Although the first half of tonight’s Carabao Cup clash against Leicester was a frustrating one for Liverpool, there was one moment which had the home fans showing their appreciation at Anfield.
Ibrahima Konate started at centre-back alongside Jarell Quansah, and the Frenchman made one particularly important contribution during the opening 45 minutes.
As noted by Theo Squires in his half-time player ratings for the Liverpool Echo, the £70,000-per-week defender (Capology) ‘fought for every ball and earned cheers off the Kop for one great challenge on [Kelechi] Iheanacho‘.
With Liverpool trailing 1-0 after Kasey McAteer’s early goal, Konate’s intervention on Iheanacho was a pivotal one to stop Leicester from doing further damage, even if the home side dominated proceedings following that early setback.
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As the senior partner to Quansah at the back, and with Curtis Jones playing in an unfamiliar hybrid right-back role alongside the Frenchman, Jurgen Klopp would’ve been looking upon the 24-year-old to lead by example in a previously unseen defensive quartet.
Thankfully he stepped up at the moment when it was very much needed, and with the Reds drawing level through Cody Gakpo just after half-time and looking to duly go on and win the tie (at the time of writing), the importance of the ex-Leipzig man’s challenge can’t be downplayed.