‘Wow’ factor puts Trent Alexander-Arnold centre stage for Liverpool

Defender’s quick thinking sealed victory over Barcelona and his defining display was capped by a sporting gesture

Twenty years old, on the same pitch as Lionel Messi, and it is your “genius moment” that Jürgen Klopp and the football world salute, after it drives your boyhood club into the Champions League final for a second year running. No wonder Trent Alexander-Arnold absorbed every moment of Liverpool’s extraordinary victory over Barcelona. His was a performance to make the Spanish champions pine for what they have lost.

Of the many memorable images from Tuesday’s semi-final comeback at Anfield the sight of the young Liverpool defender applauding Barcelona’s fans during his solo lap of honour – and of them applauding him back – demonstrated the wider appreciation for what had been a defining performance.

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