James Pearce highlighted Trent Alexander-Arnold’s “selective” crossing as a factor behind Liverpool’s success in front of goal yesterday evening.
The fullback had come under criticism for his alleged poor form of late, though the 22-year-old put all doubts behind him against Jose Mourinho’s side to register a remarkable outing in which he collected a goal and an assist for his efforts.
“Interestingly, the 22-year-old provided just four crosses from open play compared with 19 in the defeat to Burnley a week earlier when panic set in,” the Liverpool journalist wrote of the right-back for The Athletic. “He was much more selective and Liverpool benefitted as a result as he frequently picked out a team-mate with a short pass infield or linked up with Mohamed Salah down the right, rather than just launching the ball into the box.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Burnley defeat, as far as crosses go, was something of an anomaly for the Academy graduate.
Given his accuracy from out wing hasn’t dipped to a concerning degree, we can only really question whether Trent was putting the ball in the right areas – or potentially whether our forwards were making the right runs into the box to make good use of a whipped-in ball.
Pearce may very well be on to something, however, in terms of the importance of less frantic crossing; the Reds as a whole of late have certainly looked on edge in recent games, unable to make the most of chances that come our way.
The Burnley tie was a particularly frustrating affair, not least of all due to our opposition’s stubborn resistance, with the side failing to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal.
By comparison, we did look more assertive against Spurs, calmer, if you will; it ultimately paid off as we abandoned our frenetic approach to take control of proceedings at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
In short, it was a confident Liverpool performance of the likes of which we haven’t seen since last year.