Liverpool’s defence was absolutely immaculate during the 2-1 win at San Siro on Tuesday night.
The Reds really made a statement in the Champions League as they became the first English club in the competition’s history to win all six of their group games.
And that’s no mean feat when you consider that Liverpool were dumped into what fans called the ‘Group of Death’ with FC Porto and Atletico Madrid also competing for a place in the round of 16.
AC Milan 1-2 Liverpool
But alas, Liverpool made light work of their continent adversaries with victory at the San Siro, courtesy of goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi, rounding off their 100% record.
However, as we alluded to, it was arguably Liverpool’s back-line that deserved the most praise in northern Italy despite the fact that Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk were both absent from the line-up.
Nathaniel Phillips continued his remarkable 2021 by grabbing his Champions League chance with both hands, even going viral for an ice-cold piece of skill that left Zlatan Ibrahimovic baffled.
Konate shines vs AC Milan
But for all the due praise that Phillips received, there was a quiet acknowledgement that Ibrahima Konaté was the true MVP for the Reds with many supporters picking him as their Man of the Match.
According to Sofascore, the former RB Leipzig defender amassed seven clearances, two tackles, three interceptions and a key pass to continue his strong start to life on Merseyside.
In spite of all those statistics, though, perhaps the biggest compliment to Konate is that many fans thought that he had pocketed one of the greatest strikers of the modern era in Ibrahimovic.
The data even supports the point with AC Milan’s lead man being reduced to just a single shot, which was off target, as well as zero dribbles, just 31 touches and a pass success rate of 71%.
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Zlatan loses his cool with Konate
In fact, there’s good reason to think that Ibrahimovic got pretty fed up with Konate getting the better of him when you consider footage of the Swede throwing his rival to the ground in the second-half.
In true Zlatan style, the 40-year-old made sure there were plenty of afters when he went head-to-head against Konate once again by man-handling him to the extent that he quickly hit the turf.
So, Liverpool fans, be sure to enjoy the moment that Konate almost certainly got Ibrahimovic to crack by watching the amusing coming together down below:
That’s got classic Zlatan written all over it, right?
Zlatan’s penchant for aggression
It’s certainly not the first time that Ibrahimovic has channeled ‘s***housery’ in the beautiful game and it won’t be the last with the AC Milan hero having owned up to a similar clash with Cesar Azpilicueta.
When speaking about his shoulder charge into the Chelsea captain during Spain vs Sweden in November, Ibrahimovic openly admitted to the Guardian: “I did it on purpose.
“I’m not ashamed to say it because he did something stupid to my player. Acting big to my player. It was a stupid thing but I would still do it to make him understand: ‘You don’t f***ing do that. You don’t have balls to do it against me. But I will show you what happens if you do it to me.’ That’s why I did it.”
So, while it’s fair to say that you shouldn’t get on the wrong side of Ibrahimovic, Konate can vouch for the fact that you can stand on the right side of a scoreline against him if you’re tough enough.