Trent Alexander-Arnold scored a stunning free-kick to give Liverpool a 1-0 lead against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
The right-back curled home an effort from 25 yards as Jurgen Klopp’s side made a perfect start to proceedings at Anfield.
This could have been the game in which Liverpool ended their 30-year wait to win a league title but they’ve been forced to wait after drawing 0-0 with Everton at the weekend.
Nevertheless, any concerns of a post-lockdown hangover were erased as Liverpool got out of the blocks early against Palace.
Georginio Wijnaldum should have scored in the opening minutes but he lashed an effort wide.
But the opener came shortly afterwards when Liverpool won a free-kick outside Palace’s area.
Up stepped Alexander-Arnold, who’s earning a reputation as a free-kick specialist, and he bent the ball beyond Wayne Hennessey to give the Reds the lead.
Pick that out.
The first evidence of Alexander-Arnold’s set-piece skills came when he scored against Hoffenheim in the Champions League in 2017.
In an interview with The Athletic, the England international admitted that it was during the 2016/17 season that he honed his free-kick skills.
“The season before, 2016-17, I wasn’t playing much and we didn’t have European football so we didn’t have many midweek games,” he said. “That meant you were able to get extra practice in after training.
“Throughout that season I was always joining in the free-kick sessions with the likes of Phil, Emre (Can), Alberto and Gini. I was trying to pick up techniques and I learned a lot from them.
“I think the lads maybe saw the quality in training and wanted me to have a go against Hoffenheim. I’ve always been able to get decent curve and whip on the ball.
A lot of players use whip, others use dip or movement on the ball. You see the way that Harry Wilson can strike a ball is different to many other players. It’s about finding out what works best for you.
“I always found that whip was the best for me and that’s the technique I’ve always tried to use.
“Then it’s about routines and just trying to make it better.
Liverpool have a real gem on their hands.
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