Liverpool: Van Dijk out, Fabinho steps up

Liverpool: Van Dijk out, Fabinho steps up

Liverpool: Van Dijk out, Fabinho steps up

Liverpool faced up against Ajax last night (Wednesday 21st October 2020) and successfully managed to win in their opening match of the Champions League campaign. Virgil Van Dijk had to sit out as he just received knee surgery due to a bad tackle made by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the Merseyside derby on Saturday. Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, stepped in, to play a defensive role and managed to impress with crucial clearances.

Van Dijk and Joel Matip both missed out of the first game of the Champions League. Fabinho and Joe Gomez ran the show in defence but this defensive pair had never played together, there were some nerves with the Brazilian midfielder playing in defence, his performance suggests that he can step up to the task whenever called upon.

Just before half time, Fabinho’s confidence grew with a perfectly timed clearance to hook the ball off the line. The pressure on Liverpool started to pay off with Ajax forward Tadic, chipping the Liverpool keeper but Fabinho came to the rescue.

The Liverpool vs Ajax match finished 1-0, with an unfortunate own goal from Nicolás Tagliafico.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp commented on Fabinho’s performance: "He was good, but even he can play better! This combination with Joe and Fabinho, I don't think they've played together before, maybe once. They need to get used to each other, to the verbal demands in that position, what you have to say to help the midfielders”

“So it was a good performance, but there's a lot to improve which is good. How high or low is the last line in each moment? Counter-pressing, how do we react there? And it was absolutely good for tonight.”

"I'm not surprised that he played well there or we would have thought about a different solution, even though that would have been very tricky. I'm really pleased tonight, pleased for him, it gave him confidence and helped us."

Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson

Owner and Managing Director