Liverpool’s winning goal against Barcelona on Tuesday night was one of quick thinking and clever precision from all involved.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s inch-perfect pass was vital as he quickly took the corner kick and laid it beautifully into the path of striker Divock Origi.
The Belgian was alert to what was occurring and both his movement and finish were straight out of the top drawer as he fired Liverpool to the promised land of the Champions League final.
Neither of the above, however, would have been possible had it not been for the quick-thinking and swiftness of Liverpool’s ball boy who returned the ball to Alexander-Arnold before Barcelona had time to settle themselves for the incoming corner kick.
According to the Independent.co.uk, the actions of the ball boy, 14-year-old Oakley Cannonier, was no fluke.
They report that after Liverpool’s defeat to Barcelona last week, their match analysts noticed how the Spanish side dawdled and moaned whenever a decision went against them, which made Klopp recognises the possibilities, as he sent a message around the club.
The report details how Carl Lancaster, who is a coaching mentor the club’s academy and the man with the responsibility of ball boy coordination, had told them to serve Liverpool’s players as swiftly as possible on Tuesday morning.
Klopp and Liverpool’s recognition of an area they could exploit even at 3-0 down was a clear indication that they most certainly hadn’t given up hope in the tie.
An amazing indication of how crucial the small margins can be in such a massive game.
Following the game, Virgin Media Sport pundit Graeme Souness was full of praise for the ball boy, recognising the advantage that his quick thinking afforded them in grabbing their winner.
“Two season tickets to this little fella who throws the ball back on quickly.
“Watch the ball-boy here, he puts it on the spot, watch how quickly, two season tickets for this little fella, two fabulous tickets for the final for that little man.”