Jurgen Klopp fielded the following starting XI, for those of you interested in a bit of reminiscing:
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Lucas, Moreno; Stewart, Ejaria, Wijnaldum; Grujic, Origi, Sturridge
Alexander-Arnold was not the only young player who got called up for that match on a night when the manager was clearly thinking about maintaining the fitness of key players, including Sadio Mane, who was on the bend. The Mighty Reds won the game and advanced to the quarterfinals, courtesy of stalwart Daniel Sturridge, who scored a double to lead them to a 2-1 victory.
In a brief video put out by the club commemorating Trent’s five year anniversary, the man himself talks about what it was like growing up in the shadow of Anfield and how it felt to step out onto the pitch.
He describes how he and his brothers would have to go with his mother to the hairdressers, and their reward for behaving well there was to get to go to Melwood and peer over the fences. He revealed the first Liverpool game he saw live: a Champions League match against Juventus.
That game was another 2-1 victory, though the stakes were a bit higher and saw the Reds make it into the Champions League 2004-2005 semi-finals. Can’t recall what happened after that.
That starting XI, in case you don’t recall:
Carson, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Luis Garcia, Gerrard, Biscan, Riise, Le Tallec, Baros.
The game was won with a Luis Garcia wonder goal in the 24th minute, one of many reasons why his sangrias will always be free in Liverpool.
Trent recalls knowing at that moment that he getting to play on that pitch was all he ever wanted to do.
In the five years since Trent made his debut, he’s won a Premier League title, Champions League title and Club World Cup title, and become of the best players in the world in his position. His face is as high as a building on a mural in his own hometown. Not a bad run for a 23-year-old.
With any luck, we’ll get to see him in a Red shirt for the next decade, continuing to collect trophies and accolades.