If we’re honest, he probably could have—should have—had more last night. This is not a criticism; that he was a near-constant threat and getting into the right positions is a good thing.
The Liverpool attack as a whole looked disjointed and possibly (probably?) jet-lagged throughout the night. The two who didn’t, Naby and Mohamed Salah, combined for the opening goal, which was unfortunately canceled out by an equalizer just two minutes later.
To be blunt: this is the Naby Keita Liverpool fans have been wanting to see for years. The wait, first because of the year-long delay, and secondly because of his struggles with injury, raised some concerns that it might not happen at Liverpool, despite his undeniable talent.
Since coming back into the side at the end of October, Keita has started putting those overblown fears to rest with some consistently impressive performances.
It’s easy to forget, because Keita did not have a goal or assist to his name in either match, but he was on the pitch for the last 8 minutes against Manchester United, and the last 6 minutes against Aston Villa. In the former case, he played the ball before the assist for Adam Lallana’s equalizer. And we all remember the decisive last 6 minutes at Villa Park.
Now the numbers are starting to come as well. He made it 3 goals and an assist in his last three matches: away to Bournemouth, away to Salzburg, and against Monterrey in the Club World Cup.
If Keita has rounded the corner and can remain fit and firing for the second half of the season, England, the rest of Europe, and now the world, might be in trouble.