Liverpool supporters have been full of praise for defender Ibrahima Konate for his astute performance against AC Milan, particularly in keeping Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet during the side’s 2-1 win.
The Frenchman was bought by Jurgen Klopp over the summer for £36 million from RB Leipzig, with the intention of bolstering the Reds’ backline.
But his starts have been limited so far this season – featuring in just three Premier League games for the Merseyside club.
However, Konate was given a place in the starting line-up in Liverpool’s dead-rubber final Champions League group game against AC Milan, holding the line alongside Nathaniel Phillips as the Rossoneri tried to earn enough points to see them join the Reds in the knockout stage.
But it wasn’t to be, with Klopp’s men rounding off a perfect group stage points total of 18.
But attention was laid on Konate during the contest, with 40-year-old Ibrahimovic, who is out-of-contract in the summer, kept at bay by an exquisite performance from the defender.
Supporters took to social media to shower the young centre-back with praise.
One said: “Konate has that VVD aura so far in this game, aggressive, recovery pace, winning duels with ease. He’s absolutely bullying Ibra here.”
Another stated: “Ibrahima Konate has come into a new side at only 22-years-old and has pocketed Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic in the same season. What an absolute machine."
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One reporter tweeted: “Ibrahima Konate has made a quietly impressive start to life as a Liverpool player. This isn't going overboard, it's simply to say every time he's played, he's looked unflappable, makes important challenges and reads the game well. He'll start many more games in the future.”
A fourth stated: “Konate is going to be some defender. Excellent so far tonight. Has everything in his locker to be world-class and will only improve as his rawness disappears.
One wrote: “Konate is a defensive demon man, if you get past him he gets back cause of pace, and his jockeying is class too. you can't beat this guy.”
Another gushed with accompanying laughing emojis: “When Konate goes through his pockets tonight, he’ll find his phone, wallet, keys and Ibrahimovic.”
Milan took the lead when former Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori latched on to Alisson’s parry, whacking the ball home.
However, Mohamed Salah hit in the rebound from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s effort to level the proceedings – before Mane gave Liverpool their second after Mane setting up Divock Origi for the header.
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