Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konate delivered a man of the match performance during the 2-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on Sunday evening.
The Merseyside giants suffered a huge setback before the game with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out due to illness. They were also missing the services of Mohamed Salah (international duty) and Dominik Szoboszlai (hamstring injury).
Jurgen Klopp’s side had a slow start at the Emirates Stadium where the Gunners dominated the proceedings, but the scores remained level at the break. The Gunners were unable to capitalise on the clear-cut chances created on goal.
In the second half, the game was fairly contested between the clubs and the Reds eventually broke the deadlock in the 80th minute. Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quality cross into the box was put into his own net by Jakub Kiwior.
Luis Diaz put the game beyond doubt in the dying seconds with a thunderous strike beyond the grasp of Aaron Ramsdale. The Reds have progressed to the next round of the competition and they should know their opponents soon.
In our opinion, Konate was the clear man of the match. The Frenchman showed exceptional leadership skills at the back in the absence of Van Dijk. Over 90 minutes, he had 60 touches with 44 out of his 52 passes completed.
The £33 million-rated star won 100 per cent of his duels and blocked two key shots. Despite the high pressing from the Gunners, the former Leipzig man looked comfortable with his decision-making in central defence yesterday.
Liverpool will be back in action in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham on Wednesday. They will be at Anfield for the opening leg and the fans will be hoping that Van Dijk is deemed fit for the encounter.
The Reds will be aiming for a comfortable victory over the Cottagers at home. It won’t be straightforward considering how difficult Fulham made it last time around. The London club lost 4-3 in the league after being 3-2 ahead.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com
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