Liverpool kept a clean sheet against Porto and there were positive signs from Ibrahima Konate despite some shakiness.
The Frenchman was brilliant in some scenarios and then shaky in others as Liverpool won their fifth straight Champions League game of the season. Victory in the final game of the group will give them a 100% record in Europe this season and they will become only the seventh team to do so.
Thiago Alcantara was undeniably the Man of the Match, as his passing and composure helped Tyler Morton settle in comfortably. But it was his pure strike that stole the headlines.
Konate, on the other hand, was a mixed bag. He was imperious in the air as he won 100% of his aerials duels, according to WhoScored. But his passing wasn’t the greatest, succeeding with just 85% of his passes, while he was guilty of giving the ball away in dangerous areas.
Liverpool fans defend Konate
Yet, his recovery pace, strength and tackling ability helped bail him out and Liverpool fans have defended him from criticism.
Liverpool Echo journalist Ian Doyle reviewed his performance and labelled it as an “unsteady, nervy display”, stating that Jurgen Klopp has been keeping him “under wraps” for a reason.
Liverpool supporters are loyal to a fault at times. But in this instance, Konate, who was signed in the summer for £36million, does not deserve much criticism.
He has only played 450 minutes this season and 90 of them came during the 5-0 win over Manchester United, which put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in hot water.
Still only 22, Konate has a bright future and, in a Champions League game when Liverpool didn’t concede, it seems unnecessary to single him out for criticism.