No goals or assists, but Naby Keïta shows his class during rare Liverpool start in Genk

Liverpool came away with all three points in Belgium after beating KRC Genk 4-1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané were on the scoresheet at the Luminus Arena as the Reds recorded their first away win in the Champions League group stage since 2017.

Jürgen Klopp made two changes to the midfield from the game against Manchester United. Keïta and Oxlade-Chamberlain were selected ahead of Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum after providing good performances off the bench on Sunday.

The German’s changes to the midfield seemed to have paid off as the Englishmen managed to score two goals — including a ridiculous outside the boot effort. While his midfield counterpart Keïta, despite not scoring or assisting, was just as good.

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.The Guinean midfielder was excellent in Genk and was constantly looking for the ball. The 24-year-old completed more passes than anyone else on the pitch at 110, with 29 of them in the final third. His passing was accurate on field and only misplaced three final-third passes while having an overall accuracy of 93%.

Defensively he was excellent too. The midfielder won more tackles than anyone else on the field (three) and also recovered the ball on 12 occasions — five times more than any other player.

The former Leipzig man was also key in Oxlade-Chamberlain’s audacious goal. Keïta played a clever chipped pass into the path of Roberto Firmino, who cut it back to the English midfielder. The No.15, with the outside of his foot, lobbed the ball off the cross bar and into the goal.

Këita has had injury problems ever since joining the club. His last two appearances, although one being 15 minutes, have shown that he is capable of being a mainstay in the Liverpool midfield.

The ball-playing midfielder is always looking to drive the ball forward and create chances. If the Guinean can avoid any more injuries then he could be a very important player for this Liverpool team.

Scott Mason

Contributor. Irishman. Steve Finnan started my LFC love story.

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