Southgate Notes: Alexander-Arnold Makes use of Newest Euro Declare as Harry Maguire's Worth grew to become crystal clear

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At the meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool that evening, the names of two England internationals were in the spotlight, albeit for very different reasons.

Jota & Firmino on target

The marquee of the Premier League on Thursday took place recently, of course.

In the clash, Man United welcomed Liverpool to Old Trafford for a newly arranged showdown in the Premier League.

In truth, hosts United entered the process with little leeway after securing their place in the Champions League for next season for a long time.

Southgate Notes: Alexander-Arnold Uses Latest Euro Claim as Harry Maguire's Value became crystal clear

Manchester United English striker Mason Greenwood (L) celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal with Manchester United Ivorian midfielder Amad Diallo during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leicester City at The Old on May 11 Trafford in Manchester, North West England, in 2021 (Photo by Dave Thompson / POOL / AFP)

For Liverpool, however, the matchup was an absolutely integral one. This happened when Jürgen Klopp's men were still in the middle of the fight for European football and finished sixth before kick-off in Manchester.

And in the end it was the visitors who came out of the theater of dreams with three earned points.

Manchester United actually opened the evaluation of the evening when Bruno Fernandes' bending strike was diverted from the flat Nat Phillips beyond Alisson:

BIG GOAL 🔴

The shot of Bruno Fernandes is fired by Nat Phillips!

📺 Watch live on Sky Sports PL
📱 Follow #MUNLIV here: https://t.co/TPTs6BupaC
📲 Download the @ SkySports app! pic.twitter.com/dPOOlPy34r

– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 13, 2021

However, Liverpool soon worked their way back into the process before turning the clash upside down in time for the break.

First, Nat Phillips made up for his mistake on the other end by knocking off Diogo Jot's clever improvised finish before Roberto Firmino was free at the back post to nod home. Trent Alexander-Arnold's nasty free kick:

JOTA 👌

Nice film from the front and Liverpool is tied at Old Trafford!

📺 Watch live on Sky Sports PL
📱 Follow #MUNLIV here: https://t.co/TPTs6BupaC
📲 Download the @ SkySports app! pic.twitter.com/z28n06B6CH

– Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 13, 2021

Then, at the start of the second half, it was three when a United mix-up resulted in Firmino scoring his second goal from close range.

To their credit, United managed to keep things interesting a little more than 20 minutes before the end when a brief period of dominance led Marcus Rashford to clinically beat Alisson.

But when the hosts desperately sought a late equalizer, space remained vacant, and Mo Salah took advantage when the clash rolled into added time with fourth place in stoppage time:

Salah completes victory for Liverpool with this counterattack goal. pic.twitter.com/u2ODNkvOnQ

– NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) May 13, 2021

Great TAA

As pointed out above, while a 6-goal thriller played out at Old Trafford tonight, it is not the scorers themselves who have been the focus of post-game chatter ever since.

Instead, there were two England internationals.

First? Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Stopper TAA, of course, has weathered a hit-and-miss campaign to this day, having seen a shadow of his once brilliant self in the first half of the campaign.

However, Liverpool's talented right-back has been back in shape in recent months.

And tonight, Alexander-Arnold was reminding the crowd and watching Gareth Southgate, perhaps more than at any other time of the season, what a gun he is when he shoots at all the top hats.

Opportunities created in the first half of the year with Opta
Manchester United: 5
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5

– James Benge (@jamesbenge) May 13, 2021

As is common practice, the majority of the 22-year-old's most notable exploits came in the attacking third, where he made Old Trafford absolutely shine thanks to a remarkable combination of tact, poise, athleticism, and most importantly, the final ball.

Time and again, TAA opened the Manchester United backline with a diabolical bend or a defensive split through the ball.

The youngster had a direct hand in two of the guests' three goals, scoring Firmino's go-ahead at halftime and then shooting at Dean Henderson, who rebounded for Firmino to secure the three points:

Roberto Firmino's first goal against Manchester United. His first goal at Old Trafford 🕺

Trent Alexander-Arnold put it on a plate and Liverpool led! 🍽

LIVE | https://t.co/9Xs3ZL0siy #MUNLIV #PL #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/5Ub2NbsX5w

– Optus Sport (@OptusSport) May 13, 2021

Alexander-Arnold was of course excluded from England's youngest roster, much to the dismay of the Liverpool fan base.

As it turns out tonight, Southgate just can't ignore the Red's rampaging right-back for this summer's European Championship, even if it's only an option off the bench or just because of his creative abilities.

Maguire was missing

While a three-lions international beamed at one end tonight at Old Trafford, the absence of another was painfully felt at the other end.

The player in question is, of course, Harry Maguire, who was out tonight after sustaining a serious injury while United's meeting with Aston Villa last weekend.

Southgate Notes: Alexander-Arnold Uses Latest Euro Claim as Harry Maguire's Value became crystal clear

TOPSHOT – Manchester United England defender Harry Maguire (R) tangles with Aston Villa Dutch striker Anwar El Ghazi (L). The result is an injury in which Maguire is substituted off during the English Premier League soccer match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park in Birmingham. Central England May 9, 2021. (Photo by NICK POTTS / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

While the former Leicester City man is so often scrutinized by fans and experts for his shortcomings, the 90 minutes that evening showed how important Maguire really is to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.

A pairing of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly occupied the Red Devils' hearts against Liverpool, but to say neither got the opportunity presented to them would make it easy.

Bailly looked ruthless and far too impulsive in a duel. It wasn't until the first half that VAR saved his blushes before pulling it off within the last ten minutes.

Lindelof, meanwhile, continued to look overly passive, reiterating why those in power in Manchester's red half are so anxious to get mid-half reinforcements this summer.

Most of all, tonight just showed Maguire's importance as a leader.

United, from defense to midfield and beyond, appeared to have gotten completely out of hand in their attempts to keep Liverpool in check as no legitimate enforcer had cost the Red Devils dearly.

Harry Maguire needs more credit. pic.twitter.com/hn2l46YD0H

– SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 10, 2021

It will never be every fan's cup of tea, but as will be shown again tonight, Maguire's impact is telling.

Gareth Southgate will no doubt be praying for his first choice behind the scenes to bounce back sooner rather than later from the rapidly approaching euros.

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Premier League table

# team MP D. P.
1 Manchester City FC 35 46 80
2 Manchester United FC 35 30th 70
3 Leicester City FC 36 21 66
4th Chelsea FC 36 22nd 64
5 West Ham United FC 35 10 58
6th Liverpool FC 34 18th 57
7th Tottenham Hotspur FC 35 20th 56
8th Arsenal FC 36 12th 55
9 Everton FC 34 4th 55
10 Leeds United 35 0 50
11 Aston Villa FC 34 8th 48
12th Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 35 -12 45
13th Crystal Palace FC 35 -22 41
14th Southampton FC 35 -18 40
fifteen Burnley FC 35 -14 39
16 Newcastle United FC 35 -18 39
17th Brighton & Hove Albion FC 35 -5 37
18th Fulham FC 35 -22 27
19th West Bromwich Albion 35 -36 26
20th Sheffield United FC 35 -44 17th
player team Gates
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 21
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20th
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 17th
Son, Heung min Tottenham Hotspur FC 17th
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 16
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United fifteen
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 13th
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 13th
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13th
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 12th
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 12th
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 12th
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12th
Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 11
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 10
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 10
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 10
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 9

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