Along with a handful of solid saves on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was responsible for springing the break that led to the visiting team’s winning opening goal against Southampton, hurling the ball out to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain he collected off a Saints corner.
The midfielder fed a streaking Mohamed Salah, who squared to Roberto Firmino, who slotted home. It took seconds, Liverpool flying down the pitch on the kind of counter Liverpool fans haven’t seen much since Pepe Reina was between the sticks. Karius, though, downplayed his role following the match.
“That’s my job, to try to be there for the team,” said the 24-year-old. “The first half was a bit busier than the second, but that’s my job. It was a very important game. We saw the other results, we saw Tottenham win—but we did our job. We kept a clean sheet and scored fantastic goals.”
Karius has slowly grown in confidence and stature since being named starting goalkeeper for the second half of the season by Jürgen Klopp, who has given the young German a chance to stake his claim to the number one job long term—and prove Liverpool don’t need to spend £50M+ on a goalkeeper this summer.
There isn’t enough yet to say he’s done that, but the early returns at least are positive, and his past two outings have been two of the stronger performances by a goalkeeper since Klopp’s arrival at the club a little more than two seasons ago. There isn’t certainty yet, then, but there is promise.
“It’s good and I feel good,” Karius said. “Getting weekly game time is very important. I’m still young. I had plenty of experience in the past, but it’s different if you play week in, week out again and not just come in every other week for a midweek game. My confidence is growing. It’s good for me.”
It’s good for Karius, certainly, and in this case what’s good for the goalkeeper would certainly be good for the club. Now, he just has to keep doing his job. Easier said than done, perhaps, in the high pressure atmosphere of a club like Liverpool, but as long as he can make the stops he knows he’ll get help—and wins.
“We all know the quality [the attack has],” he added. “If you keep a clean sheet then you pretty much always score with these guys and get three points. That’s what we have to focus on: defend and then they’ll do the job up front.”