Alexander-Arnold’s reaction speaks volumes
It was a celebration that talked a lot.
When Diogo Jota moved to score his eleventh goal of the season, it was his assistant who produced the deepest emotions.
It’s been a surprisingly difficult three weeks without Liverpool’s action for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
After the erased omission of England’s duty and later of Gareth Southgate, who publicly detailed a decline in form, Alexander-Arnold found himself in a curious position that was not his own.
Some privileged Liverpool players were surprised by the fall of England, but the player himself, in his favor, was firm in his public support on social media during the three successive victories of the Three Lions without him.
The message was clear to Alexander-Arnold: nothing to see here. Not, at least from his perspective.
But his loud scream at Jota’s break-up said it all.
It was a great goal for the Liverpool striker, but also for the England international, the world-class delivery left his teammate the most attractive ball to attack.
Question marks have remained around Alexander-Arnold all season, but the PFA Young Player of the Year has probably been given a little too much of an examination given the almost comical juggling that Jurgen Klopp he has had to do for much of this season.
Klopp’s defense of his right-back was firm on Friday and only what Alexander-Arnold could reasonably expect from the man who made him a Liverpool star, but the Reds boss preached to the converts for most fans to the Reds.
“I don’t want to have a fun discussion right now about Trent,” Klopp said after the game. “It’s Gareth’s decision, but Trent is in good shape. And if someone says no, I have to say you’re wrong.”
The West Derby-born defender is not above constructive criticism, of course, but his standards have been nowhere below the zero that some have tried to argue since England’s omission.
Here he returned to his best moment. And, in that form, there is no better right-back in this country, whatever Southgate thinks.
The reds point firmly at the focus
That was the day Liverpool finally gave up the title.
Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Leicester earlier in the day meant the Reds, officially, can no longer retain a crown they had waited 30 years to wear.
This, of course, was something that had long been written on the wall, given the remarkable decline in fortune since it began in 2021, but its black-and-white confirmation (in early April) will have made mal.
Or at least it would have done so if a few weeks ago the approach to the battle of the first four had not changed.
After really checking the results of the city for much of the last two years or so, now the Reds have to take a look at four at most, as this unpredictable chase for fourth place continues to grumble at the break. international.
This is something that even the pragmatic Klopp conceded before the launch when he admitted that the results of other teams, such as Chelsea, who lost at home to West Brom, had to be seen as great incentives for to the rest of the season.
“It’s always the same, the only interesting thing is if we win,” Klopp said, before the match. “But in our situation, if we win all our games and they win all their games, they are above us, so they have to lose.”
West Ham, Everton and Tottenham will also have their own designs in a place among the top four, of course, but Chelsea could be considered to have been warned for this performance at Arsenal.
It was as good as Liverpool has been in months.
Salah gets his rewards
Gabriel de Arsenal could have been reasonably pleased with his deal with Mohamed Salah.
The Reds strikers had twisted and spun, spun and executed the entire game, but were limited to a few on certain occasions.
Much of this was due to Gabriel’s resistance, but it was only necessary for the Liverpool superstar to punish his scorer.
As the Brazilian defender tried to slide the ball towards safety, Salah jumped.
Immediately, the captain of Egypt came in and his cheeky new nutmeg from Bernd Leno was enough to confirm the visitors as winners.
The Liverpool superstar raised his eyebrows over the international break with a particularly timed interview with the Madrid-based publication Marca.
But as Salah and Real Madrid are back in the starting line-up next week, thanks to the Champions League, the Reds striker was only gaining their shares in north London.
Now with up to 26 goals for the season and 18 in the Premier League, his latest contribution was his 93rd place in 150 first-class appearances in England.
This, with whom I measure it, is elite.
On Tuesday night there will be no match of resentment with Sergio Ramos in the Spanish capital and talk of revenge can bring the set back.
But Salah will arrive in Madrid with only one intention: to throw Liverpool towards the semifinals of the Champions League.