‘He proved us right’: Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on £28.8m Liverpool star
The Merseyside giants had the momentum on their side ahead of the encounter, but few would have expected them to put four goals past their arch-rivals in the opening half.
Keita played a key part with a goal and an assist. The 26-year-old opened the scoring after just five minutes on the clock, helping the Reds assert their dominance on the game.
Speaking after the 5-0 triumph, Klopp was delighted for the midfielder, who has been in fine run of form this term after a tough 2020/21 campaign where he hardly played.
He said via Liverpoolfc.com: “Naby is in a great moment. Naby is an outstanding player and we spoke about it, about the game at Atletico: he played outstandingly well until he made the mistake around the goal of Atletico after the set-piece and that obviously shattered him a little bit, and that should not happen obviously, that is clear.”
“But in such an atmosphere, against such an opponent, all of a sudden when you’re thinking about different things then it can happen. But it was clear we would start him again because he is in really good shape and yeah, he proved us right.”
Keita scored with a sensational volley against Atletico in the Champions League, but his performance was not up to scratch as he was at fault in the lead-up to both goals conceded (3-2 win).
Klopp had the option to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or Curtis Jones ahead of him at Old Trafford, but it was not the case. It proved the right decision with Keita producing a faultless showing.
The £28.8m-rated star had a terrific outing with a goal and an assist. He made regular advancing runs from the right side of midfield, managing four key passes and as many interceptions.
Keita had a tough 2020/21 season where he was restricted to just 523 league minutes amid injuries and competition for places. There was much speculation over his future, but he appears to have turned the corner.
A two-footed challenge from Pogba forced him to be substituted in a stretcher after the hour mark. Hopefully, there is nothing serious and he can return to action as soon as possible.
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