Liverpool Defeat Aston Villa: Trent Alexander-Arnold Bounces Back in Style

Liverpool Defeat Aston Villa

After the win against Arsenal last week, in which Trent Alexander-Arnold impressed, many believed the right-back was back to his best. A mid-week encounter to forget against Real Madrid soon led to the doubters climbing back from the depths of their own doubt. Now, to come full circle, Liverpool defeat Aston Villa will be the headlines.

And who scored the winning goal, you ask, with Gareth Southgate watching from the stands? Trent Alexander-Arnold. Those who doubt him will continue to criticise. And, whilst they are aimlessly hurling digs towards the fullback, he’ll only continue to bounce back. 

It was one of the biggest games of Liverpool’s season. Draw or lose, and their top-four hopes would be all but over. As the clock struck 90, the game was level. Liverpool needed a late goal, a hero. So up stepped the scouser in the team to slam home the winner. Where have we heard that before? 

Now, at the time of writing, they sit fourth, awaiting other results and hoping for the best. The point is, however, the race is still very much on.

Liverpool Defeat Aston Villa: Alexander-Arnold Sends Message

Alexander-Arnold’s Most Important Season Yet

Trent Alexander-Arnold has had better seasons in a Liverpool shirt, that’s undeniable, but none have been more important than the current campaign. Next to the protection of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, the defensive side of his game was rarely tested. As such, Alexander-Arnold rarely had the opportunity to pass any test and learn. 

This season, he has been thrown in the deep end. In the short term, he may not look back on this season as one to remember. In the long term, however, it is one that could shape his career. He has been forced to adapt his game, take a more defensive approach. And he has been tested as a result of those falling with the injury bug. 

Some of those tests, in truth, he has failed miserably- left exposed. But it is that exposure that he would have learned from. Alexander-Arnold will end this season a far better player than he started it. The defensive side of his game would have reached new heights- creating an all-round modern-day fullback.

In true Scouse fashion, Alexander-Arnold has shown his ability to bounce back in the face of adversity. That is a trait Gareth Southgate must take note of. That, and his incomparable ability going forward. 

Roberto Firmino Looking Sharp

Many have often suggested that a consistent run of games is the key to a player’s success. But, is it possible for a player to play too much? To the point where their form drops as a result? In Roberto Firmino’s case, this seems very much the truth. 

His injury allowed him that crucial two-week break and a chance to shake away any tiresome form. In the Liverpool defeat of Aston Villa, he looked a lot closer to his best. If it weren’t for VAR, he would have had a goal; his touch looked glue-like once more and link up play was vital.

His return to sharpness comes at the perfect time, too, with Liverpool’s last seven games all must-win fixtures in regards to the top-four battle. Jurgen Klopp now has a front four at his disposal, a consistent defensive pairing, Fabinho back in midfield and a good run of fixtures. The top four battle is far from over.

Liverpool Defeat Aston Villa: VAR Almost Steals Headlines

There once was a time when the quality of an individual decided games. That one player would produce one moment of brilliance. Those days are on the verge of concluding, however. The headlines no longer speak about a player’s class but VAR’s fresh moment of controversy.

The players do not want it. The fans despise it. The managers, in turn, are not its biggest fan. So, why keep it? Why persist with football’s best impression of a famed criminal? Except, the only crime here is a goal being ruled out for an armpit offside. 

The fundamentals of football have been blurred, enjoyment sucked away. Perhaps there is no need to bin it but adapt it. In the end, Roberto Firmino’s disallowed goal did not matter as Aston Villa suffered defeat at the hands of Liverpool. On another day, it could have cost Liverpool.

Instead, however, the torrid Anfield run is over, Alexander-Arnold has thumped home an England message, and Liverpool’s top-four hopes have lived for another day. 

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