Alexander-Arnold optimistic after downing Rangers but admits poor Liverpool start

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Trent Alexander-Arnold acknowledged he has made a slow start to his season with Liverpool but remains optimistic for the remainder of the campaign after silencing his doubters with a great strike against Rangers.

The right-back has come under criticism for his defensive capabilities amid an underwhelming spell of form for Liverpool, with Alexander-Arnold also unused by Gareth Southgate and England in September.

Gary Neville hailed the potential of Alexander-Arnold, likening his ability to Cafu on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, but detailed the defensive failings that are causing repeated problems for the 23-year-old.

Alexander-Arnold responded by curling a seventh-minute opener against Rangers in the Champions League, though he admitted he has been out of form this term thus far.

"No matter what I always try and think positively, people will say things but for me, it's about going out there and performing for the team," he told BT Sport.

"Going out there, getting the wins and helping the team is the most important thing. It has been a slow start to the season for me, but I am looking forward to the rest of the season.

"The performance was great from the lads, we never really got going on Saturday [a 3-3 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League], our press was poor and we were slow out the blocks.

"It was the complete opposite today, we started well and continued throughout the game. They had their spells, especially in the second half, but we were outstanding."

Alexander-Arnold's opening goal was his sixth free-kick goal in all competitions since the start of the 2016-17 season, with no Liverpool player scoring more times from free-kick situations in that period.

"I don't normally score them from that side I usually go from the other side of the pitch," he continued.

"For me, it was about getting it on target, when I am practising, rebounds and all that makes it the most dangerous situation."

Victory kept Liverpool three points behind Group A leaders Napoli, who thrashed Ajax 6-1 in the other game on Tuesday, with a return trip to Rangers coming next week for the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp's side must first visit Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, with Alexander-Arnold relishing a busy schedule heading into the World Cup in November.

"This year is going to be very intense. It's what we're used to, three games a week," he added. "There are no excuses. With the games coming thick and fast, it's exciting for us."