“Looking back at the previous two semi-finals [in 2018 against Roma and 2019 against Barcelona] we made it quite difficult for ourselves,” Alexander-Arnold said.
“In the second leg we had to dig in and see the end of the match. Hopefully we can make it easier. But we do not take these things for granted.
“It’s easy to get that complacency where you think, ‘We’ve got world-class players, world-class staff, world-class coach, and this is our third semi-final in five years, so we’re probably going to get there again and it won’t be.’ . ‘does not matter’. That is not the case with us. We do not know if we will have this opportunity. [again]. We are in a very good position at the moment, so we have to make the most of it to get to another final.
“We have the lead to protect. That comes with some game management for us. We know we can’t be dumb there and get sucked into how they want to play the game.”
WWherever his career takes him, Alexander-Arnold has already carved his name into Champions League semi-final history.
Divock Origi’s ‘quick corner’ against Barcelona in the Anfield second leg of 2019 completed the mother of all comebacks. Memories of that epic night serve as inspiration as Klopp’s side chase another final, and a reminder that, after overcoming a 3-0 deficit three years ago, a 2-0 lead over Villarreal is comparatively slim.
“When you get so close [to a final] you get those memories of how it felt, the special memories and feelings that you had, and you share them with your teammates and your family,” Alexander-Arnold said.
“It’s an exciting time and I feel like we’re thriving. This is always the best time of the season. Every match is a final, pushing on all three fronts. You want to be playing in these games. You want everything on the line and you want every game to feel like you have to win it.”
Earlier this season, Alexander-Arnold claimed that a trophy is the least Liverpool expected of any season. Under the current circumstances, he has revised his goals.
“I said one trophy per season at a minimum,” he said.
“That is in a season that is not the best. But we are in good shape and we have been able to win in different ways. When you look down and look at more trophies, where if we win every game we’re looking at more trophies, that’s what we’re looking at. This is a very special season for all of us and hopefully we will get through it and in the end we will be back in the history books.”
With Klopp signed until 2026, any future success of the team is likely to be matched by personal praise from Alexander-Arnold.
“I hope he [manager’s] two more years are as successful as the ones we have had so far”, said the defender.
“There has been an increase in success each season. This could make it something special for us. It gives us that boost that we have four more years of these kinds of seasons to come.”
Klopp, who rested many of his stars against Newcastle last weekend, says his team must be prepared to “suffer” to secure their final place but is encouraged by his team’s ability to deal with wickets. hostile.
“A good example was in Newcastle,” Klopp said.
“The crowd was obviously very passionate, but we didn’t let it happen. [for them] which was the greatest quality of this game. It was not a show of footballing brilliance. We had our moments and of course we could have scored more goals. But how clear was the performance? That was amazing and that’s what we have to be. Yes emotional, yes ready to play the best game ever, but knowing that it won’t happen every time. Suffering does not mean that you suffer for a long time. It means you suffer and then you react.”