Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reflected on Ibrahima Konate’s Premier League debut in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace – after the Reds made it four clean sheets in five games
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Jurgen Klopp post Crystal Palace
Jurgen Klopp praised Liverpool debutant Ibrahima Konate for handling a tough introduction to life in the Premier League during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Konate arrived at Anfield in a £36m switch from RB Leipzig in the summer.
The Frenchman has had to wait for his first taste of first team action – with Joel Matip starting alongside Virgil van Dijk in the Reds opening four league games of the season.
But Konate was given the nod to make his Anfield bow ahead of Matip against Patrick Viera’s side.
Liverpool marched to the top of the league after overcoming a stubborn Palace side with goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita.
Ibrahima Konate played his part in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace
It’s now four clean sheets in five games for Klopp’s side in the league.
“Top,” said the Reds boss when giving his assessment of Konate’s debut after the match. “It is something you dream of and want desperately but when it is coming it is different.
“You want the team to watch the games and see what we do. We need to have experience from what we see. And he did really well.
“So much potential. He will get better.
Who should start alongside Virgil van Dijk next week – Ibrahima Konate or Joel Matip? Comment below.
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“The Premier League teaches you harsh lessons. Today, against Benteke and Edouard and Zaha, there were situations where it is new for him. Step by step.”
The 22-year-old made a nervy start but grew in confidence as the game progressed.
He produced one excellent recovery, showcasing his pace to charge down Christian Benteke after the Palace striker had been slipped in behind the Liverpool defence.
There were signs that he’ll need time to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League.
Jurgen Klopp was happy with Konate’s first performance in a Liverpool shirt
AFP via Getty Images)
He was indebted to Alisson for making a top save after Konate was muscled off the ball by Palace substitute Odsonne Edouard.
But on the whole, the France Under-21 international put in a positive showing on his maiden Anfield appearance.
Klopp admitted after the game that the 3-0 win over the Eagles was anything but easy – despite the convincing scoreline.
“It is one of the most hard-fought 3-0s ever,” said Klopp.
Sadio Mane celebrates netting his 100th Liverpool goal on Saturday
“We had to give everything. Hard but fair challenges. Physicality was immense and we had to be ready. The chips in behind our full-back gave us trouble. The longer it went they used that more and more. We had to run.
“Wednesday/Saturday rhythm is really hard. We scored wonderful goals and used our set-pieces. It is massive in games like this. These are the games you have to win, when you are not brilliant.
“We weren’t flying today. We had to grind out a proper performance. I liked it. When you look back you have these games when it was really fun. And some was it was important. This is one of those important games.”
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