Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are very important to the way Liverpool attack. One would think it would be obvious for an opposition side to try and limit their influence on the game.
And yet. Arsenal decided to play a narrow 4-4-2 diamond shape, giving the two full backs all the space in the world to attack. Madness? Trent Alexander-Arnold discusses how it affected his performance
“We prepared for them to go with another system,” This Is Anfield report the right back as saying.
“They were really narrow and it allowed me and Robbo a lot of space and freedom, and [we] were allowed to cross the ball as much as possible.”
“We worked all week in breaking that midfield line, and we though we’d have to really stretch the pitch out. [Instead] it was a case of them tucking really narrow and us two getting the ball and trying to find people in the box.
“It was tough because the two centre-halves were really in the middle.”
“The gaffer showed us a bit of [footage] at half-time and we could stretch them, with Mo, Bobby and Sadio, and get it into feet,” Alexander-Arnold continued.
“They probably set up knowing that we were going to cross it, they were ready.
“[Against] other teams we try to create the yard and cross it from in front. The gaffer said to us at half-time, if we get a runner down we can get the ball down the outside.
Discussing the second goal, Salah’s penalty, Alexander-Arnold explained that “Hendo takes the ball out the way and I’m able to play it into Bobby and we got the pen.
“That was the idea, to drag a centre-half out and not allow them to stay in and head the ball away.
On the front three, he expressed the view that “whether you’re playing in behind or playing into feet they’ll do their best with it, turning it into a good ball.
“Most defenders are probably going to bring him down and take the yellow card [for Salah’s second goal], it just shows how dangerous they all are.
“Even with Bobby and Sadio we’ve got the height as well to flick balls on.
“They’re literally a defender’s worst nightmare and we’re lucky to have them on our team.”