spell ‘Trent’, we all appreciated the sentiment…
Clever Trend 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
— Ryan Babel (@Ryanbabel) May 7, 2019
And, of course, the man himself wasn’t afraid to show what kind of mood he was in after playing such a key role in such a historic night…
— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) May 7, 2019
But we’re still waiting for former England right-back Gary Neville to chip in with some praise…
Instructions attached 👋 pic.twitter.com/8BD6gYeVzD
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) May 8, 2019
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) May 8, 2019
No sign of the right-back’s union here.