Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool took an enormous step of their bid to safe a spot within the semi-finals of the Champions League final night time, with the Reds operating out 3-1 winners over Benfica on the Estadio da Luz.
Certainly, objectives from Ibrahima Konate, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz had been sufficient to seal victory over the third-placed Primeira Liga outfit, with Liverpool now boasting a two-goal cushion heading into the second leg of the tie at Anfield subsequent week.
When it comes to particular person shows, though Diaz’s objective and help will seemingly see the 25-year-old steal the headlines on Wednesday morning, it would have undoubtedly been the efficiency of Naby Keita that may have most happy Klopp – because the central midfielder stole the present towards the Eagles.
Do you assume Keita ought to begin towards Metropolis this weekend?
Certainly, over the course of his 89 minutes on the pitch, the £27m-rated dynamo hardly put a foot unsuitable, having fun with 106 touches of the ball – essentially the most of any participant on the night time – finishing 72 passes – two of which had been key – creating two massive probabilities, finishing three dribbles and taking 4 pictures on the Benfica objective – to not point out organising Diaz’s objective with a surging run from the center of the park earlier than enjoying an inch-perfect ball via to the Colombian, who cooly slotted dwelling.
Nonetheless, it was not solely in a inventive capability wherein the £130k-per-week Guinea worldwide impressed, because the 27-year-old additionally did his justifiable share of soiled work, making 5 tackles – essentially the most of any Liverpool participant – one interception, committing and drawing two fouls and successful ten duels.
These returns noticed the participant who Malick Kebe – Keita’s agent – claimed “is a playmaker, not a scavenger” earn a fairly exceptional SofaScore match ranking of 7.9, rating him because the second-best participant to function within the conflict, behind Diaz.
As such, contemplating how sparingly Keita has featured up to now this season – enjoying just below 1400 minutes of first-team soccer – the midfielder’s show towards Benfica will definitely have put the cat amongst the pigeons on the AXA Coaching Centre, because the Guinean could have finished himself no hurt in his bid to show that he deserves a spot in Klopp’s beginning XI towards Manchester Metropolis this weekend.
AND in different information: Liverpool now plotting bid for “unplayable” £58m machine, it may very well be bye-bye Salah