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Trent Alexander-Arnold’s penalty sends England to semis – “The guy’s a technician”

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Trent Alexander-Arnold gave a timely reminder to Gareth Southgate of what he can do after showing his mettle by scoring England’s match-winning penalty.

Unsurprisingly, Liverpool’s vice-captain was again overlooked by the England manager for his starting XI, despite changing his system to a back three.

Alexander-Arnold watched on from the bench as Switzerland took the lead in the quarter-final tie, only for Bukayo Saka to equalise to send the match to extra time.

Then, and only then, did Southgate turn to Alexander-Arnold, and he did not rush to the decision either, calling on him in the 115th minute.

Despite the pressure on his shoulders and knowing he could be, again, made out to be the scapegoat, Alexander-Arnold went on to convert England’s fifth and final penalty.

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Cool, calm and collected, the 25-year-old unleashed a confident strike to the left side of the goal to send his team to the Euro semi-finals with a 5-3 win on penalties.

You could not help but be proud of him as he wheeled away in celebration after finally getting his moment in the spotlight for all the right reasons.

“When the gaffer tells me I’m taking one, my belly doesn’t drop,” he said in a post-match interview.

Unfazed and taking it all in his stride, unsurprising really considering he is a player who has won the lot at club level – Southgate would do well to remember that!

It still baffles the mind how the England boss opted for Kieran Trippier over the No. 66 at wing-back, but his loss will be Liverpool’s gain in the end.

That is not to say the 25-year-old does not have his supporters, though, and Gary Lineker is one of them.

On BBC’s coverage after the winning penalty, Lineker said: “I can’t tell you how pleased I am for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY - Saturday, July 6, 2024: England's Trent Alexander-Arnold score his side's winning fifth penalty of the shoor-out during the UEFA Euro 2024 Quarter-Final match between England and Switzerland at the Düsseldorf Arena. The game ended 1-1 after extra-time, England won 5-3 on penalties. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He’s had a slightly tough time out here, there’s no doubt about that. Put in midfield in that experiment that didn’t work out because the team weren’t cohesive.

“To step up, come on as a sub late on, to step up and have the penalty to win the Game after being on the pitch for six minutes, the guy’s a technician he’s a wonderful Footballer.”

Hear, hear!

England will face either the Netherlands or Turkiye in the semi-finals on Wednesday, and the involvement of Alexander-Arnold will continue to be debated between now and then.

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