Thursday, April 18News That Matters

Robertson sets huge Premier League record at Alexander-Arnold’s expense in Villa win

Andy Robertson has now surpassed Leighton Baines to become the defender with the most assists in Premier League history as Liverpool took the lead against Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Scotland skipper set up Mohamed Salah in the fifth minute to grab his 54th assist in the league – one more than Everton legend Baines managed.

While Robertson will definitely earn the plaudits for his record-breaking goal involvement, the move was all about Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The England star received the ball after a corner and chose against slowly attempting to build attack. Instead, he made a pass directly into the onrushing Robertson’s path, with the defender finding Salah with a first-time square pass to give the Egyptian a tap-in.

While speaking as co-commentator for Amazon Prime Video, Andy Townsend said: “What a stunning ball that is from Trent Alexander-Arnold with the outside of his boot. He’s the last man [(defending the corner) when that ball comes to him.

“Most would’ve put the ball back into the area, hit the penalty spot, [but] watch the delivery, absolutely sensational. He can put it in the box but he thought, ‘Nah, outside of the foot’. Wonderful ball.”

While Alexander-Arnold’s pass was the more impressive of the two in the build-up leading to Salah’s opener, it was Robertson who made history.

Robertson has 54 Premier League assists, while Alexander-Arnold is nine behind on 45. That being said, many expect the England star will catch up with Robertson one day, given their respective ages.

The two creative players have spoken about their friendly rivalry in the past, which they believe can help them on as the main creative forces in Liverpool’s attack.

“We both do this competition to get the best out of each other,” Robertson said in 2020. “It’s obviously going to be tough to continue those numbers but that’s our aim and hopefully we can do that.”

Just this year, Robertson added: “We have a friendly competition but if both of us are contributing and helping the team win games, then that is the most important thing.”

As for Alexander-Arnold in 2021, he said: “The team trophies are much more important than the personal ones but to use as motivation, I do like to set myself targets. The very minimum is always double figures [for assists] and I’ve hit that already. I just want to be contributing as much as I can. I would probably say this season would be 15 to 20 in the league. And keep ahead of Andy Robertson? Yes, so far!”

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