Trent Alexander Arnold’s assist has been lauded, but the ball boy played a huge part in that goal.
Liverpool had a monumental task in overturning the three-goal deficit in the second leg in front of their supporters. The Reds blew Barcelona away in a 4-0 victory at Anfield on Tuesday to progress to the Champions League finals for the second time on a trot.
It was the first time a side overturned 3-0 lead in the European competition Semifinals and enter the grand finale. When the scoreline was tied on aggregate, Trent Alexander Arnold’s instinctive thinking to play the ball to Divock Origi in a corner situation totally deferred Barcelona’s side who were keen to get the shape right for the set piece.
Even the smallest of instructions could change the whole complexion of the tie. Jurgen Klopp read it smartly to claim the lead for the first time in the two-legged tie. Liverpool boss noticed Barcelona players’ moan about every single decision and become distracted if a throw-in or free-kick was awarded against them.
This made Jurgen Klopp inform Carl Lancaster, club academy’s mentor, to hold up instructions to the ball boys before the game, according to the Independent. The only message he passed to the youngsters were to release the ball quickly when Liverpool had the advantage to use it via throw-in or set piece situations having already noticed the action of impediments from Barcelona players.
With eleven minutes to go, 14-year-old, Oakley Cannonier fed the ball to Trent Alexander Arnold as Liverpool prepared to take a corner. Barcelona players were worried about the ball inside the field which was eventually kicked out. Before the ball was even kicked out, Trent had a ball waiting in the corner flag. Using the circumstance to full stretch, Alexander Arnold fed Divock Origi, who was on high alert to tap the ball in from close range. Ernesto Valverde’s side were simply unaware of Liverpool’s bulldozing intent to move the ball swiftly and change the game within a blink of an eye.
Anfield’s ball boys were instructed last night to serve Liverpool’s players quickly after the club’s match analysts noticed how Barcelona dawdled around set pieces. Fourteen-year-old Oakley Cannonier will never forget his role in an incredible night. https://t.co/UxQum8XGVs
— Simon Hughes (@Simon_Hughes__) May 8, 2019
Shout out to the real man of the match here with the assist to Trent Alexander-Arnold pic.twitter.com/MUGRcFLkQu
— Aleks (@Aleks__1919) May 7, 2019
Oakley Cannonier will be the unsung hero for Liverpool FC and that kid will forever remember his contribution to the English heavyweights. It was thought sort of an emotional night for Liverpool FC where some brave men did shed tears after the final whistle. Georginio Wijnaldum, coming on in the second half scored a brace to keep the Anfield crowd go mad. James Milner was forced to shift to unconventional left-back after Andy Robertson’s injury. The English International hugged Wijnaldum and he was in tears as well.
Skipper Jordan Henderson did not lessen his ante despite playing with a knee injury until the end of the day. The English Skipper was captured chanting ‘Allez Allez Allez’ when the whole consortium were roaring with the same chant after the game. All the determination and will comes from the manager. Jurgen Klopp serves as a testament to the rest of the footballing world by defying against all the odds.