Roberto Firmino and Xherdan Shaqiri may have scored the goals that secured all three points for Liverpool at Burnley yesterday, but the night belonged to one player – Naby Keita.
Since joining from RB Leipzig in the summer, the Guinean midfielder has been in and out of Jurgen Klopp’s squad, with Liverpool legend Steve Nicol pleading with the German manager to start him last week in the Merseyside derby.
Keita featured as a substitute on Sunday as the Reds dramatically defeated arch-rivals Everton 1-0 thanks to a 96th minute winner by Divock Origi and was handed his first start since September at Turf Moor.
Showing a wide array of skills, the midfielder dominated the game for the Reds, completing 93% of his passes and making several key tackles in his side’s 3-1 victory.
Keita also came close to scoring his first ever goal for Liverpool but was denied by a superb goalkeeping performance by Burnley’s Joe Hart.
After the game, Liverpool fans reacted on Twitter to Keita’s breakthrough performance, heaping praise on the 23-year-old. Here are some of the thoughts expressed by the supporters:
Another reminder of why we purchased Naby Keita tonight. Sensational ball carrier and moves everyone forward. Nearly got the goal he deserves too. Wonderful wonderful player. #LFC
— Callum Wright (@CallumWright__) December 5, 2018
Naby Keita officially arrived tonight. Magnificent.
— Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) December 5, 2018
Naby Keita far and away the man of the match. He’s the missing link. ⚽️
— Adam Rowe (@adamrowecomedy) December 5, 2018
Former Liverpool player John Arne Riise also joined in on social media, saying that Keita could be really important to the outcome of this season.
Keita.. what a player!!!! He will be so important for us
— John Arne Riise (@JARiiseOfficial) December 5, 2018
Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League and face a trip to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday where they will face Bournemouth.