Liverpool qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 after topping Group E with a 2-0 away win against FC Salzburg. Mohamed Salah and Naby Keïta were on the scoresheet in the Red Bull Arena.
After making his return to the Liverpool XI on Saturday, Naby Keïta started once again back at his former employers in Austria. It seems that the midfielder has found his feet in this side as he scored yet again while also being named man of the match in consecutive games.
The No.8’s goal arrived in the 57th minute when teammate Sadio Mané — also a former FC Salzburg player — chipped the ball over the onrushing Cican Stanković and Keïta leapt to head into the empty net. The midfielder could have had a goal earlier on in the game but the impressive Stanković was able to deny him in a one-on-one situation late in the first half.
Defensively there was a lot to do as the Austrians proved hard to handle at times, but the £52million-man did well in that aspect of his game. Throughout the game he managed to win three out of six of his tackles and won eight of 12 ground duels. Keïta also managed to make five defensive recoveries.
The Guinea international created two chances in the game as well as having an 82% passing accuracy. He also completed 100% of his attempted dribbles against the Austrian champions, showing his prowess with the ball at his feet.
It’s been over a year since Keïta made the switch from Germany to England and it hasn’t been an easy transition for him. Injuries seemed to have side tracked his progression under Klopp but after watching him the last two games it is clear to see he has the qualites to thrive under the boss.
Two goals in two games for the in-form midfielder could be the turning point in his Liverpool career and now he can really try and stake a claim in the midfield. Naby Keïta may not start against Watford on Saturday due to Klopp’s recent rotation but, if he does, another fantastic display will be expected of him.