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Roy Keane's first rant of the season was aimed at Reece James and he didn't hold back

Jack Kenmare

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Roy Keane's first rant of the season was aimed at Reece James and he didn't hold back

Roy Keane delivered a scathing verdict of Reece James' decision to not "sprint" back before Luis Diaz opened the scoring for Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp's side took an early lead at Stamford Bridge, when a lightning-quick counter-attack saw Mo Salah thread a perfectly-weighted through ball to Diaz.

Diaz, who missed large parts of last season through injury, made no mistake with the finish, poking the ball past Chelsea goalkeeper Robert Sanchez with his first touch.

It was a wonderful move for the Reds but rather than admire Salah's genius, Sky pundit Keane criticised Reece James' role in the goal.

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Check out his reaction below.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Keane said: "We talk about tactics and systems. James is looking at him when he's running off. You can argue afterwards and say, 'Oh I'm a wing-back. That's not my job'. But he sees him running. You have to sprint back as if your life depends on it.

"As brilliant as James is... listen, I love him to bits. I think he's brilliant player, particularly going forward. But when you see somebody run off the back of you, you sprint."

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Sturridge, who will become a regular Sky pundit this season, was quick to give credit to Diaz for his attacking instincts.

"I think it's that awareness too," the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker said.

"As an attacker in that moment, you always think to yourself, first, you've got to get there and you want to make that run before the defender. So as soon as he turns around and looks over his shoulder, you're already gone. And you've got half a yard to get ahead of him.

"He's got a few yards on him. He's not going to get back there. Of course, he's got to show that he wants to get back, of course."

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Image credit: Sky Sports Premier League/Twitter
Image credit: Sky Sports Premier League/Twitter

Keane soon claimed that James could have "stopped and had a cup of tea" before Diaz found the net. "You've got to sprint back because you never know what might happen," he said.

Sturridge agreed. "I do believe he should have shown the need to get back and burst a gut for the team, just as much as the forward wants to burst a gut to score a goal," said the 33-year-old.

"But in the end, Luis Diaz anticipated that Salah would be able to drive inside, try to get to the back post."

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Keane ended the segment, saying: "James is the captain. James is supposed to be leading by example. You sprint back."

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Thoughts on James' role in the goal? Could he have done more?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Premier League/Twitter

Topics: Roy Keane, Reece James, Chelsea, Liverpool, Sky Sports

Jack Kenmare
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