After most of the Liverpool players had left the pitch following their remarkable victory over Barcelona at Anfield yesterday, a young local lad was still on the field.

EVIL GENIUS: So you think you can evade me Mr Messi? James Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld has clearly been giving tips to Liverpool youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold. — Photo Eon Productions

The name is Klopp, Jurgen Klopp


After most of the Liverpool players had left the pitch following their remarkable victory over Barcelona at Anfield yesterday, a young local lad was still on the field.

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The kid, just 20-years-old, did his own personal lap of honour much to the delight of (most) of the 55,000 people packed into the ground.

That kid was Trent Alexander-Arnold. Trent grew up in an area of Liverpool called West Derby, same place as me.

We no doubt both shared the same ambitions and dreams as youngsters, to play for Liverpool Football Club. Trent succeeded where I failed.

On Wednesday morning Việt Nam time, Alexander-Arnold shamed the best team in Europe with a move that was so smart, so cunning, so outrageous, it would not looked out of place if it had been carried out by James Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

The only thing missing was a white Persian cat.

What Alexander-Arnold did was nothing short of genius. Evil genius. And remember, this is a young kid who still lives with his mother.

With the score line at 3-0 to Liverpool, the home side won a corner. Alexander-Arnold strolled over to take it, then changed his mind and walked away from the ball. At that point the entire Barcelona defence switched off.  Alexander-Arnold never.

He doubled back, whipped in a perfect pass to Divock Origi who hit home from close range to put Liverpool 4-0 up with the team in yellow wondering what on earth had just happened.

After the match hero-turned-rat Luis Suarez described Barcelona’s defending leading up to that decisive goal as ‘schoolboy’.

True, but the kid who tore you apart that night was himself a schoolboy just a few years ago.

After the game Alexander-Arnold said he move wasn’t planned, rehearsed or prepared, but just instinctive. He saw an opening, went for it and it worked.

If that move had been carried out by an Henry or a Ronaldo it would have been talked about for months to come.

But this was executed by a defender who just a few years ago would have needed a fake ID to buy a beer in the Sefton Arms pub near his house.  It was quite simply staggering.

Liverpool’s performance at Anfield was off-the-chart amazing.

And while they still have to play either Ajax of Holland or Tottenham Hotspur of England with both teams playing their game after these words are written, the victory was for me the greatest ever in the history of the competition.

Not only did they need to score four goals, but they needed to keep a clean sheet, which they did, and they did it with arguably their best two players out injured.

Suarez, a player once adored by Liverpool fans, said before the game he would not celebrate, and fair play to Luis, he didn’t because he had nothing to celebrate.

The Uruguayan had rattled Liverpool supporters with his antics in Barcelona a week before but I for one wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised.

Liverpool fans should have known exactly what to expect from the toothy striker because that’s exactly what he was like when he wore the red shirt.

Of course he would celebrate if he scored, of course he would kick-out, wind-up, roll around on the floor at the slightest of touches and be a total pain in the backside. It’s what he’s good at.

Yet he will wake up this morning back home in Spain as will everyone associated with the Catalonians knowing they failed big time.

They were outplayed, outclassed and bullied out of the Champions League.

Liverpool have another chance to win the biggest prize in European football 12 months after falling at the final hurdle against Real Madrid.

Can they do it this time around? I’ll never say never again. — VNS


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