How Liverpool ball boy orchestrated Barcelona defeat on Tuesday
Liverpool were able to score their fourth and decisive goal against FC Barcelona on Tuesday due to an alert ball boy, British media reported on Thursday.
The boy had been instructed to help restart the game as swiftly as possible during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match at Anfield.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner kick while FC Barcelona’s defenders were still regrouping enabled an unmarked Divock Origi to fire home the goal.
It allowed Liverpool to advance to the final with a 4-3 aggregate win.
Liverpool analysts had watched how FC Barcelona players were always distracted when decisions went against them and word was passed down to Carl Lancaster, a coaching mentor at the club’s academy.
Lancaster had in turn asked the ball boys to serve their players quickly.
It was 14-year-old Oakley Cannonier who rolled a spare ball towards Alexander-Arnold when the Liverpool full back won a corner kick, even as the first ball bounced back into play.
As Origi kicked the stray ball off the pitch, nobody marked him.
Even goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was oblivious and still shouting instructions when the cross came in with Origi taking it first time to make it 4-0 and seal progress.
It was a cheeky goal that even drew praise from former FC Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
“People will tell me it’s bad defending,” he wrote on Twitter. “I’m telling you it’s pure intelligence and vision.”
Liverpool will face Tottenham Hotspur in the final in Madrid on June 1. (Reuters/NAN)