Liverpool saw off Sheffield United at Bramall Lane but it was a hard-fought win. The Reds struggled to break down Chris Wilder's defence as the Blades packed players behind the ball.
Virgil van Dijk scored off of a first-half corner to give Liverpool the lead but the game wasn't sewn up until stoppage time. Darwin Nunez, on as a substitute, won the ball back before supplying Dominik Szoboszlai for 2-0.
There was a lot of time there, though, when things were nervy. Liverpool held a slender 1-0 lead and Sheffield United constantly tried to catch them on the break. It required a solid defensive display and the Reds got that, mostly.
Virgil van Dijk was the only defender who didn't have at least one lapse in judgement to give the hosts a half-chance. Fortunately, none of those mistakes came to anything and on the whole, Liverpool were solid.
Ibrahima Konate deserves credit for that, in particular. The Frenchman was questionable on the ball but off it, he was about as dominant as you can possibly be.
He led the Reds in tackles, interceptions and headers. That last stat was absolutely remarkable, too.
Per Whoscored, Konate won 14 defensive headers in this game. That's a fantastic stat on its own but it's even crazier when you consider he did that at a 100% success rate. He is, per Sofa Score, the first player to achieve more than 12 at a 100% success rate since the 2015/16 season.
Sheffield United simply couldn't find a way to battle him in the air as they tried to attack Konate and avoid Van Dijk.
In total, Konate went into for a monstrous 20 duels (both headers and tackles) in this game, winning 19. That's a level of dominance you rarely, if ever, see and a demonstration of just how good he is at his best. In fact, that's the most of the last three seasons.
Not that this was even his best. Konate didn't thrive on the ball and had his wobbly moments, but as a defensive wall, you won't see better than this.