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Liverpool

Alexander-Arnold breaks Premier League assist record for defenders

19:19 EAT 12/05/2019
Trent Alexander Arnold Liverpool Wolverhampton
The full-back's 81st-minute pass to Sadio Mane saw him move ahead of a trio of defenders, including team-mate Andy Robertson

Though his club came up short for the Premier League title, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold has enjoyed a season to remember, as he has now laid sole claim to the league’s assist record for a defender.

The 20-year-old full-back entered the contest on 11 assists and in a four-way tie for the record alongside team-mate Andy Robertson, Leighton Baines in 2010-11 and Andy Hinchcliffe in 1994-95.

It looked as if Alexander-Arnold might have secured the record early on, when Sadio Mane turned a cross of his into the net to give Liverpool a 1-0 advantage over visiting Wolves, but the ball was deflected before falling to the Senegal international and an assist was not given.

But Alexander-Arnold would not be denied later as he again found Mane, making a run in behind the defence in the second half. Mane steered that 81st minute effort home to net his 22nd goal of the season and Alexander-Arnold his 12th assist to take the record.

Alexander-Arnold nearly had a 13th assist not long after, but a header from Premier League player of the season Virgil van Dijk off the full-back’s delivery just flicked off the top of the crossbar.

In addition, Alexander-Arnold’s record-breaking assist turned into a moment to remember for Mane as the goal brought him level with team-mate Mohamed Salah as well as Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the Premier League golden boot. The trio finished tied for the lead. 

But despite the records and accolades for Liverpool, they were unable to end their long wait for a first-ever title in the Premier League era.

Though the Reds took care of business against Wolves with the 2-0 victory thanks to the Mane brace, Manchester City dispatched Brighton 4-1, coming back for an easy win after falling behind in the first half.

The result means that Liverpool missed out on the title by a single point despite amassing the third-most points in Premier League history, topped only by last year’s Man City centurions as well as this year’s title-retaining side.

But the Reds still have an opportunity to win some silverware in their impressive season, as they will compete in the Champions League final in Madrid against Tottenham on June 1.