Trent Alexander-Arnold proclaimed Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Man City was “the stuff dreams are made of” following a magnificent individual performance.
The Reds enjoyed one of their greatest wins of the 21st century on Wednesday night, comprehensively defeating City in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.
Despite every single player doing themselves proud, it was Alexander-Arnold who was the standout choice for Man of the Match, after a perfect display at right-back.
There had been question marks surrounding both his form and place in the team before the game, after recent defensive errors had led to goals against Man United and Crystal Palace.
The 19-year-old responded with the best 90 minutes of his career, however, winning four tackles, eight duels and making 10 clearances.
Your @Carlsberg Man of the Match – with 68% of the vote – @trentaa98! ?
Watch every touch of Trent’s dynamic display in #LIVMCI ? https://t.co/9xLce727wo pic.twitter.com/f5onCmvRXx
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 5, 2018
He admits it was a special night representing his boyhood team, on what was still just his 36th appearance for the club.
“It’s up there with the best ones,” Alexander-Arnold told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s always good to be involved in special nights like that at Anfield. It’s the stuff dreams are made of; you dream of it as a kid growing up wanting to play in these types of games.
“I was grateful for the opportunity and the manager’s trust to put me out there in such an important game for the whole club.
“The fans were behind us, it was an unbelievable atmosphere and the performance goes down to them in the end.”
Speaking about dealing with the horribly dangerous Leroy Sane—something Alexander-Arnold did admirably—he modestly added: “Sane is a top-quality player. He’s probably one of the best wingers in the league, if not the world. He was a really tough opponent.
“It goes down to the likes of [Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain] Ox, Gini [Wijnaldum] when he came on, Mo [Salah] and [Jordan Henderson] Hendo for helping me. If you’re left one-on-one with such a talented winger you’re going to get caught out.
“Thanks to the lads I mentioned, I wasn’t left one-on-one too often and I always had cover around me. That’s what helped me.”
Jurgen Klopp masterminded a memorable victory for his side, and whether it be the first-half blitz or the stubborn defensive rearguard after the break, it was a tactical masterclass.
Alexander-Arnold touched upon the German’s approach to the match, with intensity and positivity essential to gaining a positive result.
“To make sure we were on the front foot from the very start, to make sure we got after them and tried to win the ball back high and put them under as much pressure as possible,” he said, discussing Klopp’s instructions.
“The two games we’ve had at Anfield, the 4-3 and this one, that’s what we’ve done best—put them under pressure—and they couldn’t really cope with it on both occasions.
“That’s what we pointed out during the week: how we got the win in January. We used that to our advantage and tried to do the same again.”
Nights like these should be treasured by Liverpool supporters, and it is a further sign of the progress being made under Klopp.
Admittedly, the Reds still have a lot of work to do in second leg—City will come out fighting, and are certain to up their game at home—but they have one foot in the Champions League semi-final.
Alexander-Arnold has played a huge part in Liverpool getting into this position, and it may end up being seen as an evening when he came of age.