Tuesday 15 October 2019

Fabinho in focus: How the Liverpool star adapted in the absence of Virgil van Dijk

Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (R) and Liverpool's Fabinho
Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (R) and Liverpool's Fabinho

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho was deployed in central defence in Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first leg against Bayern Munich at Anfield.

With Virgil Van Dijk suspended and Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez out injured, the Brazilian played alongside Joel Matip at the back as the Reds attempted to keep at bay a Bayern attack featuring the competition's leading scorer this season, Robert Lewandowski.

Here is a look at how Fabinho fared in a contest that ended 0-0.

In the air

The former Monaco player looked somewhat unconvincing on this front at times, particularly during a first half in which he lost more aerial challenges with Lewandowski than he won. In the 27th minute he produced a miscued header that it appeared the Pole might punish, before the danger passed. Not long after that, though, Fabinho made a fine contribution with his head as he cleared the ball from a corner.

With his feet

The 25-year-old then looked very much the part as a centre-back seven minutes after the break when he thwarted Lewandowski with a great tackle in the six-yard box, and he later delivered another decent challenge out on the right. He displayed good passing throughout the contest, as might be expected.

Overall

Went about the job he had been asked to do very commendably, looking increasingly assured.

PA Media

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