Liverpool still have their destiny in their own hands with 12 league games remaining, and the Kop legend says he was bemused by the way in which critics, and indeed some fans, seemed to turn on his former club at the first sign of trouble.
"They are the team behind the team and they are the ones who keep us going and positive". The Netherlands global said the Bournemouth victory was the flawless response to dropping points against West Ham and Leicester, and re-set the benchmark for the performance level required to win the Premier League. They need to hang in there and hope City's fixtures pile up and become a problem and then they can capitalise. And that's for everyone, not just Liverpool.
"To talk about nerves and stuff like that is unfair". If that is their form between now and the end of the season, Liverpool have to win every game. Even last Friday night, Villa looked down and out against Sheffield United when 3-0 down with eight minutes of regular time to go. "And the win against Bournemouth just puts that negativity and the talk of nerves and all that to bed".
Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson was full of praise for Keita when he said: "He has taken a wee bit of time to settle in but today was probably his best performance in a Liverpool shirt".
The atmosphere inside Anfield was brilliant from start to finish with Trent Alexander-Arnold claiming he'd never seen anything like it. The 26-year-old said that Liverpool, who were nine points ahead of City at one stage in December, were not short of belief going into the home stretch of the season. "I'm sure he can take a lot of confidence from that, which he will". "But we're pleased to get a clean sheet and to get the three points was the main thing, obviously". "We needed this to push on".
"The 2013-14 team didn't have that".
"The manager called me and said 'do you think you can play?'".
The Merseyside outfit will follow up the European clash with a trip to Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday 24 February.