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Football

08th May 2019

Naby Keita celebrates Liverpool’s comeback win at home in his kit

Wayne Farry

naby keita celebrations

He looked shell-shocked

Liverpool’s victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday night was as shocking as it was spectacular. The Reds had no right to even consider pulling off such a daring comeback, but they did so with a level of composure, discipline and ruthless efficiency that few sides possess.

From Fabinho’s discipline after receiving an early yellow card, and the entire side’s ability to defend from the front and nullify the threat of Lionel Messi, to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking to set up Divock Origi for the winner, it was an inspired performance built on a foundation of belief.

This was evidenced in the reaction of the Anfield crowd throughout the entire match. The cliche of ‘big European nights at Anfield’ is often derided, but when the place is rocking it is really fucking rocking. On Tuesday night, it was rocking, with the supporters inside egging on their players in every attack, and encouraging them in every phase of defence.

Barcelona were clearly rattled by the cauldron-like atmosphere, and when the final whistle blew to signal Liverpool’s progression to a second consecutive Champions League final, the place erupted.

The players, fans and staff sand You’ll Never Walk Alone post-match, but one player was notable by his absence: the injured midfielder Naby Keita.

Keita went off injured halfway through the first half of Liverpool’s 3-0 first leg defeat at the Camp Nou and according to reports from the club, his season is likely over.

As such, he was at home watching the game and he did so in his Liverpool shirt. A video posted online after the victory showed him sitting on the floor of his living room like your little brother during the match, before hopping up on his one good leg to celebrate the win.

https://twitter.com/lfcIeo/status/1125874229969391616?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

His reaction mirrored that of the fans in the stadium and likely those around the world: utter disbelief. He may not play again this season, but Keita will definitely be there in Madrid at the end of the season cheering on his teammates.