LIVERPOOL 4 - 0 BARCELONA 0 (4-3 agg.)

Liverpool: Quick-thinking ballboy plays a hand in Origi winner

A sharp-thinking ballboy played in a key role in Liverpool's decisive goal at Anfield, giving Trent Alexander-Arnold the ball while Barcelona's defence were napping.

El saque de esquina de Trent Alexander-Arnold que dio el pase al Liverpool.
Captura de Televisión Diario AS

There were 12 minutes of regulation time left at Anfield in the Champions League semi-final second leg between Liverpool and Barcelona, with the tie level at 3-3 on aggregate when the home side won a corner at the Kop end. Trent Alexander-Arnold took a few steps back to make his run-up to take the corner and while waiting for his team mates to arrive in the area, he noticed Barça's defence chatting among themselves and not in position. The Liverpool full-back took the kick quickly - catching the visitors' defence napping and with Divock Origi unmarked and free to sweep the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen to make it 4-0 on the night, 4-3 on aggregate.

Alexander-Arnold told BT Sport's Des Kelly as Liverpool celebrated on the pitch after the final whistle: “I think it was just instinctive but it was just one of those moments where you see the opportunity and obviously Div was switched on enough to finish it off – he’s a top player, he scored two goals for us tonight. Everyone will remember this moment”.

La secuencia de la acción del recogepelotas del Liverpool.

Barça forward Luis Suárez admitted after the game that his team had defended the corner "like a kids' team". But in England, local media have pointed to a razor sharp-thinking and quick-acting ballboy, who played a crucial role in the decisive goal.

The Liverpool Echo and former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness, now working as a pundit on Virgin Media Sport, noted the ballboy's quick reponse. "[Barça's defenders] have all turned their back on it. That is criminal, criminal for a professional footballer. As for the heroic ballboy, they should give him a season ticket and two tickets for the final," Souness cheered while one observer on social media suggested Liverpool FC should consider "naming a stand after the lad". Merseyside-based journalist Simon Hughes tracked down the unsung hero of another famous comeback - a night which will be written into Anfield folklore. Without 14-year-old ballboy Oakley Cannonier, it might have turned out very differently last night...