Well I didn’t enjoy that. In the first half we were quite poor. We were really very slow in possession and it feels like Keita is being played in a position that he’s both unfamiliar and unsuited to. This makes him more of a hindrance than anything else.
For RB Leipzig he played through the centre of midfield but now he seems to be a sort of left sided midfielder. He’s not got a rapport with Robertson here though; they don’t know where each other are and don’t link well in the way Mané and Robertson do. He also can’t influence the game in the same way; he doesn’t press well and doesn’t know when he needs to drop back to cover the LB.
The thing is, I think he might need a lot longer to settle at Liverpool because he was such a force of nature at RB Leipzig and perhaps the truth is that we just aren’t asking for that from him. Liverpool have enough talent that we don’t need a new Steven Gerrard, we just need a high energy player with a decent bit of creativity. This is perhaps hard for him to get to grips with. It’s a shame because everyone was so excited for him to join but I suspect we might not start to see top performances from him until he settles into the new role that Klopp wants from him. You feel like if injuries improve then he might not feature much until next season.
It was good that at least in the second half our tempo clearly took a big step up which resulted in two quick goals to turn the game around. We did our best to make a mess of things but then also found a way to close the game out and take the sting out of it once Milner got sent off. This was the most uncomfortable mix of all the worst Liverpool’s I know: can’t break down a low block, giving away cheap goals from set pieces and managing to look like the pressure was getting to them. Thankfully they overcame themselves and found another way to victory today.