Alexander-Arnold miss versus Arsenal might just haunt Liverpool’s title hopes. It is an almost full field sprint by Alexander-Arnold to get on to the end of the pass by Mo Salah. That run is nearly 120 yards by him. And he is moving fast! Unfortunately for Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool, his shot smacks the crossbar instead of hitting the net.
It starts when a really weak corner by Bukayo Saka is cleared at the very near post. Then Arsenal players Martin Ødegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko kind of slip and tumble into one and another. The soccer ball is loose. And all of a sudden Mo Salah picks it up and is off to the races. On the break for a counter attack. A potential game winning goal in the balance.
It is not often you see a five versus one counter attacking play like this in profession football. If you’re going to fault Alexander-Arnold for missing it may be that he should have passed the ball into the low corner at the near post. There seemed to be a space and opening there with Arsenal keeper Raya trying to get across the goal mouth.
However, it is hard and risky in a way to let the ball come across your body and then strike it. Trying to hit the ball back to where it came from is easier in a way. Which does Alexander-Arnold but gets under it just a bit too much.
You can’t fault Mo Salah in the slightest on this counter attacking play. His first touch is brilliant and he takes about 8 dribbles before he slips the pass to Alexander-Arnold. He charges forward on the dribble and lays off a slow motion pass that is perfect for Alexander-Arnold to hit first time.
Again though, when the English Premier league season ends and Liverpool don’t win the league or Arsenal do, everyone might look back at this moment as a deciding factor. For Liverpool the Alexander-Arnold miss costing them three points. For Arsenal the saving grace of the crossbar that gave them a point.
If you watch the highlight video below of the Alexander-Arnold miss you can see him run pretty much the length of the field to try to score. He could have sat back and watched. There were plenty of his teammates making the same run upfield along with Salah. Additionally, you might say that Liverpool’s Ryan Gravenberch is even on the verge of striking the ball.
Moreover, if the pass from Salah doesn’t hit a divot in the grass the ball goes in.
Alexander-Arnold only has Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya to beat. Although Declan Rice is rushing at him when the ball comes to him. Watch the Alexander-Arnold miss in the video clip below.
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah scored a genius goal earlier the game at the 29th minute. When Trent Alexander-Arnold whipped the ball to him down the line. Those long balls by Alexander-Arnold have become trademark passes for him. Also, Salah knows he can make that incredible long pass so he’s making the run and stretching the defense.
Post game Alexander-Arnold said that while the ball popped up a bit he should have scored:
“I think it bobbled just as I’ve gone to hit it, it’s one of them I need to score,” Alexander-Arnold explained.
If you’re a youth soccer coach, why not try to duplicate this counter attacking play on the practice field. Furthermore, it can act as fitness work too. Since players are having to make a near full field sprint!