Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea: Reds player ratings
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has come under attack from the agent of one of his own players after his side were unable to capitalise on a Chelsea red card during Saturday’s 1-1 draw. Shockingly, Naby Keita’s agent claimed the manager was ‘solely responsible’ for the result, comments which the German is unlikely to be pleased with.
The Reds played more than half of the tie with a one-man advantage after Reece James was controversially sent off for handling the ball on the goal-line.
Mohamed Salah converted the resulting penalty to bring the game level after a superb looping header from Kai Havertz had given Chelsea the lead.
Disappointingly for Liverpool, they were unable to capitalise on their advantage as a resolute Chelsea defence held on for a point.
Midfielder Naby Keita, who cost Liverpool over £50million back in 2018, did not feature whatsoever.
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Up to now, his injury-hit time at Anfield has not worked out, and teenager Harvey Elliott was preferred in midfield on Saturday.
The Guinea international’s agent, Malick Kebe, said on Twitter: “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.
“Your super coach is solely responsible for this draw against Chelsea.”
As a respected manager who has led Liverpool to an historic Premier League title and a Champions League, Klopp is unlikely to take kindly to those comments.
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With regular midfield rotation likely for the coming season, Keita should get plenty of chances to impress after Gini Wijnaldum was sold to PSG and no replacement was signed.
Elliott, who has started the season impressively, is sure to be rested at some point, which will open the door for the former Leipzig man.
Without doubt, the main grievance of Keita’s camp is the fact he was denied the opportunity to strut his stuff on the big stage against Chelsea, even failing to make a short cameo from the bench.
At the moment, players like Keita are central to Liverpool’s squad depth, a factor which should be crucial in a title race which is sure to be hard-fought until the end of the campaign.
Many have overlooked the Reds after their third-place finish last season, and other sides have had better summers, but their centre-back injury crisis wreaked havoc on their campaign last time out.
With their first choice defenders back in action, who knows whether Liverpool can return to the glory of 2019/20 when they lifted the Premier League trophy.
Keita, as well as his agent, will hope that he can play a major part in that potential success, but it seems as though he will have to earn his regular spot.
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