- Alexander-Arnold: ‘From the start in Europe we’re in it to win it’
- Defender believes his game has hit new heights this season
Trent Alexander-Arnold has said Liverpool fear no one in the Champions Leaguesemi-final draw on Friday and believes his game reached new heights after being targeted as a weak link by Manchester City.
The 19-year-old excelled in both legs of the quarter-final and insists a sixth European Cup triumph is a realistic aim for Liverpool given the manner of their 5-1 aggregate defeat of the runaway Premier League leaders. Alexander-Arnold, who was nine the last time Liverpool reached the Champions League semi-finals, scored the opening goal of an unbeaten campaign by Jürgen Klopp’s team in the play-off win at Hoffenheim. He claims there is no team, past or potential, in the competition who intimidate Liverpool.
“Throughout the whole tournament there hasn’t been a team who strike fear in us,” he said. “We’ve looked at it from the start that we’re in it to win it. As it goes on, you get closer and closer to getting that chance to win it. We’ve taken another step closer to the final and there are still two more games ahead of us. Whoever we draw on Friday, we’ll look forward to the game and hopefully get to the final.”
The defender’s confidence was echoed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who believes the City victory will have an impact on the remainder of Liverpool’s season. “To beat City twice is no easy feat,” the England midfielder said. “We did it twice in a week and earlier this season. It shows us that when we are at the races and at the right level we can beat anyone in this league. Hopefully now it is on us – whoever we get in the next round – to prove we can beat anyone in Europe as well.”
Pep Guardiola and his team sought to exploit Alexander-Arnold’s inexperience in the quarter-final, particularly in the first leg at Anfield, only for the Liverpool-born defender to thrive in his duel with Leroy Sané. “I guess Man City looked at it and felt I was the weak link,” the teenager said. “Maybe that gave me that underdog mentality and I tried to prove them wrong. That’s what I went out to try and do – prove them wrong and show them I’m not the weak link in the team.
“I think over the two legs I did my best to win my personal battles and help us win the tie. It was a different test for me. It was a bigger, harder test. I had to play to a better level than I’ve probably ever played before. It tested me to a new level and now I know that I’ve got that in me. That is the level I need from myself to keep my standards really high and to hopefully be able to play in these elite European games and come out on top.”