An "underdog mentality" helped Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold come through the biggest test of his career to date against Manchester City in the Champions League.
The teenage full-back starred as Liverpool secured a 5-1 aggregate victory over their domestic rivals in their quarter-final meeting, meaning they - and not the Premier League's champions-elect - are the last English team left standing in the competition.
Alexander-Arnold continued his meteoric rise this season with impressive displays in both legs of the tie, particularly as he kept the dangerous Leroy Sane in check.
The 19-year-old - whose stock has risen to such an extent he is now being tipped to force his way into England's World Cup squad – says he raised the bar after believing City had identified him as a weak link.
"I guess Man City looked at it and [felt] I'm the weak link," Alexander-Arnold told the media.
"Maybe that gave me that underdog mentality and [I] tried to prove them wrong. That's what I went out to try and do - to go and prove them wrong and show them I'm not the weak link in the team. I think over the two legs I tried my best and done my best to win my personal battles and help us win the tie.
"It was a different test for me. It was a bigger, harder test. I had to play to a better level than I've ever played before. It tested me to a new level.
"In that sense it has taken me to a new level and personal views in my performances, knowing that I've got that in myself now.
"That's the level I need to require of myself to keep them standards really high and hopefully be able to play in these European elite games and come out on top in them."
ICYMI, the final four have now been confirmed... April 12, 2018
Liverpool will find out who they will face in the semi-finals on Friday, with holders Real Madrid, Roma - who sensationally knocked out Barcelona - and German champions Bayern Munich also in the draw.
However, after knocking out City, Alexander-Arnold sees no reason why Jurgen Klopp's squad should worry about any of their potential opponents in the last four.
"Throughout the whole tournament there hasn't been a team who strike fear into us," the defender said.
"We've looked at it from the start that we're in it to win it. As it goes on, you get closer and closer to getting that chance to win it.
"We've taken another step closer to the final and there's still two more games ahead of us. Whoever we draw on Friday, we'll look forward to the game and hopefully get to the final."
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