Trent Alexander-Arnold agrees Granit Xhaka tussle ‘fired up’ Liverpool display

A flashpoint that fired up the atmosphere at Anfield, Trent Alexander-Arnold welcomed the “little bit of fire” his tussle with Granit Xhaka gave.

Liverpool were 2-0 down at Anfield when Xhaka pushed Alexander-Arnold off a loose ball and the right-back retaliated, with the pair then squaring up.

Referee Paul Tierney – who had an awful afternoon – booked both players for their involvement but, just like last season when Mikel Arteta clashed with Jurgen Klopp, the incident gave the Reds life.

Anfield was flat given Liverpool’s dreadful start, but soon it roared into action and helped give Klopp’s side the lift they needed to draw 2-2.

“I think a little bit of fire in a game like that, there’s nothing wrong with it,” was Alexander-Arnold’s assessment as he spoke to Sky Sports.

“I think that shows the intensity and how both teams want to win.

“He’s obviously run into me, nudged me off the ball, and it’s a natural reaction to then go and do it back.

“It clearly got the crowd going but then we matched it with the football and the intensity as well.

“It worked hand in hand and the last five, 10 minutes of the first half we were all over them, then we came out and did the same second half.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 9, 2023: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara celebrates his side's equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool were the better side in the second half, but Mohamed Salah‘s missed penalty and heroics from Aaron Ramsdale kept Arsenal in for a point, with Alexander-Arnold suggesting it was a statement from the hosts.

“They’re runaway leaders in the league, not too many games left, they’re one of the two best teams in the league, them and City,” he continued.

“Every game we want to go and get three points, [we are] disappointed somewhat to not get it today.

“But there were lessons in there, that we can play, and our belief against a quality side like Arsenal.

“So giving them two good games – we had a hell of a game down at the Emirates and here again – we’ve shown on numerous occasions we can go toe-to-toe with the best in the league.”

On the flare-up between Alexander-Arnold and Xhaka, Jamie Carragher asked: “If I’m an Arsenal fan…what are you doing, doing that?

“It’s absolutely daft. It riles the crowd up. Absolutely idiotic from Xhaka.”