'It burns' – Alexander-Arnold could not watch Man Utd lift EFL Cup trophy
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold could not bear to watch Manchester United lift the EFL Cup trophy last weekend as seeing them enjoy success "burns".
United won their first title in nearly six years a week ago, beating Newcastle United 2-0 at Wembley to cap Erik ten Hag's encouraging start to life at Old Trafford.
Their triumph officially ended Liverpool's reign in that competition. For United, it was another highlight in a largely positive season and came just three days after knocking Barcelona out of the Europa League.
Liverpool were watching themselves be deposed amid a challenging and turbulent campaign, and Alexander-Arnold had to look away when it came to United getting hands on the trophy.
"I watched the game, but as soon as they were getting ready for the trophy lift, I turned off," he told The Telegraph ahead of Sunday's Anfield clash with bitter rivals United.
"I thought, 'There is no way I am watching that'. Knowing they lifted that trophy, it burns. Oh yeah, it definitely burns."
But looking past his distaste for United, their triumph helped him realise there can be light at the end of the tunnel, with Alexander-Arnold convinced Liverpool's woes this season are only temporary.
"It shows you how football changes very quickly," he added.
"Look at Arsenal. At the end of last season everyone was talking about failure for not making the top four. All of a sudden, they are leading in the title race. In football terms, these changes really do happen overnight.
"It's the same with Manchester United when you look at the difference now to last year. Even the start of this season when they lost to Brentford. How many people were saying, 'Here we go again?'
"Now they're flying. It happens, that's why I'm not going to allow myself to get over consumed with what has happened to us right now because I know in a few months, or possibly even weeks, it will change. I am determined to keep level-headed and balanced about what has gone on."
Nevertheless, it does not change the reality of how disappointing Liverpool have been this term.
They are six points adrift of the top four, out of the FA Cup, and 5-2 down to Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 ahead of their second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Failing to finish in the top four is unthinkable for Alexander-Arnold, and he accepts only divine intervention will help them win a trophy before the end of the season.
"At the start of this season, if you had asked us what we expected in March, it would have been to be coming towards the climax of the title race," he continued.
"That's the best feeling in football, going into every game knowing you need to win and most likely watching Manchester City's games thinking if they lose or drop two points, we're going to pounce.
"Now it is going to be difficult to win a trophy this season. It looks impossible. We will need a miracle. So, there is a different type of motivation and it is difficult to adjust.
"We've drawn a line and know the top four is everything now. I can't imagine not being in the Champions League. That is what is motivating all of us.
"As a club, we need to be playing Champions League football. We have not made it easy for ourselves, but the level we are and the quality we have as players, means we expect it."