Manchester United v Liverpool match in pictures
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Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita’s agent piled the pressure on manager Jurgen Klopp to show more faith in his client all the way back in August via an eyebrow-raising social media outburst. The 26-year-old was then pivotal in the Reds’ 5-0 demolition of Manchester United on Sunday afternoon, a result that will live long in the memory.
Keita broke the deadlock after just five minutes by calmly finishing off a trademark Liverpool counter-attack.
After Diogo Jota tapped in at the far post to double the visitors’ advantage, Keita turned provider to set up Mohamed Salah’s first goal of the afternoon.
The rampant Egyptian notched another before half-time and completed his hat-trick shortly after the break to complete a 5-0 rout.
Keita’s role was not over, however, falling victim to a high Paul Pogba challenge which resulted in the Frenchman’s red card and the Guinean going off on a stretcher.
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There were still plenty of positives to take for Keita on a productive afternoon, but things have not always been so cheery on Merseyside.
Back in August, his agent Malick Kebe came out all guns blazing after the Reds were left disappointed with a 1-1 home draw against Chelsea.
“It’s really hard for me to understand Klopp, you have to be him to put Naby Keita on the bench right now in his form,” he said.
“Your super coach is solely responsible for this draw against Chelsea.”
Injuries have had their own part to play in Keita’s growing importance to the team, with Harvey Elliott succumbing to a dislocated ankle in September after some strong early-season showings.
Now that Keita has fallen victim to his own injury, Klopp insists that the severity of it will not become clear until Tuesday.
Despite fears the player could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Keita’s agent reserved special praise for the midfielder’s performance after his masterclass at Old Trafford.
“Naby Keïta was just breathtaking tonight and congratulations to the whole team for this great historic victory against Manchester United. Better health my champion,” he said.
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A delighted Klopp admitted there were too many brilliant performances to single out any one player as he heaped praise on his side after the final whistle.
“What we did in the last third was insane,” he said.
“Pressing high, winning balls, scored wonderful goals. I told them at half-time to play better.
“We started incredibly well and stopped playing football. We controlled the game after the fifth, it was not about scoring more, just trying to get out without more injuries.”
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