Joel Matip is fast turning into a cult hero at Liverpool.
The 30-year-old is finally back fit again and has been terrific on the pitch for The Reds. But it’s his actions off the field that are endearing him to so many fans.
His latest piece of comedic brilliance came as Liverpool players celebrated opening the scoring against Inter Milan last night.
The players gathered by the touchline to embrace Firmino after his superb header gave Liverpool the lead.
From nowhere, Matip appears and dishes out some congratulatory slaps on the heads of his teammates.
One of those teammates was Jordan Henderson. The captain turned to look at Matip with a look as cold as ice.
Another angle shows Matip giving Henderson a big grin as the captain stares him down.
Man of the match Matip
There were many excellent performers for Liverpool on the night. But fans have taken to Twitter to express their love for a player who didn’t even get off the San Siro bench.
You can’t dislike matip😂😂😂— TPK🇪🇬 #FSGOUT (@TPK_31) February 16, 2022
U can’t be mad at Matip for to long 😂— gaz downey 🏴🏴 (@downeyg12) February 16, 2022
hahaha lovely Joel— Heal the World YNWA (@Owobwashere) February 17, 2022
Every club needs a Matip!!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣— RustyMckeever (@MckeeverRusty) February 16, 2022
This is simply why I love this man— Vinnyy (@WolfbaneKelvin) February 17, 2022
Konate stakes his claim
Whilst Matip was making fans laugh off the pitch, Ibrahima Konate was impressing on it.
Liverpool needed to stand firm at times last night. On a bobbly pitch, The Reds just couldn’t seem to keep hold of the ball for long enough.
This gave Inter the opportunity to lay siege to the Liverpool defence in the early part of the second half. But Konate and Virgil Van Dijk stood firm.
It was a slight surprise to see Jurgen Klopp leave Matip out for this one. The Cameroonian has been the manager’s preferred partner for most of the season.
But with the games coming thick and fast, and Matip having started two games in less than a week, perhaps it made sense.
Either way, his place alongside Virgil is looking on shaky ground after Konate’s dominating display in such a big game.