Another game, another clean sheet. It’s almost come to the point where Liverpool’s defensive solidity feels normal - almost. They’ve played 22 league games and have only allowed in 10 goals. That excellent run seemed in trouble this week when Dejan Lovren became the latest victim of Liverpool’s defensive injury crisis.
Enter Fabinho, the late bloomer who took nearly half a season to find his niche in the team. He’s played two games alongside Virgil van Dijk at centre-half now and impressed in both outings. His versatility provided Jürgen Klopp with a useful option while they’re low on centre-backs.
Speaking after the game, Klopp was characteristically appreciative of Fabinho’s efforts to help guide Liverpool to a hard-fought 1-0 win away at Brighton.
“He’s a brilliant player and I was happy he could play today,” Klopp said. “It’s not that Brighton had one attack after the other – we had the ball most of the time so it makes sense to have a good footballer in that position. Brighton tried a little bit to bring the long balls to Murray and around him, which they did, by the way, against Joe Gomez in the home game as well. But he did well in these situations and with the ball. He has a defending brain and can do that in different positions. It’s good.”
Joël Matip will likely be available when Crystal Palace visit next Saturday, but we may see Matip rested again in favour of Fabinho for the third game in a row.