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Champions League: Jose Mourinho praises ball boy for helping Liverpool mount comeback against Barcelona

Manchester United Press Conference
Manchester United Press Conference
Modified 11 May 2019, 18:16 IST

What's the story?

Former Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has praised Liverpool's ball-boy for his quick-thinking during the second leg of their Champions League semi-final clash on Tuesday.

In case you didn't know...

Liverpool pulled off one of the best comebacks in Champions League history as they condemned Barcelona to a 4-0 defeat in the second leg of their semi-final fixture.

The win helped them progress to their second consecutive final in the competition.

The Reds' match-winner came as a surprise for the Catalan giants, to say the least, as Trent Alexander-Arnold took a quick corner while the Barcelona defenders were still preparing themselves for the kick.

After the win, ball-boy Oakley Cannonier was given credit for quickly throwing a new ball onto the pitch in time for Alexander-Arnold to take the corner quickly and surprise the visitors. 

The heart of the matter

Mourinho, who has had differences with United regarding ball-boys, has now hailed Cannonier for his quick-thinking during the game whilst also aiming a dig at his former club in the process.

Speaking on Russia Today, the Portuguese said, "There is one detail that some media got it. The ball boy. I had a club where they never understood how important the ball boys are."


"You want a quick throw-in, the ball boy needs to know that you want a quick throw-in. The ball needs to arrive fast. The goalkicks, the tempo of the game, the ball boys can also play a part in a good structure."

“I was a ball boy, a top ball boy… when I was a ball boy, I even knew where the players wanted the ball for a corner, so they didn’t need to touch the ball."

"A real football club, every detail is very, very important. In this game, the kid, very intelligent, very bright. I don’t know if he is an academy player or not, but the kid knew what he was going to do."

"Then [Trent] Alexander-Arnold, he read the situation fantastically well. Young kid, Champions League semi-final, tired, 80 minutes of football. He saw everything. And then of course, Origi, he could have put the ball over the bar, it’s not easy, but he put it there [in the goal]."

What's next?

Liverpool will host Wolves in their final Premier League game before travelling to Madrid to take on Tottenham in the Champions League final.

Published 11 May 2019, 18:16 IST
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