Defender Trent Alexander-Arnold discovered himself within the highlight for the third time in a week as his extra-time winner against Aston Villa saved Liverpool’s Champions League qualification hopes alive.
The England defender, watched by the head of the national team, is Gareth Southgate he dropped out of his squad for the current World Cup qualifying matches.
After a six-run defeat, Jurgen Klopp’s side registered their first home league victory in 4 months as they recovered from chasing Ollie Watkins’ opener with Mohamed Salah scoring his nineteenth league goal of the season – the primary of open play at Anfield in 2021 after a drought of practically 13 hours.
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However it was Alexander-Arnold – who starred within the win against Arsenal last weekend however erred within the 3-1 Champions League midweek loss to Real Madrid – who stole the headlines with a horrible strike for less than his second of the season.
Liverpool’s much-needed win rose to fourth place, though it might solely be short with Chelsea taking part in within the late kick-off, placing strain on Thomas Tuchel’s side as well because the likes of West Ham, Tottenham and Everton.
Liverpool had not lost a home recreation within the 10 played the identical day because the Grand National since 1953 however this one appeared to go the identical method because the earlier half-dozen after bouncing a number of possibilities and then falling after her.
Seven of the team entered Defeat the October shock of 7-2 at Villa Park who recommended that even at that early stage every little thing was not proper with the defending champions.
Klopp’s picks had been criticized after taking part in Naby Keita in Spain however after solely three Premier League goals since October – and none since late January – Sadio Mane’s bench was in favor of Roberto Firmino, himself with nothing just one goal since Christmas, extra comprehensible.
The decision appeared prefer it had paid off in further time within the first half when the Brazilian international thought he had ended his sterling season with a close vary equalizer however after a prolonged evaluate, VAR dominated that Diogo Jota has been a bit off from Alexander-Arnold’s lengthy cross ball property.
It did little to enhance the tone of Klopp who had seen his side fall behind moments earlier after dominating possession and makes an attempt at goal, a well-recognized failure since Christmas.
Watkins, who scored a hat-trick back in October, benefited from the errors of Ozan Kabak and Alisson Becker, his second in 5 days.
The center-backs on loan in entrance of Watkins rushed to intercept however solely beat the ball so far as Douglas Luiz, who handed it to John McGinn to slip a move into the striker who took one contact and fired home as , regardless of Alisson having a robust hand for him, the ball went under his arm.
Salah, who scored Liverpool’s solely goal at Anfield in 2021, was responsible of missing his side’s best first-half alternatives as he could not discover the net even when given the chance.
Tyrone Mings utterly missed Jota’s move which left Egypt internationally with solely Emiliano Martinez to beat however his shot with the outside of his left foot rolled broad of the post.
It marked one other anemic performance in entrance of goal with Salah forcing Martinez to bar behind within the fifth minute solely their next-best chance.
Alexander-Arnold whipped a free kick on the roof of the net and Jota headed over because the hosts didn’t impress with 12 makes an attempt on goal within the first half.
Villa had dropped the fewest points of winning positions this season however, confronted with opponents motivated by a way of injustice on the unassisted goal, they surrendered 11 minutes after the break.
Jota had already flashed a shot broad from a slender angle earlier than Andy Robertson overlapped on the left to free a drive that Martinez might solely parry to the trail of Salah who went home.
Guests nonetheless posed a menace, nonetheless, and Trezeguet struck contained in the post from Watkins lay-by.
Mane Firmino replaced him for the final 15 minutes however one other substitute Thiago Alcantara volleyed Martinez with the ball dropping to Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold on the left side of the penalty space and he delivered with the sweetest strikes.