Watch how Trent Alexander-Arnold brought Wimbledon Centre Court to a standstill

Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold is no stranger to major sporting venues. However, never before would have expected to be the talk of Centre Court at Wimbledon.

On Saturday evening, that was certainly the case, as the Reds' vice-captain brought an unexpected halt to the tennis action.

During the second set of Novak Djokovic's third-round match against Alexei Popyrin, an unusual buzz rippled through the crowd. Fans were noticeably distracted, frequently checking their phones and murmuring excitedly.

The chair umpire had to repeatedly call for silence, but the disturbances persisted.

The reason soon became clear: England's penalty shootout against Switzerland was reaching its climax.

Alexander-Arnold, England's penalty hero

The interruption occurred as Alexander-Arnold scored the decisive penalty for England, securing their place in the Euro 2024 semi-finals.

As Alexander-Arnold converted the final penalty, the stands erupted in cheers, interrupting Popyrin's serve at 30-30, 1-4.

The Australian player was initially bewildered by the reaction but Djokovic, having caught on during a brief break, humourously mimicked a penalty kick, delighting the crowd further. This light-hearted moment saw Djokovic lifting his leg exaggeratedly and Popyrin pretending to be a goalkeeper, much to the audience's amusement.

Once the crowd settled, Popyrin resumed his service routine and managed a strong serve, putting himself in a position to win the game. However, after a minor unforced error and a subsequent deuce, he secured his service, bringing the score to 2-4.

This incident wasn't isolated. Carlos Alcaraz had also shown interest in Spain's performance at Euro 2024, delaying his press conference to watch their match and requesting scheduling considerations during the tournament.

In contrast, Alexander Zverev had to contend with playing during Germany's group stage match, expressing frustration over the timing.

"We dug deep when it mattered most"

For the players on court, the outcome of the England match held little personal significance, but the spectators' enthusiasm was palpable.

Alexander-Arnold's penalty had not only propelled England to a 5-3 shootout victory but also created a memorable moment at Wimbledon.

Speaking post-match, Alexander-Arnold told BBC Sport: “We dug deep when it mattered most and [we] obviously get the win in the penalty shootout. We knew it was going to be tight. We knew we were never going to run away with the game, although that would’ve been nice. Whatever it takes, no matter what, we win and that’s all that matters to us.”

On his winning penalty, he added: “It’s what we practise. A lot of graft goes into that moment. They’re moments that I enjoy. When the gaffer says I’m taking one, the belly doesn’t drop.

“I enjoy it, I practise it. I knew what spot and I knew I just needed to execute it and I went and did that. All five penalties from us were great, Pickers [Jordan Pickford] with an amazing save to start the shootout gives you that confidence.

As England prepare to face the Netherlands in the semi-finals, despite Gareth Southgate's "experiments" and ever-reducing playing time, Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold remains a pivotal figure for his country.

That said, his penalty kick not only marked a triumph for his country but also left an indelible mark on Wimbledon history.

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