Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has slammed the performance of Naby Keita against Atletico Madrid, believing the scorer of the club’s second goal was at fault for both of Antoine Griezmann’s finishes.
The Reds produced anything but a box-office bomb in Madrid on Tuesday night, winning a Champions League classic at the Wanda Metropolitano, in which Jurgen Klopp’s men beat the Spanish champions 3-2 after initially being pegged back from a two-goal advantage.
The Merseysiders cruised to a 2-0 lead, with Keita netting an absolute pearler on 13th minute, before Diego Simeone’s men battled back to restore parity. The turning point in the contest came just after the restart when Griezmann was sent for an early bath after his high boot caught Roberto Firmino in the face.
From there, Liverpool bagged, predictably through Mohamed Salah, and held out for three crucial points at the ground where they won the 2019 Champions League at the expensive of Tottenham, but not all associated with the club were happy with the performance.
Hamann, who represented the Reds across seven years and won the 2005 Champions League, singled out Keita for his involvement in both of Atleti’s goals, before suggesting the midfielder is simply ‘not good enough’ to play for this current Liverpool side.
“I’ve got to say, I think Keita was at fault for both goals,” Hamann told talkSPORT.
“I know he’s had some injuries, but I don’t think he’s good enough for Liverpool.
“If you score a goal like he did, you should be full of confidence, you have to do your defensive duties and I get the feeling he just wants to play with the ball and when Liverpool have got possession.
“You just can’t do that and he’s not good enough to do that. The way he got beaten for the first two goals was just too easy.”
The 48-year-old went on to criticise the overall defensive display from Klopp’s men, who have already conceded 11 goals in just 12 games across all competitions this term, including eight in the last five, with only one player being spared from the German’s crosshairs.
He continued: “Defensively Liverpool were pretty average as they conceded two and the reason they stayed in the game was because they made two or three good saves, [Alisson] Becker was outstanding again.
“That is something they have to address.
“They won the Champions League and Premier League when they were defensively as good as anyone, but on Tuesday they conceded the chances and goals that were far too easy.”