Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Daniel Sturridge were both included in the best XI of this season’s League Cup tournament.
The Reds exited the cup at the semi-final stage, losing to Southampton over two legs, before Claude Puel’s side fell to an undeserved 3-2 defeat to Man United in the final on Sunday.
But while Liverpool failed to make it to a second League Cup final under Jurgen Klopp, two of his players were recognised in the standout XI of the tournament.
Alexander-Arnold, who made three appearances on the road to the semi-final, receives a big honour considering his lack of experience at just 18, shining at right-back when called upon.
And Sturridge, who scored four goals in four games in the cup, was named alongside Bristol City striker Tammy Abraham up front.
Liverpool joined Southampton in having two representatives in the team of the tournament, with no other side having more than one player included.
This means Sturridge beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored twice in the final at Wembley Stadium, to the XI.
It is scant consolation for Liverpool’s failure to beat Southampton in the semi-finals, but serves as acknowledgment of their excellent performances throughout.
For Alexander-Arnold, it is particularly impressive, with the teenager having only made his first-team debut for the Reds in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup back in October.
The academy product was in great form in 2-0 victory at home to Leeds United in the quarter-finals, with his expertly placed cross from deep allowing Divock Origi to open the scoring.
He has made eight appearances in total for the Reds, serving as an able deputy to first-choice right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
Klopp is clearly willing to trust the West Derby native, also naming him on his substitutes’ bench in the Premier League a further seven times, moving ahead of Connor Randall in the pecking order.
Liverpool’s failure in the League Cup should serve as motivation from them to improve next season, with Klopp’s side having exited the FA Cup in January too.
With just 13 games left to play before the end of the season, it is unlikely Alexander-Arnold will feature much between now and May—but this award serves as another milestone in his development.