Ibrahima Konate reveals dressing room reaction to Liverpool chance and thunderous tackle on Arsenal's Granit Xhaka | soccer4u
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Ibrahima Konate reveals dressing room reaction to Liverpool chance and thunderous tackle on Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka



Ibrahima Konaté missed a great chance to score and win Liverpool’s game against Arsenal

If there’s one thing that could stop this game as a microcosm of Liverpool’s rollercoaster season, it’s at Anfield last weekend.

Jurgen Klopp’s side demonstrated every aspect of their current nature – from appallingly bad to thrillingas they came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against long-time Premier League leaders Arsenal .

Such was their dominance in the second half, however, that it felt like the Reds had once again failed in all of their main goals this season, epitomized when Ibrahima Konaté failed to win in the dying seconds. of an exciting encounter enough of a foothold in his endeavors. to bundle Darwin Nunez’ header on the line before Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale made a crawl save.

Not that anyone at Liverpool blamed the Frenchman for the miss. “In the locker room, nobody blamed me at all because, above all, I showed a very good performance”, says Konaté.

“Personally I was proud of my performance in the second half. Of course it was a golden opportunity, but perhaps with my size it would have been better if it had fallen on someone a little shorter who could decide whether or not to head . ” It.

“Obviously we would have preferred to win the match, but in the end a draw after being 2-0 down against the leaders is a good draw.”

While a string of sticking points jolted the Anfield crowd out of their first-half stupor, none led to instantaneous uptick in volume as Konate’s sensational challenge blasted Granit Xhaka aside shortly after the break.

“It was an outstanding tackle, an impressive tackle, and it not only gave us a boost, but it also gave a certain amount of energy to the stadium and it gave everyone a boost – the people on the ground and the team on the pitch.” says the Liverpool defender in conversation with a small group of journalists at the AXA Training Centre.

But I don’t think you can point to that as the only reason (for team improvement). I think in the second half we all changed, we all increased our intensity and level and had a big impact, we had more impact as a group of players which made things better for us in the second half.

“If we can maintain this level of intensity until the end of the season, I hope it’s positive for us to go ahead and push ourselves to the maximum in these last games.”

There haven’t been enough of Konaté’s defining moments this season, although it’s not his fault. In the last friendly of the pre-season, a home game against Strasbourg, he suffered a knee injury in July which was a major factor in him making just four appearances before the match.

World Cup. And a hamstring injury sustained in January that saw him miss the 5-2 Champions League home win over Real Madrid meant the game against Arsenal was just his 17th of the season for Liverpool.

“It’s really a bit mixed,” Konaté said when asked to watch the past nine months. “First and foremost, it’s hard to sum up a season when there’s a bit left.

“But I saw extraordinary things. The World Cup final was fantastic, it was a sad result at the end and we were all devastated, but it was an incredible, extraordinary experience.

“I got injured in the summer and it’s never good when you’re away for a long time. What can you do? How can you describe the moment you get hit in the knee? You try to avoid such effects, but it happens and you have to deal with it.

“You have to deal with it when you’re on the road for a long time. But overall I’m pretty happy with my performance in the games I’ve played this season.”

After coming awfully close to adding the Premier League and Champions League to his already racked up FA Cup and League Cup medals last May, only a stretched leg from Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez prevented Konate from a spectacular a late winner for assisted France in a World Cup final, they eventually lost on penalties in December.

Not that the 23-year-old is thinking about these setbacks. “I already had some tough times when I was young,” she says. “It was difficult to lose two big finals, but those are the things that make you stronger.

“I hope at the end of my career I can look back and say, ‘Look, I had some disappointments that year, but it gave me the strength and motivation to keep winning these big trophies.’ my goal. That’s my goal. It motivates me even more.”

With Virgil van Dijk well past his prime, Joel Matip in his thirties and Joe Gomez still aiming for his best form, Konate represents Liverpool’s future as a centre-back. And despite this season’s disappointment, he undoubtedly made the right decision when he joined RB Leipzig for £36million two summers ago.

“My answer to whether or not I made the right decision is to watch that first season,” he says. “I was part of a team that was a hair’s breadth away from winning four trophies. We ended up winning two and were just one point away from the league title and so close to the Champions League.

“My fame grew from being a Liverpool player. It was great to experiment. Even after the season we’ve had so far, what I’ve experienced in my first year is enough to say ‘yes, I made the right decision’.”

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