A mistake from Bernd Leno gifted Rapid an opener though David Luiz levelled with a towering header before substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured the 2-1 victory and all three points.
Despite a testing evening for the team, Partey stood out throughout the contest and both Keown and Owen Hargreaves were blown away by his defensive and offensive skills.
‘Thomas Partey had one of the best debuts I’ve ever seen, honestly,’ said Hargreaves on BT Sport after the game.
Keown, meanwhile, was waxing lyrical about Partey throughout the game, saying at half-time: ‘I think you know when you see a player immediately add that touch of class, who wants to play and makes things happen.
After a compilation of Partey driving forward and starting attacks, Keown even compared the 27-year-old to arguably Arsenal’s greatest ever midfielder: ‘This is where he looks like Vieira for me when he’s travelling with the ball and making things happen.’
Hargreaves added: ‘Everyone is looking to him and that’s a 10 pass and he’s a holding midfield player.
‘He’s ran the whole game and you can tell he’s been playing in the Champions League because it looks too easy for him.
‘We saw before the whole range. Short, long, playing between the lines. Physically, that’s what he’s in there for, a little bit of steel.
‘With the centre-backs, boys get in bad positions, don’t worry, I’m there.’