Liverpool’s Klopp happy with Brazilian Fabinho’s defence in absence of Dijik
LONDON (UK) – In the absence of Virgil van Dijik, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made midfielder Fabinho an emergency centre back on Wednesday. He was not at all surprised when the Brazilian player slotted in with ease.
Fabinho was able to deal with everything the Dutch side came up with and made a fantastic clearance off the line before halftime to deny Dusan Tadic, helping Liverpool achieve a 1-0 Champions League win.
“Was there pressure on the situation? Yes, it’s clear for the two in the back, 100%… Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it,” Klopp said in a media briefing.
“I’m not surprised he plays well in the position otherwise we would have thought about a different solution, even when that would have been properly tricky. I’m really pleased for him … it gave him confidence, for sure helped us.
“If I would have asked him to play right back I don’t think he’d enjoy it as much as he’s enjoying the centre half position. In our situation … we have to keep those boys fit and then they can of course help us a lot.”
The club will have to get used to playing without centre back Van Dijk, who sustained a serious knee injury after a wild tackle from Everton goalie Jordan Pickford during Saturday’s game.
Klopp is looking at protecting his high-scoring front three from injury, substituting Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino with an hour gone at the Amsterdam Arena.
“I think both teams can play better football, it was pretty wild at moments,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“The pitch was tricky, deep, muddy a little bit, both teams looked exhausted pretty early.
“Three days ago it looked completely different … in training too but it was the same for Ajax.”
Liverpool will play Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday.