Steven Gerrard picked out a shot from Naby Keita last night as the only moment Liverpool got wrong going forward. The Guinean should have done better.
Liverpool ran into a resilient Real Madrid side last night. Or at least, a goalkeeper who wasn’t going to make a single mistake. Thibaut Courtois was magnificent in goal, keeping out everything the Reds threw at him.
His tipped save onto the post from Sadio Mané was extraordinary, as was a one-on-one with Mohamed Salah. While you can say that Liverpool didn’t take him out of the equation with any of their efforts, you also have to hold your hands up and say they didn’t do a lot wrong.
In fact, Steven Gerrard believes a shot from Naby Keita was really the only time Liverpool truly got it badly wrong going forward. A cut-back to the edge of the box found Keita, who instead of taking a touch, attempted an outside-of-the-foot, first-time strike that flew roughly a mile away from the goal.
“Keita had a really good chance in the game late on when he’s tried to go with the outside of his foot,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “He shouldn’t have done that.
“He should have addressed it better and put his laces through it because he was in a really good position. Outside of that, Liverpol haven’t done much wrong.
“Two, maybe three of them saves [from Courtois] are world-class. At times, you’ve got to pay credit to the goalkeeper.”
Naby Keita mishits his shot
We’d agree with Gerrard on this. Keita should have done just about anything else – he was in a relative ocean of space when he received the ball. Getting his laces through, taking a touch, trying to place it; anything would have been better than what he went for.
Of course, that effort didn’t cost Liverpool the game and you can’t particularly blame Keita for trying something special. Nothing else was going in – perhaps it was going to take some magic.
The real worry is that Liverpool played 330 minutes in cup finals this season and didn’t manage one goal. That’s over five hours without a shot that didn’t give a goalkeeper at least a small chance of getting there. Great saves or not, that is a concern coming out of this season.